In A Spyhouse coffee shop in Minneapolis my friend Julia and I sat across the table from each other. Tucked into a cozy booth in the back of a hip uptown coffee shop Julia asked this question: “What are your Goals?” It’s not always a question I enjoy, but it’s a topic I love to discuss with Jules.
We’d been chatting about Ira Glass’ famous quote “The Gap“ and how we each feel that “gap” in our own work. The gap between, as Ira puts it, killer taste and the work you do. Work that doesn’t quite live up to your own expectations. On the back of a pretty Anthropologie catalog, after a discussion on life, relationships and layout design, she penned our goals.
Just four short months later Julia and I are joining up to share How we set and accomplish goals.
- Why: 3 Reasons Why You Should Set Goals Over Resolutions
- How: Guest Post: 3 Steps to Making Purposeful Goals
- What: 4 Goals to Keep in 2016 + A Photo Shoot with Julia Mary
To get you started here are three quick tips on How to Set and Accomplish Goals:
1. The Desired End Result: Let’s start by identifying the end result you want. Get really specific. The more detailed your end result can be the better. A detailed end result will help you write achievable goals that you can actually accomplish.
Let’s use paying off a student loan as our example.
Strong Goal: My desired end result is to have my Student Loan of $20,000 completely paid off in four years so that I can have more financial freedom to travel.
Weak Goal: I hope to pay my Student Loan off.
My end result includes several things. First of all I want to get out of debt. However, I want to be even more specific than that. I want to have a motivation and a reward for when I get out of debt. So I’ve also identified what I will spend the money on once that debt is eliminated.
2. Make an Action Plan: Now that you’ve figured out what you want let’s figure out how you’ll do it. We are great at making decisions, aren’t we? It’s in the carrying out of those decisions that we find the challenge. An action plan is a great way to give us forward momentum. Again get really specific.
Let’s start by breaking down our desired end result.
In order to pay off a debt of $20,000 in four years I would need to pay $416 a month towards my Student Loan. If my current loan payment is $265 a month I need to budget an additional $151 monthly towards that payment.
But don’t stop there! Let’s ask ourselves some questions. Do you have an extra $151 in the budget? If not, can you cut spending somewhere else or make a little extra money every month? Can you pay the $265 payment out of one paycheck and the $151 out of the next paycheck? Part of the plan, for this goal, is also figuring out where the money is coming from.
A successful action plan identifies what steps you will take, when you will take them, and what resources you will need to accomplish your goal.
3. Follow Up: Check in regularly with your goal. Track your goal as you go to make sure you are keeping up with it. In our example, the plan is to pay a total of $416 a month so that we can have our student loan completely paid off in 4 years. Are we keeping up with our payment schedule? Do we still have that extra $151 a month? Are we getting excited as we see our debt go down?
Take the time to review your goals and remind yourself consistently of that desired end result. That end result is a double reward so keep it in sight. How is your goal progressing? Following up allows us to make adjustments as we go.
Now that you’ve been introduced to How to Set and Accomplish Goals with the above three quick tips, let’s move on to our Why: 3 Reasons Why You Should Set Goals Over Resolutions!
She has a talent for listening and hearing what you’re saying, a passion for relationships, true care for the people around her and is intentional about the life she lives. She’s tall and gorgeous, kind and warm hearted. I never take a moment I spend with her for granted. She’s one of my favorite people in this world. She’s also an amazingly creative person and a very talented photographer.
You can catch lovely glimpses of her world on her blog, Instagram, as well as see her beautiful photography on her website.
Be sure to go give her a visit!