If you are anything like me, you love to set intentions. Intentions are an uplifting way to create clarity for your desires. This is a critical step but it’s only the first step.
There are three components to manifesting your dreams. If you don’t engage in the other two steps your intentions can quickly turn into angst and desperation.
The first step to turn your intentions into reality is clarity of your wants, the second is having a plan of action, and third is having a mind full of thoughts that are in alignment with your intentions.
You can’t have the intention to lose 30 pounds by June and simultaneously have no food or exercise plan combined with a brain that constantly beats yourself up for how you look. Those conflicting actions/beliefs will keep you in the same place or make things worse.
Hopefully you wrote your Future Letter at the beginning of the year and you are very clear about the things you want. Pick one thing from that letter that you are committed to achieving. Now we can move on to the next step, how to set and achieve your goals based on your intentions.
These steps will be applicable to any goal and replicated over and over. This post will be in four parts. I will add a recap at the end of each part if you want to jump ahead.
On Part 4 I will add a recap of everything. I personally keep a quick copy of these steps in my Bullet Journal so I can reference it any time I’m out to accomplish something new.
Goal setting is two-fold. It’s easy to set the goals but how do we foster an environment that will keep us inspired, motivated and focused? What turns intention into action?
Being committed to something means you are all in no matter what. You are going to endure discomfort when you’re trying to accomplish something new so you need to be committed. In order to be committed you need to have a deep understanding of the big “why.”
Why do you want that goal?
What about having that goal is exciting to you?
What feelings would you feel if you achieved that goal?
The answers to these questions are what’s going to give you the motivation to turn your daydream into reality. The why doesn’t need to be a Save the World answer.
You don’t have to make your first million in order to save starving children. Of course you can and that’s great but your why can be whatever floats your boat. You just need to deeply connect to what about that makes you giddy.
Next it’s time to get it from your brain onto paper. Do this with a Mind Map. On the center of your paper you’ll write down the main goal. Then set a timer for about 10 minutes and just start to map out all the details of what needs to happen to create that goal.
Doing this will create a natural organization to your thoughts. From here you’ll be able to create a structure of action. After you’re done Mind Mapping, organize what you wrote down into sequential steps. You’ll start to see a pattern or flow develop that makes sense.
Here is the mind map I used to write this blog post:
When you’re done with your Mind Map you can organize each idea into a sequential order.
When would you like to achieve this by?
I know you want it now but try to pick somewhere between immediately and realistic. From here you will start to work backwards.
Next you are going to focus on the next 90 days. How much of this can you accomplish in 90 days? Then chunk that amount down into weekly tasks.
If your goal will take a shorter amount of time just modify and work backwards. For example if you have two weeks to complete an assignment break it down into daily goals.
Once you have figured out what the weekly goals need to be then figure out how much time you need to devote during the week to accomplish that task.
When I was writing my book (first draft done, should be coming soon!) I had a story in my head that I needed to be writing all the time in order to finish. But I realized that realistically for my life I was only willing to commit a half an hour 3 days a week. I thought at that rate I’ll never finish anything. But I stuck to the schedule and I was done in two months.
The way I stayed committed was to promise myself that I would write in a 30 minute increment at least three times a week.
I kept track in my Bullet Journal. And if the unforeseeable happened, as it always does, I would make it up at another time.
I had a way of keeping track of my progress on paper where I couldn’t deny whether I did it or not. You may think that 30 minutes is not a very long time, I certainly didn’t. But when I did nothing but write during those 30 minutes I accomplished SO much more than I thought was possible.
That means no distractions. No Facebook, email, Instagram, texting or Candy Crush.
As much as it’s important to be committed, you do have to be somewhat flexible. Sometimes things are going to be more work than you thought. Sometimes life just happens.
Be flexible but don’t let that derail you completely. And don’t be so stuck in having to do things a certain way.
Just keep moving forward.
A little progress every day or week no matter how tiny keeps steering you in the right direction.
If you set up your goals this way, I promise you will be unstoppable. Here is a breakdown of the steps discussed in this post:
Step 1 – Pick one goal
Step 2 – Why do you want that?
Step 3 – Mind Mapping
Step 4 – Pick By When dates
Step 5 – Chunk it down – 90 days
Step 6 – Chunk it down – weekly
Step 7 – Be committed and flexible Step 8 – Keep moving forward
This is the first of four blog posts to setting and achieving your goals. The next three posts will cover how to manage your mind so you are completely aligned with your goal, what the pitfalls are and how to handle them, and some final tips to support you in keeping focus.
Tell me in the comments what you are planning to achieve!