Last week, I explained why setting goals is so important. This week, the focus is on setting the right ones. It’s easy to set goals, but the key to success is in setting the right ones that have the biggest impact right now. As setting new goals, and then attaining them, requires mental, emotional, and physical concentration, it needs a vast amount of our energy. The biggest challenge when setting goals is that we can be overambitious and set too many goals for ourselves. It’s often easy to do that, because we have many life domains that we want to set goals in, but we need to be lean and select a handful of goals at a time. Allow me to share how I set the right 2023 goals for me.

How I selected the right goals for me

I love setting goals and deciding where my focus will go for the year. I am, however, often overeager and overambitious with my goals, and this sometimes results in me not achieving some of them. However, this year I chose to use a different approach, one that took me a couple of days to complete. I started by reflecting on the past year, and writing down the highlights and lowlights. This gave me a realistic audit of how the past year was for me. I used my calendar and photos to remind me of events to ensure I hadn’t left anything out. After that, I took a step back, and analysed whether any of my highlights or lowlights tied back to the goals that I had set. If so, I was curious about the reason as to whether I did or didn’t accomplish the goals. I considered whether the goal no longer mattered to me, had changed focus, or if I didn’t invest enough time in it.

Next, it was about looking at the year ahead, and setting very specific goals in the nine areas that matter to me. When designing your goals, it’s important to select the areas that are meaningful to your life.

  1. Work
  2. Home life and relationships
  3. Health and self-care
  4. Skills and competencies
  5. Side projects
  6. Fun and pleasure
  7. Money-income
  8. Money-savings
  9. Studies

I wrote down goals I wanted to achieve in each of these areas, and ended up with a total of 19 goals. Of course, it’s not possible to divide one’s energy and focus on 19 goals, and that could result in failure. So, I forced myself to select only five goals to focus on over the next three months. But, how did I know which of the 19 goals were the right ones for me? The key question I kept asking myself was, “how does achieving this goal enable me to flourish? Is it a nice-to-have goal, or is it essential to my success, health, and mental well-being?”

These are the categories I selected. Yours will be different. In March, I’ll repeat the process, and choose new goals for the second quarter of the year. Breaking goals down into quarters has helped me, and it then doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

Key take-aways of how to set the right goals

  • Only you can determine what the right goals are for you.
  • Set multiple goals per life area.
  • Choose a handful of goals to focus on.
  • Select goals that support you to thrive.

Mental health will be the 2023 core focus in organisations. I have recently developed an eLearning course on Mental Health in the workplace for employees and leaders. The course will go live in March 2023 perhaps it’s of value to your employees.
Please message me if you would like further information. 

Over to you for sharing your comments and experiences.

Why do you think it’s important to set the right goal?

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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