I am someone who loves to have goals. They keep me motivated and help me work towards the life I want to create for myself. I think it’s important to find the balance between having goals and understanding that the world is constantly changing, so the timeline of these goals might change. For example, take the year 2020. I did not achieve half of the goals I had set myself up for, because it was literally impossible. But, 2021 is right around the corner- and I’m ready.
Goals without a plan, are just dreams. You can imagine your dream life, dream job, dream bank account, dream vacation all day, but if you haven’t brainstormed actionable steps to get you there, it’s not going to happen. Creating deadlines for yourself with these steps are also very important. You don’t want to wake up at 60 and realize you haven’t really achieved anything because there was never a plan. That’s kind of harsh, but I think we need to hear it. One of my biggest fears is not really “doing anything” with my life. That’s why my phone background says “I will do big things”, to remind myself that I will.
This leads to another problem I see people have with setting goals. They don’t believe that they can actually achieve it. If you have doubts, it’s not going to happen. If you have a backup plan, you’ll fall back. You have to put everything into these goals. The sacrifices you’ll have to make will seem scary at first, but trust that it will be worth it. Don’t expect instant gratification, it will not happen. And don’t give up when you don’t get to your goal fast enough. You have to be willing to put in the work consistently for a long time (especially long-term goals). You have to make a pledge to yourself that you will not let yourself down by quitting. You deserve more than that.
Now that I’ve gotten you all excited about creating new goals, let’s talk types of goals. First, I like to categorize my goals into short and long-term. For me, short is usually 6 months- 1 year. While long-term are 1-5 years. I’ll also throw in some lifetime goals just for fun. Then, I put my goals into 3 separate categories: Personal, Career, Financial.
Here you can put all the fitness, lifestyle, family, relationship, and travel goals. These obviously are not the only categories you can include, but I suggest taking a birds-eye view of your non-work life. What can you improve on? This category can be tricky because it can be hard to create actionable steps for a goal like “I want to be a better person.” Think about what it means to you, volunteering? More present (ex. limiting time on phone)? Some will require more thought than others. Do you put the same effort into your personal life as you do your work life? Set a goal of finding more balance between the two, and working on being your best self in both.
Now we can get into all things work. Do you want a higher position in the office? Is there a certain show you want to book? Is there a side hustle you want to start? Lay out a plan for yourself with the exact steps you need to get to this goal. Set yourself a due date and get started!
*Note for my performers: I understand that it’s hard to have a certain show in mind because of all the factors we can’t control. Too short, too tall, too blonde, etc. But, I encourage you to not let this change any of your goals. Write that show down. Envision yourself on that stage. What can you do to make sure that everything you can control is checked off the list? Do you need more practice with pop music? More pointe classes? These are the actionable steps to take when you have a show goal. Sometimes when we have the goal to “be on Broadway” we get a little lost in the sauce, for lack of better words. Set specific goal and work towards it every day.
It is EXTREMELY important to have financial goals. Sometimes we forget about this one, and that’s okay! But, this is the year we’re going to start focusing on our finances. Here are some ideas for financial goals:
- A certain $ amount of savings
- Paying off student loans
- Credit card debt
- Getting a credit card
- Opening a non-retirement investment account
- Opening a Roth IRA
- Creating a weekly/monthly budget
Do the math! How much do you need to put towards your credit card to have it paid off in 6 months? Do you need to get a side hustle to work on your savings account? These are just suggestions, and depending on your financial situation you’ll pick a goal to work on.
You might be feeling a little overwhelmed, especially if you’re someone that hasn’t written down a goal before. Start small, pick 1 thing for each category. Sometimes people overwhelm themselves with trying to change everything about their lives during the New Year, and it’s too much to handle. The main thing with goal setting is to be as specific as possible. A goal like “I want to get more fit”, usually won’t happen. But, there are many “mini goals” that can go under that umbrella. Like signing up for a new gym, cooking more from home, taking more walks etc. You also need to have a strong Why to back up these goals. You have to really want this goal, like you can’t stop thinking about it. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to accomplish this?” Write it down and remember this when you feel like slacking.
2020 has been a crazy year, and 2021 could possibly be as crazy. With these goals, you are going to hit many obstacles. But, think of your goal as a final destination, the road you take to get there could change. You might have to back out and go a different way, you could be stuck in traffic for a bit, or the road you were taking could get completely shut down, and now you have to start over. No one said achieving your goals was easy. Remember your goals come directly from your imagination. If you’ve ever said, “It would be really cool if I…” that’s what you should do. Whatever your passion is, you have to chase it. People are going to criticize, but that comes from a lack of understanding. Chasing your passion is a very vulnerable thing, just when you feel nothing is working, that’s when the tide is about to turn. Everything will happen as it is meant to. Lastly, do not compare yourself and your journey to others’, we are all on a different path. Find what you bring to the table, what makes you special, and share it. You just gotta keep doing you.