If you’ve been reading my blog for the last year, you know that I set some life goals in blogging, fitness and personal development. Since setting those goals in January, I’ve taken actionable steps to achieving them. But that list didn’t come to be overnight.
After finishing breast cancer treatment (My 6 year Cancer-versary was October 7 Woot Woot!!), I found myself thinking about my purpose. Cancer will do that to you. Through my journaling, I began to ask myself what I wanted my life to look like in 5 years. Sounds like a question I ask potential employees in a job interview, but there really is something to that question when you sit down and honestly dive into thinking about your life. My focus this year has been to continue my personal development by mapping out the big picture of where I want to be and then outlining the actionable goals to get me there.
Choosing Your Life Goals
Think about what inspires you. What gets you excited and out of bed on a cold, rainy morning. That probably inspires you.
Find some quiet space in your day and contemplate who you are.
Write your obituary. OK, I know that sounds morbid, but what do you want. You know I’m a Forensic Scientist. Seriously though, I don’t mean actually write your obituary although there are many personal development coaches that actually have clients do that. You can if you want, but the point here is really what do you want people to say about you when you die? The things you want people to remember about you are the things you’re actually passionate about.
Brain Dump. Journaling is a great way to help you listen to your soul. It might be hard to start writing, but once you get going you’ll find yourself lost in your heart and writing what you feel. There is great therapy in doing that and it’s a great way to discover who you are.
Go to Therapy. I know that seems a little unconventional, but I’m a strong believer that we all need therapy. Therapy is a great place to discover things about yourself in a non-judgmental atmosphere.
Take a class in your local community. The community college and your local recs and parks department offer a number of personal development, hobby, and business courses throughout the year. I love looking through that catalog to see what’s being offered. My friend, Jan from See America With Us, and I are currently taking a Novel Writer’s Workshop course at our community college. I’m hoping this will help me finish my book finally!
After you figure out what you’re passionate about and put your 5 year plan in writing, where do you go from there? The next step is to start putting together some actionable goals. This is basically your To Do list for your life. I have one and there is nothing more satisfying than crossing one of those goals off the list!
Once you’ve done this, pick ONE (and only one) goal to accomplish in the next 6-12 months. For me, I’m currently working on getting my AFAA certification (to be followed immediately by my NASM certification – basically studying the same material). Here’s what it looks like in actionable steps:
Goal: Getting My AFAA/NASM Certification
Cycle: March 2016 – December 2016
1st Quarter Goals (to accomplish by March 2016):
- Sign up for the certification course
2nd Quarter Goals (to accomplish by June 2016)
- Watch all the webinars
- Read the book
3rd Quarter Goals (to accomplish by September 2016):
- Complete study guide
- Make flashcards
- Study material
- Take practice exam
4th Quarter Goals (to accomplish by December 2016):
- Get CPR/AED certification
- Get First Aid certification
- Take AFAA exam
- After pass exam, sign up for NASM cert
There isn’t anything overly complex in my actionable steps, but now I have a road map of what I want to accomplish. This system keeps me from getting overwhelmed by the number of steps that it will take me to reach the goal. It also allows me to cross through each one as I achieve it which provides me with an element of satisfaction that keeps me motivated to continue to achieve the steps.
Now that I’ve just about accomplished this goal, I’m setting my sights on the next 12 month goal courtesy of that Novel Writer’s course I told you about. So, my new 12 month goal looks like this:
Goal: Finish writing my Book and get it published
Cycle: November 2016 – November 2017
1st Quarter Goals (to accomplish by November 2016):
- Sign up and take the Novel Writer’s Workshop course at the college
- Sign up and take the How to Publish Your Book course at the college
2nd Quarter Goals (to accomplish by March 2017)
- Finish writing the last ¼ of the book (I already have 65,000 words written…I’m stumbling with finishing)
- Send Draft to editor for review, suggestions/criticisms and edits
- Edit the Final Draft
3rd Quarter Goals (to accomplish by June 2017):
- Find a publisher
- Submit to publisher for layout/design, printing, and marketing
4th Quarter Goals (to accomplish by October 2017):
- Line up speaking engagements to market and sell the book
Tracking your goals and actions
Once you lay out your 5 year plan, you’ll have a road map for the things you want to accomplish. One by one, you’ll create actionable road maps like the examples I gave you above and track the steps toward your goals by crossing each one you accomplish off your Life To Do list.
As George Addair once said, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear”.
Good luck creating the life you deserve!
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