How to set goals for the year to achieve them: tips
January is not only the beginning of a new year, but also a time to formulate our most important plans for the future. After all, as you know, true success begins with the right goals. Planning for the year requires careful and strategic thinking. In this article, I, a women's psychologist, crisis counselor, and family therapist, Irina Shenier, will tell you how to set goals in order to achieve them.
When it comes to goals, I immediately advise you to pay attention to values. Values are what matter to you, my dear. They reflect your beliefs, priorities, and what you consider important. To begin with, you need to understand whether your goals are in line with your true values, and this will allow you to reject goals that have been imposed from the outside. Because imposed goals only take energy, and even if they are achieved, they do not bring joy.
Why you need to know your values
First, it is extremely important for self-esteem and self-awareness.
Knowing your own values allows you to define boundaries, express your needs, express your desires, and eliminate from your life what does not correspond to your specific values.
Second, internal goals are exactly what we really want.
These goals are realized in our lives, even if we are not always fully aware of them. For example, if your value is comfort, you will pursue it, even if it means changing jobs or giving up some obligations.
By linking external goals to your internal values, you increase the likelihood and ease of achieving them.
And one more important point: if you don't know your internal values and goals, someone else may try to link them to your external goals. You can easily have different things, actions, or choices imposed on you, pretending that they are your values.
A person who knows his or her values and goals becomes resistant to any attempts to impose different things, actions, or choices on him or her.
You will be able to stay true to yourself and make decisions that are in line with your true values. Knowing your values, you can use your energy more efficiently by asking yourself: "Does this desire add harmony and health to my life?" After all, happiness is about living in accordance with your inner values, while constant violation of these values can lead to unhappiness.
What questions can be used to identify values?
- What things have been important to me from childhood to now (e.g., honesty, justice, love)?
- What would I never want to do in my life? (For example: if the thought of betrayal causes negativity, the value is loyalty)
- What internal qualities will remain with me, regardless of the fact that absolutely everything I have is taken away? (for example: faith, willpower, determination, sociability)
How to distinguish between true and imposed values?
To understand which values are real, you need to question each of the 3-5 values you have identified.
For each of them, answer the following questions:
- Have I had situations in my life where I felt bad about having to live up to this value?
- If I didn't have this value in my life, what would my life be like?
If you feel relieved, liberated when answering the second question, it indicates that this is not a true value, but a repository for shadows or negative aspects. But if you feel uncomfortable, doubtful, or lost without this value, congratulations, the value has passed the main crash test.
Systematization of goals
Self-goals are at the level of identity. Who am I?
For example, "I want to be a famous blogger," "IT specialist," "business owner," or "businesswoman."
What is important to me? Why am I doing this?
Abilities are what we want to be able to do.
For example, I "want to be able to organize events", "be able to conduct live broadcasts", "be able to sell my services".
Behavior is the visible level that includes our actions and habits. These goals should include actions that bring us closer to achieving the result. For example, "eat healthy food every day", "read 20 pages of a book every day", "spend 30 minutes a day learning English".
- Environment goals
Environment is what you can see around you.
What do I want to have (for example, my own car, my own apartment)?
Where do I want to work?
How much do I want to get paid (earn monthly)?
Where do I want to go (e.g., visit Paris)?
It's important not to set goals that are too far removed from your current situation, for example, if you earn UAH 10,000, don't set a goal to earn UAH 100,000 or buy an apartment right away.
Analyze your goals
Write each goal on a separate post-it note or on a separate page of a notebook (10 pieces).
Determine what values are realized by achieving the goal.
Imagine that the goal has already been achieved and evaluate the feelings you will experience: tastes, sounds, smells, touch.
Consider your thoughts and actions that may be preventing you from achieving the goal. Write down your fears, concerns, and experiences.
List the pros and cons of achieving the goal.
Identify the resources you need to achieve your goal. How much money, time, skills, information, and connections will you need?
Write a scenario for achieving the goal.
After achieving each goal, identify the next goal, marking it as "t.c.".
This analysis will help you understand how important and achievable each goal is.
Life hack for successful goal achievement: Break down large tasks into smaller, specific steps. Instead of defining a general direction, divide your goals into small tasks and create a clear schedule with deadlines for their completion. This approach makes the process of achieving your goals less intimidating and more manageable, allowing you to move forward step by step. It's also important to set realistic deadlines and give yourself small rewards for each part of the goal you achieve, which helps keep your motivation high.
To conclude on the importance of setting and achieving goals, you should also understand that this process of self-realization can involve various techniques that can help you identify your capabilities, increase your self-understanding and focus on achieving your goals.