I’ve spent an immeasurable amount of time and money trying to perfect the practice of goal setting. I’ve bought planners, researched goal setting strategies, modified my home office space all in hopes of reaching that perfect balance of productivity. With so much invested, I wondered how come I wasn’t any farther than when I had started. Does this sound familiar?
At least you know you aren’t the only one stuck in the goal setting stage. You’re not the only one that got caught up in the planning, that they lost sight of the end game. In fact, there’s so many of us, that I knew I had to share some of the things I’ve learned.
When I changed my focus from goal setting fanatic to goal smasher, I noticed the changes immediately. I’m not discounting the many planning strategies out there, I’m just saying sometimes we need to step back. We need to walk away from the office supply section and realize that we are investing more than we are producing.
I have a friend who absolutely rocks at planning her families monthly responsibilities using colored Sharpies. (Courtney, if you’re reading this I’m still envious how beautiful your calendar looks.) I, on the other hand, have about 5 or 6 journals and planners all started with good intentions. It wasn’t until my husband got laid off that I truly sat down and simplified my goal setting process.
Goal setting doesn’t have to be a work of art, it just has to work.
I was standing in the middle of Target, staring at all the pens. I’ve always been obsessed with office supplies, I don’t know why. I had a Moleskine journal in my basket, yes another one, as I started my hunt for the perfect pens to map out my journey to grow my business. Then my AHA moment arrived. There are 3 simple questions you need to ask yourself:
- Do I need this to obtain my goal?
- Is this a priority service or product or could the money or time be better used somewhere else?
- Do I have another option at home already?
I answered the questions fairly quickly in my head and put everything away. I walked out of Target with only the items we needed and not a single item we wanted. This in itself is a miracle!
I had spent so many years thinking my planners had to look perfect. I have bought more than enough corkboards for the home office to post my goals. I have put countless hours creating beautiful goal setting journals, only to have them shoved somewhere in the closet and forgotten. I was done!
I grabbed an old journal, listed a few goals and realized this is where it begins.
*Download a printable version of this goal mapping worksheet.
Don’t just set a goal, map out how you’re going to achieve it.
Once I had listed my goals, I didn’t randomly post it on the wall to glance at every now and then. I took each one and mapped it out using the outline pictured above. It forced me to be specific, and the reality is it took away all the excuses I may have later on.
I ended up writing each of them out on a worksheet, mapping out my action plan. By doing this, I was able to see how manageable these goals really were. That doesn’t mean they suddenly got easier. It just created a clear outline of what I needed to do daily to stay committed to each one.
I added the milestones to my calendar, which is posted front and center of my workspace. Finally, everything was coming together. A week after I created my first goal map, I was able to cross off a goal.
Do what works for you, not what’s trending.
There are so many goal-setting strategies out there that it can get overwhelming. Just remember do what works for you. That may mean taking a few key points from one strategy and combining it with another concept.
I loved the idea of the original bullet journal, but quickly got overwhelmed by the artistic spin it took. Honestly, I didn’t want to spend hours creating a journal. What I needed was a strategy that would get me moving. This is not to say bullet journaling doesn’t work, it absolutely does for some people, it just wasn’t what motivated me.
So, find a strategy that will and forget about what’s trending.
I hope this goal mapping concept will help a few of you. For more goal mapping resources, download my workbook The Simple Way to Map Your Success for FREE when you sign up for my weekly newsletter via e-mail.disclosure policy .