It’s very difficult to truly commit to an action, habit or goal for the 365 days of the year. That’s why your “Goals” list should be as exclusive as possible. The goals you place in this category should be ones that you are 100% dedicated to achieving. Don’t write down things that you think sound “cool to try out”. Your goals are not things you want to try out. Your goals are things you want to achieve. Your goals should be measurable (“Read 30 books this year”) so that you can track your progress throughout the year. Try not to be vague by saying things like “Be more positive” because these kind of things are hard to measure, and belong in your “Focuses” category (more about that later).
Examples of goals:
Read 30 books.
Write an e-book.
Run a marathon.
Learn how to make 7 types of desserts from memory.
Participate in volunteer work.
Visit 5 new cities/2 new countries etc.
Increase my client base to ____.
Get over 80% in all my classes.
This is where the “cool things you can try”-goals live. As I said, it’s difficult to commit to something for the full 365 days duration, even if it sounds tempting. For example, as tempting as it is for me to say “My goal is to go to bed by 10pm every single night”, is this something I truly want to commit to? Sure, there seems to be the obvious benefits to it, and no body would say that a regulated number of hours of sleep would be a bad goal to have. But is this really something I want to do for 365 days? What if it isn’t as realistic as I would like? What if it isn’t as beneficial as I hoped? Am I prepared to sacrifice a degree of flexibility when it comes to my sleeping patterns every single day for a whole year?
These are reasonable questions, and they are questions you should have the answers to before you make them a year long goal.
These kind of things go into your “Trial” category. These are simple habits and goals you can try out for a month, and see if the benefits are worth the time and effort you must put in to maintain them.
Try going to bed every single night at 10pm (with no exceptions) and see if this is really even something you want to do at all.
Having a “Trials” list sets you up for success, because it keeps your goals list exclusive to the things you are really interested in achieving, but simultaneously gives you the opportunity to try out new-ways of doing things.
Examples of Trials:
Waking up at 6:00am every day.
Writing a journal entry every day.
Drinking a glass of milk every day.
Jog every day.
Meditate every day.
Focuses indicate the general direction you want your life to take this year. Focuses are attitude and direction based. Focuses are areas of your life that you want to focus on. Focuses remind you of how you want your life to feel at the end of this year.
Examples of Focuses:
Embrace my femininity: dress well, take care of my body, share my softer side, present myself well.
Practice gratitude and positive thinking.
Watch less TV.
Re-vamp my wardrobe.
Make my life cozy.
Eat consciously and healthily.
Improve my artform of choice.
Become a better communicator.