Bullet Journal: Setting Goals
Setting goals isn't as easy as it sounds, but my bullet journal makes it easy for me! There's a few factors to consider, such as timing and what you consider a goal successfully completed. If you're goal is to get in shape, what do you consider "in shape"? When you can run three miles? When you have a 28 inch waist? When you can squat two hundred pounds? What defines "in shape" for you? Also, determining how long you have to reach that goal gives you a deadline, so how long will you give yourself to "get in shape"?
These are all important factors to consider. Step number one, though, is determining what overall goals you want to complete and what steps you need to take to get there. Planning is everything.
This is my absolute favorite notebook to use for my bullet journal:
Determining the Areas of Your Life You Want to Improve
Step Number One. The first step is to sit down and take a look at your life. Write down all the areas of your life that you are responsible for; this could take some time to really get a thorough list.
For example, most of responsibility lies in my friends and family, my dogs, my health, my career, my finances, my personal development, and my physical environment (or my home).
This part makes "step two" much easier. Consider your responsibilities, obligations, hobbies, and the people in your life. Try not to make this list too terribly long, or you're going to overwhelm yourself with goals. A trick is to keep things fairly vague. Don't worry; we will get into more specifics.
Which of the following do you want to improve most?
Determine Your Goals
Step Number Two. The next step is to analyze each area of your life. Determine what you want to improve in each area. For example:
In the financial area of my life, I want to pay off all of my debt (including to my parents for college), have six months of expenses stored away (in case anything ever happens), develop a budgeting system, and make enough income so that I only really need 50% of it to cover my normal expenses. The other 50% could then be split between savings and doing fun things with my friends and family. See that? Two birds, one stone!
Consider short-term and long-term goals. What do you want to complete this month? In a year? In five years? Before you get married, have kids, or retire?
Break Down Your Goals into Steps
Step Number Three. The third step is to break down your goals. Creating mini-goals out of larger goals makes for a simple way to see progress.
In the "health" area of my life, I want to eat healthier, make running a habit again, and get stronger/more muscular. I have broke eating healthier down into meal planning and drinking more water. Running again got broken down into running three times per week and building up to five or more miles per day. Getting stronger broke down into lifting three times per week and being able to do five pull-ups.
See how breaking down goals gives them more purpose? Now, when I can officially do five pull-ups, I'll be able to cross that off and know that I've reach a great milestone to my overall goal of being healthier and stronger.
Adding a Deadline to Your Goals
Step Number Four. The fourth and final step is to create deadlines. Remember in school when you had a homework assignment, and the teacher said you had a week to complete it? Didn't you really feel the pressure? Versus not having a deadline, you know you would have never gotten the homework assignment done.
Add a deadline to your goals. Give yourself a month, or six, or a year to complete goals. Pick a specific date and plan accordingly. You'll find yourself completing goals with much more ease than if you don't set deadlines. But here's the catch...
Remember that homework assignment? What happened if you didn't complete it? You would lose 10% off your grade or maybe get no points for it at all?
So give yourself a reward if you complete your goal! Get a massage, go on a shopping trip, or plan a vacation.
Setting goals doesn't have to be hard. Follow these steps and you'll certainly be successful!
Summary of the Steps to Setting Goals
Determine the areas of your life you want to improve
Determine your goals in each area
Break down the goals into steps
Bonus Step: Set rewards
If one of your goals is to get back in shape, check out my post on designing a fitness plan!
How the Bullet Journal Fits In
So why is "Bullet Journal" a part of this post's title? Because the bullet journal is a versatile tool that is amazing for freely tracking your every thought. For example, the web-like mind maps shown in the pictures above are straight out of my bullet journal.
It is important to plan out your goals, but also to keep those plans in a place you'll see regularly. If you're an organization freak like me, then you keep your bujo ("bullet journal") close by at all times. This is exactly what I reference when I need a reminder of my goals and how I plan to accomplish them.