Written by: Michaela Mencacci
Let’s all welcome 2021 with open arms and a pat on the back. We got through the weirdest year of the century. There’s no doubt the trials will continue. In spite of all the loss we have endured, a contagious hope is rising in the hearts of people everywhere. When the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2020, there will surely be cheers heard around the world.
2021 – a new year, a blank sheet, and a surge of motivation to be better. As we take on this new year, we should be mindful and strategic in our goal setting. Whatever that looks like for you as a student or a coach, we at Vevolve are here to help you every step of the way.
New Year resolutions are usually set with great intentions. It’s a shame that a lot of them don’t make it past January. We’ve all set goals with the dawn of a new year ahead of us and then watched them fade away time and time again. This is why we must create these goals in a strategic way.
For a visual person like me, it always seems to help when I write my goals down. Goal setting is a tricky business. There are personal things to consider as well as psychological and environmental obstacles. One should not make a goal too easy or too lofty for themselves. One should also create 2-3 objectives that follow the SMART acronym that will lead you to achieving your ultimate strategic goal. For those who aren’t familiar with this tool, a helpful article is linked here and the letters are briefly described below:
S: Specific (Your objectives must be specific enough to be tracked and applied to your life.)
M: Measurable (In order to know you’ve achieved your objective, you have to be able to track it!)
A: Attainable (The objective should stay in a very controlled space, meaning there are little to no outside obstacles that may hinder your success. Make these highly controllable by YOU.)
R: Relevant (The relevancy of your objective to your goal is crucial. Think to yourself, “how will this help me reach my goal?”)
T: Timely (To measure your success, you must have a timeline linked to each objective.)
When it comes down to keeping up with your goal, you have to know that it takes more than just motivation and excitement. It’s going to take strategic preparation, and a high level of dedication too. To reach your goal, you’ll have to set multiple objectives for yourself that each come with a set of strategies and tactics in order to achieve those objectives. It may seem like a slow process, but it is highly recommended and is the most effective way to promote consistency.
A ladder needs its steps just as a long-term goal needs its smaller goals and objectives. To get to the top, there are small steps, and for good reason. Imagine someone trying to jump up to get to an apple hanging high on a tree branch compared to another person who had planned ahead of time, brought a ladder and took it a step at a time. This method helped them complete their objective of retrieving the apple while the other person has given all of their energy to getting the apple in one jump and who has probably already given up by now.
This is why I came up with the Ladder to Success Goal Setting Method.
You can download the PDF version, to print it out and start strategizing, or download the PNG version if you prefer using digital planners. Just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and we will send it over!
Your primary strategic goal for the year will go in the orange box on the top left of the page. The goal you write here is fixed and will not change. Here is an article you can look at when making your strategic goal.
You can write in your SMART objective in the box outlined in yellow at the top. The recommended amount of objectives per goal is 3-4. Depending on your preference, print out this sheet for each objective you have. Here is an article to help you create these.
The ladder leading up to the goal will consist of your strategies and tactics going in an upward motion toward your goal just as one would do when climbing a ladder. Check off the box and write in the date when you complete it.
The “My Why” space is for you to reason with yourself on why this objective will help you reach your goal. This will ensure relevance and also give you a little extra motivation if you ever feel stagnant.
There is also a section for you to write down potential obstacles, distractions and personal habits that may hinder you from achieving these objectives. This is not here to bring you down, it is here to help you prepare for when you get to a bump in the road.
When you run into obstacles is where your Recovery Plan comes into play. This is your strategic plan to help you overcome the obstacles and keep on chugging along toward your goal.
Starting a new year is exciting and daunting. We know we will face many trials this upcoming year. Just remember you have a plan you can cling to in those times. And when you’re at the top of your ladder by the end of the year, you’ll be thanking yourself for setting such a clear-cut path that you were able to follow, even when times were tough.
To receive the Goal Setting Template, fill out the form below.