Step #4 To Becoming Awesome
Prioritize your Goals
Now that we’ve taken the time to write down our list of potential goals to work on, we need to choose what we actually want to work on, and maybe finesse it a little. Look through your list, and see what jumps out at you. Are you particularly motivated to work on one subject over another? Is there a particular goal that seems more rewarding or more fun or more straightforward to work on?
If any of the goals seem overwhelming or aren’t 100% clear, try breaking it down into smaller pieces to make it more manageable. If the goal is too ambitious, you may find yourself getting discouraged over a lack of perceived progress. For example, if your wrote down “Be better with money”, great. Most people can probably relate to that goal. But how do you measure success, or even know what to do, with something that broad and undefined?
A better goal would be something like these:
– Add an extra $50 per paycheck to my savings account for the next three months.
– Open up a Roth IRA within the month.
– Research three alternatives to cut my cable bill.
– Run two miles three times a week for the next month.
– Plan and go on a date night that costs less than $20.
– Find and visit a local museum or gallery.
These things could all be moving you towards a larger goal, but they are small, manageable, and measurable. You will know when you have completed the item and can cross it off of you list. Attaching a timeline is a great way to do this, and the shorter the better. Anything that you’ll need more than a couple of months to achieve (or less, depending on how well you motivate yourself) can surely be broken down into a smaller goal to achieve first.
Also pay attention to how you word the goal. If you generally eat out three nights a week and want to cut back, “Eat out at restaurants one less time per week” is not as strong as “Eat out at restaurants no more than twice a week”. They both may mean the same thing to you, but the second is more concrete and is much easier to measure. It will also help keep you more accountable when you get tempted by routine.
Now that you’ve gotten specific, you can put things in order of how you want to tackle them. More aggressive goals might show bigger results faster, but don’t underestimate how a few small easy ones can help boost your motivation. But do what works for you. As long as you are making progress, there isn’t a right and a wrong way.