Goals… don’t know where to start? Try this.

Yesterday was my birthday. Right around my birthday is when I really start to laser in on goals.

There are two big questions on my mind this time of year:

  1. It’s sprint time to the end of the year. What can I do to cross the finish line strong?
  2. The new year is just around the corner. What goals do I want to achieve next year?

Given my birthday and the New Year are so close together, I don’t set separate goals. But, I do think of my birthday as the start of my sprint finish to the close of the year, as well as the start of planning for next year.

Get Messy First

So right now, I’m in the middle of it – the messy part. I’m taking inventory of everything in my life, reflecting on everything that’s happened this year (and geez, what a year it’s been), brainstorming on what I want going forward, and sifting through all the emotions that come with it.

Yes, it’s a lot. It’s why I give myself plenty of time to sit and noodle with it. I take a look at metrics, I research, and I journal a lot. 

Journaling is my favorite way to sort through emotions and get clear. If I have an inkling toward something or feeling confused, journaling helps. It slows down my brain just enough to methodically think through the pros and cons, what I really want, and any mindset blocks that are in the way.

So, if you don’t know where to start when it comes to goals, this is it. Start with journaling.

Here’s what you’ll need:
  1. A notebook and pen
  2. An open and curious mind
  3. A timer. Yup, a timer.

When journaling, I recommend going pen to paper for at least 15~20 minutes. Much like lifting weights, the payoff is at the end. Only after you’ve written out all the chatter in your brain, will you get to the hidden gems that are truly revelatory and transformational.

That’s why I recommend a timer. You have to push yourself.

Journaling isn’t about fluffy feelings or what you did today. It’s about getting raw and real by looking under the big rocks and discovering what’s there. New insights, lessons, clarity, and even motivation can be unlocked through the exercise of journaling.

Nobody said goal setting was easy. In fact, it’s supposed to be uncomfortable. But, discomfort is the growth zone.

I believe in you. You got this.