Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.
Today’s book is very appropriate for this time of year, because it’s all about Setting Goals for 2021.
I read Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever in 2018 and used it to plan my 2019, but I haven’t used it this year. I took careful notes, as I always do, and remembered that he included useful strategies and questions to help us look back on the previous year, and our lives in general, in order to make and plan goals for the following year.
The first stage is taking the Lifescore Assessment Questionnaire in the book, which I’ve now found online as an online tool, which I had used in the book and scored 75% in 2019 and this year I scored 89% which is even better. You can take the test yourself here.
I have had a complicated year, but the complications have developed favourably, so I am fortunate enough to feel fairly satisfied with this last challenging year. It hasn’t all been due to my efforts, I’ll admit that I have been lucky, or perhaps I’ve attracted luck through my visualisation and positive attitude. I have also adapted well to the imposed changes in our lives because of covid-19 and especially confinement issues. I believe that the vast number of books I’ve read and am sharing with you on #MondayBlogs and podcasts and videos on personal growth, time management and goal setting have helped enormously and I hope some of these books and authors will also resonate with you.
Returning to Michael Hyatt, he suggests that we divide our life into ten domains: Spiritual, Intellectual, emotional, physical. Marital, Parental, Social, Vocational/Professional, Vocational/Hobbies and Financial. At first I thought they were too many, but as I read on and applied them to my life, they started making sense, with some minor adaptations. The questionnaire is based on these 10 domains.
Then he suggests we follow these five stages to achieve our goals:
- Recognising and Overcoming limiting beliefs
- Leaving the past behind in order to move into your future.
- Use a SMART(ER) framework to plan goal implementation. This is an excellent chapter on strategies to achieve your goals.
- Understand why you want to achieve these goals.
- Using activation triggers to overcome hurdles.
He goes into each one in great depth individually and proposes practical activities we can do to help us achieve our goals.
I’d like to tell you about Stage Two, Getting Closure of last year in order to move on. I hope it will be useful, now is the time to review the years which about to end.
He proposes we think about and write answers to the following 9 questions bearing in mind the ten life domains:
- How did you see your past year going?
- What were your plans, dreams, goals?
- What disappointments or regrets did you experience?
- What did you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?
- What did you accomplish last year that you are most proud of?
- What were two or three specific things which kept occurring?
- What were the major life lessons that you learned this past year?
- What are you grateful for that happened last year?
- What are you grateful for in your life in general?
Hyatt suggests we write 7-10 goals including all the domains for the following year, based on the results of our test and our answers to the previous questions.
What do we want next year to look like in the 10 domains?
Which goals will help us fulfil our dreams for the year ahead?
Then he asks us to do a very powerful exercise: Visualise the end of the year when we have achieved our goals and describe our life and our feelings. We can also write it down, self-talk about it, or meditate and visualise our new lives.
To summarise and simplify this part of Hyatt’s proposal, I suggest that the following three activities will help us take the first steps in setting our goals for the year.
1- Taking stock of the past as something that has happened FOR us not TO us. We have to grow as a result of past experiences and make a conscious effort to learn the lesson and move on.
2- Setting goals for the year ahead based on prioritising our needs in each domain.
3- Visualising what our future looks and feels like with our achieved goals.
I urge you to read the rest of the book, or other books on strategies for achieving our goals, because a goal without a plan is a wish and we need to make our goals become real in 2021 by conscious strategies and visualisation.
I wish you all the best of luck for the year ahead. I hope you achieve all your goals in 2021.
Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth