Seasonal Planning & Goals Setting : How to Bring Your BIG ideas to life
Since I’ve always been a goal-setting nerd (competition is one of my top strength finders results), I sometimes forget that for many people out there, the thought of goal setting is kinda stressful & scary.
And I get it; I even fall into a bit of analysis paralysis when deciding on goals & KPI's for my business.
Ultimately, I love goal setting because it's a way to live a more intentional life.
Goal setting can help you prioritize your commitments & assess whether your energy aligns with the life you want to create.
Here’s how I approach planning and goal setting ( a crucial part of avoiding burnout and overwhelm).
I know firsthand how easy it can be to get swept up into patterns and routines that don’t support the life you are trying to create. Things like skipping lunch and your workouts because your brain is telling you you don’t have the time or hastily implementing the next shiny strategy without thinking about how it aligns with your ultimate vision. It's important to have rituals that connect you back to your core and bring you back in alignment with your ultimate vision.
Every 90 days or so, I take time to reflect on the major pillars of my life (business, family, community, finances, spiritual relationships) and rate them on a scale of 1-10. This exercise is not about judging myself; it's more about evaluating how balanced I’m feeling. Once I rate each, I have a clearer picture of what shifts I’d like to make or practices I’d like to implement to help me align my time & energy with the life I want to create.
Intentions vs Goals
Your goals should light you up, not make you feel like poop!
The goals & intentions we set should inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves.
Intentions go deeper than goals for me & are a representation of a desire or positive impact you want to make on the world: Things like Health & Wellness, Travel & Leisure, Personal Growth, Relationships/ Family, Finances & Spirituality.
My intentions represent who I want to be in the world & how I want to make others feel.
They differ from goals because they are more fluid and typically don't get marked complete. They are meant to inspire and don’t change very often.
An example of one of these intentions for me is:
Be an empowering & supportive mother to my daughter.
There is always room for improvement. I am always looking for ways to improve my relationship with my daughter and parenting style. Becoming this person would have a positive impact and make me proud of the mother I am.
These are what you typically think of when you feel about goal setting. More tactical than intentions, they represent more measurable, achievable goals I want to see in my life. I like to ensure all my goals are SMART by design, meaning they are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic & time-bound.
Rituals & Practices
For intentions, I define practices (recurring actions and behaviors) that will support me in bringing my sense to life. These are the things that I attempt to do consistently daily, monthly, weekly, or quarterly that will keep me moving toward the person I intend to be.
I was first introduced to the power of consistent routines through my yoga practice. In Sanskrit, the word Abhyasa means practice is the effort to fix one's self in a given attitude. Before this, the word consistency or discipline was a dirty word, but through developing a consistent yoga practice, I’ve realized the value of having consistent rituals that support you in fulfilling your intentions.
One thing that hinders people from achieving their goals is that they don’t create projects for those goals.
One of my favorite sayings is:
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
If I have goals related to anything, either personal or business-related, I can guarantee that it won’t happen unless I put them inside my project management software. Real talk: if it's not on my calendar or in my Notion Dashboard, it doesn't exist.
Ideally, you’d like to link every goal to at least one project that helps you achieve it. Unsure of the steps on how to complete it? Start with what you know and make tasks to do research the first steps.
These projects can be one-off projects or ongoing bucket projects for long-term goals.
Each week, month, and quarter, I review my projects and prioritize them based on what’s most important at the time.
And last but not least, ACTION. What tasks, meetings, events, or milestones will help me complete those projects?
Often if I’m not hitting goals, I find it's because I haven’t created the project or defined the next actions to support it. Or more importantly, I haven’t put the steps in my task manager or calendar to make them visible.
If you are ready to follow through on your big goals next quarter, schedule a date with yourself to take the time to break your goals & intentions into projects, practices, and subsequent action steps.
This article shows you step-by-step how I plan out big projects like launches. Shout out to Jason & Caroline Zook for teaching me this awesome process.
Friendly Reminder: Shoot for progress, not perfection when planning. The more you do it, the better at it you’ll get.