Live With Purpose – 4 Steps to Creating Effective Goals

creating effective goals

By Jodi Vawdrey

We’re well into 2015 – How are you feeling about your New Year’s resolutions? Whether you’re on track or struggling, here are a few tips to help you create effective goals and make positive changes all year long.

#1 – Write Your Goal
Your goal should be handwritten, in present tense, as if it is already happening in a positive format. Ask yourself, are your goals or resolutions coming from a place of abundance or lack thereof? Our minds cannot tell fiction from reality, so creating a goal as if you have already achieved it uplifts and supports you rather than leaving you feeling restricted or limited. For example, I am enjoying the abundance and peace of mind that I feel as my income steadily increases to $10,000 per month by Nov. 1, 2015.

# 2 – Focus on the Positive
Create a goal that puts the focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want. You’ve heard the saying, “What you focus on expands,” which is why setting goals works; however, the focus of the goal needs to be what you want really rather than what you don’t want. For example, when you say, “I will be completely out of debt by Nov. 30,” your mind focuses on the debt, so that’s what expands. A better way to phrase it is, “I will receive enough money to provide for my needs and pay off my $8,000 in credit cards debts by Nov. 30.” You could also add what you’re really looking for which might be the freedom or peace of mind that being debt free provides. Another example: I feel great when I manage my money in a balanced way, saving 5 percent, investing 5 percent, giving 10 percent and paying cash for everything.

# 3 – Evaluate the Behavior
Examine why you’re doing what you don’t want to do, so you can determine how to change it. For example, why do you spend so much on fast food? Is it because you’re busy? Is it because you would rather do other activities instead of cooking, like spending time with your children because you’ve been away at work all day? Make a goal or resolution to include something that replaces the unwanted behavior with the wanted behavior. For example: My family and I enjoy preparing a meal together twice a week. It brings us closer, we save money, and the leftovers provide a base for quick meals the other nights of the week.

#4 – Evaluate Your Level of Motivation & Don’t Be Afraid to Adjust Your Goals
Linda Robbins, a life vision coach and owner of Vida Linda, recommends asking yourself these questions if you find yourself losing motivation:

 

  • What inspired me to choose this goal in the first place?
  • Has my original inspiration changed? Or, is there something about this particular goal or method that is dragging me down?
  • What’s another way I can continue to enjoy the process and still create success?

 

Linda also recommends you visualize yourself living in the actualization of your goal. If you still don’t feel inspired, chances are you picked a goal that’s not that important to you, though the underlying result you were trying to achieve may still be right on target. Go back to your “why” and recreate a new motivating goal. Correcting the course is not the same as giving up. It is the way successful people have always adjusted and grown.

Finally, don’t be afraid to share your goals and ask for constructive feedback from people you trust. Sharing your goals helps you become accountable, and the more you measure and stay accountable, the more success your likely to achieve. As for the feedback, sometimes we are too emotionally attached and outside feedback can be very valuable to help you get back on track and stay on track.

Consider creating your own Board of Directors, a team to support you in your growth. This can include a spouse, good friends, business associates and trusted advisors like your financial advisor. Feel the power in numbers by surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people. Think of your written goals as a living document, much like a business plan, your personal financial plan, or even a “life” plan. Write it. Measure it. Review it. Update it.

Jodi Vawdrey is an Insurance Agent of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI. For additional ideas and support contact Jodi Vawdrey at (801) 205-8857.