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How many times have you looked at your life only to realize that there are a TON of tiny, little things you have yet to pay attention to.
- Your back has been hurting for about 6 months (but it's not THAT bad)
- You haven't called your wonderful great grandmother (but you SWEAR you'll get to it soon!)
- Your room (over the last few weeks) has become a hot mess - so bad you don't know where to start
- AND.... you kinda have to make more of an effort in your work (because you've been slipping)
I hope not, because that's MY story right now (and to make matters worse, I could easily add 5 more, but I don't want to start a pity party on a goal-setting blog (Can I give myself a #SideEye?)).
The truth is, no matter who you are, it's pretty easy to get stuck in one of those life ruts where your life slowly (but oh-so-surely) becomes a mess over time. Balls get dropped. Sh!t hits fans. #LifeHappens
After a while, it become the new norm... #OwnIt
But with each new day comes the opportunity to say "it's time to make a change" and actually make an effort towards changing the way you do things.
How do you know what goals will be BEST for you? Like anything else, it all starts with a plan.
STEP #1: Self Assessment: Reflect on Every Area of Your Life
Your happiness hinges on several different areas of your life. (If you're a rockstar at work, but your family is falling apart, I highly doubt you're feeling completely fulfilled in your life.) There are five key areas I like to focus on:
Start with thinking about the last twelve months of your life. If you had to rate every area of your life on a scale of 1 to 6 (six being super happy!) what would you rate your overall success in each one of these areas?
Once you know quantify how you performed in each area, it's easier to see what areas in your life are high as a kite and which areas are suffering and need resuscitation.
Step #2: Make a list of fulfilling activities in each of these areas
Next, brainstorm which activities that make you feel like you are living your best life in each area. Imagine you were creating a highlight reel (or basically curate your social media feed) to showcase the best moments of each of these areas, what would you include?
For each area of your life, make a list of every activity that brings you happiness, joy and every random activity that you look back and think "why did we stop doing that?" These are the activities you'll want to try to incorporate into your life.
Step #3: Decide on what you want to focus on
Now that you have a full list of all the things that you COULD do to make you happy in all areas of your life, it's time to decide what you're going to focus on. You may not want to do them all (because ain't nobody got time fo' that) but focus on a few activities in the areas that need serious improvement and the areas that you're most passionate about.
For example, if you have an area of your life that's severely suffering because you've spent more time in the past focusing on other things, you may decide that it's time to give that priority. On the other hand, if you're deeply engrossed in one area of your life and are happily accelerating that, you may also make the decision to continue only focusing on that one area.
The only thing you must do is make sure that you choose to focus on the areas in your life that are most important for you.
Step #4: Intentionally decide on performing these activities (and put time on the calendar for them)
It's not enough to come up with the activities you want to accomplish - you must also plan on doing them and make time for them. Take out your trusty planner of choice (I use The Happy Planner) and take a look at when you will incorporate these activities into your life.
First think about how often you'll do it. If you plan on taking a family trip, that that's likely something that will happen once in a year, but you want to also plan out time for planning the trip, researching the activities and booking everything. Put those things onto your calendar ahead of time. The moment you do this, it becomes real.
If the task is more recurring, like date night with your s/o, then you'll want to put that time into your calendar, too.
Next, think about what day of the week (and you can even get as granular as what time in the day you're going to take to make this happen). Giving your goals a time on your calendar makes it real - and you even start planning for making them happen. That's what makes them inevitable.
This approach to goal-setting takes into account every area of your life and gives you the chance to reflect on it and choose what's most important to you. Once you've made a decision on what's important and how you're going to enhance it, it's totally up to you to set the goals and create the change you want to see in your life
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