Goal setting (part 6) Categories!

Here’s another quick post on goal setting. It’s about categories! Before you wonder what categories are, I’m going to explain:

When you set your goals, you shouldn’t just set a goal for one area of your life, set one for about 4-6 different key areas of your life. This will help you keep your life a bit more balanced. Because if you just concentrate on one of your goals for one area of your life and you ignore the rest, then you are not going to be very happy and you might even loose interest on that one goal. Some of your categories (or key areas of your life) could include:

Family& Friends (or two seperate categories;one for friends and one for family)

Hobbies (It’s important to have goals for your hobbies e.g playing piano and playing tennis)

Health (If you are unfit, one of your goals for Health could be going for regular runs. Another one could be changing your diet and eating healthier.)

Money (One of your goals for that category could be saving more money and not spending everything straight away. Or you want to earn more money and you want to look for a better income)

School (Do you have different goals for school like getting 90% in your English test instead of 70%? Or getting an A in your report?)

Career (if you kind of have an idea of what you want to do later on when you finish school, then you can start setting goals in that area and start working towards them)

You could have other categories as well of course, these are just a few ideas and the most common ones.

Now choose 4-6 categories you think are important. Write them down, and next to each one list all your goals for that category. Next you need to prioritise those goals. That means writing down your most important goal first (the one you want to achieve first and you think is the most significant)  and your least important one last. Do that for each of your categories. Now you can use the goal setting techniques I showed you in parts 1-5 and plan your goals for each of the categories. And then just start working on them!

What do you think about ‘categories’? Do you only set one goal at a time and work on it or do you have several goals for different categories?

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Goal Setting (part 4)- How to make your plan!

So now you know what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve your goal. Guess what’s next? Yes! How do you want to achieve your goal? Because without knowing how to do something it’s a bit hard to get the result you want isn’t it? It’s a bit like solving a Maths problem; if you have no idea how to solve it, then you are not going to get a very good answer or result.

To better understand this question of ‘How am I going to achieve my goal” I can chanage it to “What actions do I have to take to get the result I want?” That’s clearer isn’t it?

Let’s use an example. You’ve got your goal which is to make cold, sweet lemon juice (yes you have to know excactly what your goal is!) and you know why you want to make that lemon juice (because you are thirsty and you need something refreshing to cool down from the hot sun). Now you just need to know how you are going to make that lemon juice. That’s why you need a recipe. Or a plan, as you would call it with a real-life goal. If you follow the recipe you’ll almost be guaranteed to get the perfect lemon juice. And if you follow your plan then you’ll almost (almost becasue something can always go wrong) be guaranteed to achieve your goal! But how do you make the perfect plan?

For this I’m going to show you the steps and then use a real-life example:

-First write down your goal. Also write down when it has to be achieved and how much time you’ve got to achieve it. (make it specific.)

-Then write down all the actions that need to be taken in order to have your goal achieved.

-Next you should put these actions in the order they have to be done. How long will these actions take? Write the time next to them. Some actions might have to be done consistently like training or going for a run, so you should write down how long each of these actions take on average.

-Now you can work out when you have time to complete those actions. For that you should make a plan and write down how many of these actions you are going to do each week (see the example) and how long you are going to do them for. Finally write them in your calender or you diary or planner (whatever you are using) and make sure every action is included in your plan.

-And then you just need to follow your plan and make sure you are working through it and not giving up on it (more to that in a later post). You should also make sure that your plan isn’t too hard to follow. You should leave time for other activities like school, homework, sleeping 🙂 Have fun working on your goal and achieving it!

EXAMPLE:

If you want you can read through the real-life example, because this might help you understand the whole goal setting process a bit better:

Let’s use Bob as an example.

-His goal: to come first in the 3km run at his school with a time of 11 minutes.

-At the moment Bob runs 3 kilometres at 13 and a half minutes, so he has to improve his time by 2 and a half minutes. He’s got 5 months to improve, which means each month he has to be 30 seconds faster.

-Some of the actions he might need to take: signing up for the run at school ( this will take him around 5 mins), going for regular 3 km runs 4 times a week (which will take around 20 mins each time he goes for a run), practising short 30m sprints (for 20 mins twice a week), going to the gym (once a week for 2 hours), and stretching everyday for 15 mins.

-Now he needs to write these actions down in the order they have to be done.  Number one could be signing up for the run at school. All the other activities have to be done consistently so he can skip this step

-Next, Bob needs to figure out where he is going to fit all the actions into his normal daily routine. For this he’s going to use a table. This is how a regular week looks for him now:

Bob’s normal week

Bob had a look at his table and filled in his training plan for a week. (notice all the actions that have to do with his goal are green):

Bob’s new training week

He’s also going to stretch for 15 minutes before he goes for a run and after.

-And then Bob just needs to follow his plan for the 5 months!

One last IMPORTANT note: Don’t forget to measure your progress every week (or even everyday) to see if you are moving towards your goal! Bob for example could measure his progress by timing himself on one of the runs each week to see how he’s going. If he’s not keeping up he might have to do more training.

I hope this helped you in making a really good plan for your goal! Would you use this goal setting method for your goals or do you have a different one?