Chapter Twenty-One: Goal Digging
Some people look forward to the new year purely for this designated time to consider how they want to be better in the future, the new habits they plan to form, and the accomplishments they want to work toward. Some people don’t bother, understanding that a new year does not necessarily mean a new you.
No matter how you may feel about setting new year’s resolutions, there is value in thinking critically about what you want to achieve and why. Setting goals, of course, does not have to fall at a specific point on the calendar, but there is something to be said for the metaphorically clean slate presented to us as one year ends and another begins.
So, how do we go about planning for the year ahead? One way to begin is to think even beyond the next 365 days. Where do we want to be in two years? Five? Ten? Where do we want to be at the end of our lives, whenever that may be? Before we take our first step to start our journey, it would be helpful to know where we want to be at the conclusion of it.
The beautiful part of this process is that there are absolutely no limits. There is nothing we lose by thinking big, by dreaming uncontrollably. We have the opportunity to be honest with ourselves about what we want, how we would like to live, and what we are willing to do to ensure we reach it. Then, all that’s left is the hard work to make it our reality.
Once we have those big dreams in our heads and in our hearts, we can work backwards and break down what we need to do in order to get there. What concrete steps do we need to take? What possible obstacles or setbacks should we anticipate? We write the lists, set the deadlines, create the vision boards, and prepare to chip away at the work required of us.
Unlike with brainstorming our goals, there are limits to what we can physically, mentally, or emotionally accomplish in a set period of time. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of overplanning. We’re motivated and we strategize and then we have to face the possibility that our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. Over time, and through repeated trial and error, we discover that setting realistic goals and milestones is half the battle.
Noteworthy Communications is all about digging for goals. We love taking stock of the previous year, or quarter, or month, and planning how we can approach the next one with renewed energy, strategic planning, and bigger benchmarks. This is how we move forward, rather than remain stagnant. We set goals. We make a plan. We take action. There is never not something we are working toward.
Whether you work in quarterly goals, monthly goals, or a daily to-do list, drawing out these maps can increase productivity while breaking our ambitions down into manageable bite-size pieces. As a full year stretches ahead of us, full of possibility, it might be easy to become overwhelmed, and if you think formal goal setting is not for you, consider starting small, even if your dreams are big.