When we start a New Year, we might often have one goal or a future dream in our minds. We will be able to imagine how it will make us feel and how our lives might improve if we achieve or do this.
However, without a plan, you can’t start anywhere. So, if you have something specific to a hobby, your personal life or your career then a plan is the best way to get your thoughts and your goals clear.
With a plan, you can figure out the most realistic and best way for you to develop those goals and achieve your plans. You can see how much time you have to spend on those goals, how important they are and most importantly, know how this will support you in the future with your mindset and development.
It all starts with a plan!
Without any preparation or thought, our goals won’t be achieved. It’s important to firstly understand, what is the best way to sift through your thoughts and put your goals into practice?
Everyone has different ways of thinking and brainstorming so we’ve listed a couple of ways you can figure out your own plan.
It could be…
A bullet point or checklist. This is great for those who have broken down their goals into steps or have smaller goals they want to achieve across the whole year.
This can be kept in a special notebook or even on the notes app on your phone.
SMART Goal focused. If you’re not sure what SMART goals are, these are goals that are broken down by looking at the Specifics of your goal, how you will Measure it, how you want to Achieve it, whether is it Realistic and the Time you will need with that goal. Taking this approach means you will be looking in-depth at your individual goals rather than an overview plan.
A mind map or vision board. This is great if you’re a visual thinker or want to get everything all your thoughts on paper in one go.
You could use paper, coloured pens and print off images or you could use a digital website or programs like Canva or Photoshop to help you visualise your plan.
This can be hung in a spot in your office, bedroom or anywhere else where you spend much of your time so it can be a reminder.
An in-depth plan or journal. If you are motivated to achieve your goals this year or in a certain time period, getting all the details in a collective plan is the best way to do this.
This doesn’t mean you need write a novel or have 20-page word document, but we recommend that you have clear sections that detail the specifics.
The specifics can be your SMART goals, why you want to achieve them, how you will do them within that time-period and what you want those goals to look and feel like, whether it’s personally or in your career, when they’ve been achieved.
Once you have your goals in place and you know why you want to achieve them and the steps you’re going to take, you can then think about those actions you’re going to take to achieve them. Here are some ways you could do this…
Do something related to your goals weekly
When we repeat an action or read something often, we are most likely to remember it! So, when we practice, learn, or think about our goals a couple of times a week, we can keep on track with our plans.
For example, you want to improve your confidence skills when talking to others or when leading a team or project. As a result, you join a weekly group dedicated to networking in your career industry or as part of your hobby.
Doing something like this will make that action active and fun – you are doing something you enjoy while practising and building those skills towards your goal.
Find resources that work for your learning style
Collecting resources related to your goals will be very helpful for your development. Not only will you be learning from them, but you will be familiarising yourself with that particular thing.
However, we know this is easier said than done and finding resources can be quite difficult. That’s why it’s important to find mediums which suit your learning style.
Track your activity and progress
Staying on top of your plan will be the best thing you can do!
Without knowing which point you are on your plan and how much time you’re spending on it, the more likely you are to not complete those goals.
A quick and easy way to do this can be to write a small note to yourself each week or month to remind yourself on what you actioned towards those goals. This way, you can easily flick through this and be aware at what point you are at.
You can even add how you’re feeling, if you’ve taken a break from the plan or if you’ve already achieved any of the goals. It’s important to understand how you are mentally and physically and to not overthink your progress.
Unless you have a specified time frame that you want to achieve this, and even if you do, and you haven’t got closer, don’t let this discourage your efforts.
We all go at our own pace and that’s why it’s so important to understand your boundaries and circumstances before you start your journey on your plan
Finally, when you’re looking at this plan, remember at the root of it that you’re doing it for yourself!
This means your goals should be surrounded by your needs and wants and what authentically fits your development.
Your personal and career development is a brilliant step for every aspect of your life – your skills, confidence, and mindset. So taking this time to plan and prepare your goals needs to be a safe space for you; this is why it’s so important to do it for your own reasons.
When we try to achieve goals because we think it will make ourselves seem better to others or for the benefit of others, our heart and motivation aren’t in it. We will most likely become more stressed and lose all interest in achieving those things.