“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
— Tony Robbins
As we are in the beginning of a new year, and thank the Lord in heaven for that, now is a good time to leave 2022 in the dust and forge ahead to 2023 with some purpose and drive. A goal setting exercise is a great way to get your mind around what your priorities are right now. I admit that I have skipped out on setting yearly goals at least a couple times in previous years, but I can look back and remember feeling lost, unorganized and unproductive until I sat down and thought about it — what do I actually want to accomplish this year? The beginning of the year is a good consistent time to think about this, but it doesn’t have to be confined to a certain time of year — any time you feel like you’ve accomplished your main goal and need to select a new target, or anytime you feel like you’re wandering through your job, your training in the gym, or your life without a compass to guide you — sitting down for some self-reflection and an eye for the future is a good idea that can create some positive momentum again.
One wrinkle of goal setting that recently helped me gain some clarity on what I want to DO this year was thinking about what I want to BE. Goals can be defined as “being” goals if they define who we want to become, or certain qualities that we want to take on. Think about a visualization of a “Future Me.”
“Doing” goals can help further drill-down into those higher level “being” goals. For example, a goal that might get me fired up about my physical training is to “be a better runner.” That’s something that I can put up on my office whiteboard and get me motivated to train when I don’t really want to. But it’s relatively ambiguous, so I might define some specific “doing” goals to flesh it out. “I want to finish a marathon in under 3 hours by the end of this year” fits the specificity bill, and gives me a visual to work toward in my mental training as well. Even within that marathon completion goal, I might create “doing” goals that define how I will keep myself on track, like “I will complete one long run and one sprint workout each week.”
In addition to creating a “being” goal first and then zeroing in with “doing” goals, I would encourage you to not select too many targets to go after at one time! We’ve all been there and it’s a recipe for burnout. Think about what you really want to accomplish this year — who you really want to BE — and try to distill it down to just a few things.
Happy New Year again to everyone, and to all your friends and family. Feel free to share this with anyone that gets fired up about goal-setting as a different way to frame the exercise this time. Let’s make this a great, focused, purpose-driven year.