Setting awesome goals: Just RIDE!

What's it all about? Achieving your dreams and setting awesome goals: Just R.I.D.E!

There comes a time in life when we all start wondering if this is what it’s all about. Could life be different? How could I go about changing my life? Where do I even start?

Have we achieved our goals in life? Did we ever set any in the first place? Did something go missing somewhere along the way! So many questions. Many years of looking after family, focusing on the day job, supporting the same friends may have meant you instinctively think ‘others first’ and have somehow lost yourself and your dreams along the way. Have you ever wondered if this is my lot in life? Is there something more? Why am I here?

If so, let’s do something about that right now. Grab a sheet of paper or a tablet, phone or laptop…. whatever you can to write some notes and start planning for real change.

Let’s begin with making a list of some important things to consider. It’s all too easy to just talk about how life could be but never actually to put a plan in place to change anything, but this is where you can change that, with some really conscious actions.

Let’s go for a RIDE! If you’re in the mood to consider some life changes, then this approach really works.

·       Reach Inside

·       Identify my goals

·       Develop my plan

·       Execute my goal

Reach inside
Give it some real thought for a moment. Who are you and what do you stand for? What matters to you and what do you value? Before making a real change in your life, it is important to ensure the change is aligned to your personal values and who you really are.

Considering your personal values is really critical here. What would you like to achieve or change in your life and do these changes align to your values? The changes you want to make - your job, a new career, your appearance, education, a trip, boosting your self-esteem or confidence? Any life change can be achieved if you ensure that your values are not compromised on the way

We have a Guide to Understanding Your Values on the LifeBuddy site to help you do this.

Making a change in life, also requires some conscious practice – spend time, digging deep to find those things that you feel are most important in the way you live or work. Was there a time you were at your happiest? Can you recall times when you were most proud? Can you think of a time that you were most satisfied with your life? Identifying these times, will take you back to what matters to you and what you may wish to recreate.

Not only will these memories help you when it comes time to determine your goals, but defining your personal values means you have something concrete to use as a measure  to determine how your life is moving in the right direction or the direction you would like it to.

If what you aim for in life and what you value, matches, you can bet life is going to be pretty satisfying. But when these two things don’t align, things will feel a bit off and life certainly won’t feel very satisfying. At this point, more than anything, knowing your values is very important for your next steps.

Identify your goals
At LifeBuddy, we encourage our members to consider all aspects of our life – our health, our growth, our mindset, our connectedness, our profession and our wealth. Some areas are more well developed and you may feel happy with, but some areas may need work on.

If it helps, categorise your goals under these headings. If you aren’t sure which areas to focus on, why not take the LifeBuddy Quiz to help you consider areas that may need adjusting and where it will be helpful to set a new goal for this year?

Try doing this for yourself using headings that work best for you. But remember, it will help to have just one or two areas to focus on – don’t overwhelm yourself with lots of improvements and goals!

One or two things may be really obvious that you want to change. But don’t be in a rush to make this list or be afraid to list anything that comes to mind. Take your time and enjoy the process of clarifying your life goals for the coming year. They are important and will change your life for the better, so ensure you focus on the right things.

Develop your Plan
By themselves, your goals can’t be achieved without a plan of action and this should be in two parts; the how and the what.

‘How’ will I achieve my goal?
Once you are clear and have written down your values; what you stand for and what’s important to you, you are better able to ensure that your life changes fit. Do your goals make sense and importantly, do they make you smile and excite you when you think about them?

Now you need to think about the many small steps you need to undertake to get you there. What are your strategies to accomplish your goal? What is the first step you need to make – the one small step that sets you on the way to change?

For example: If your goal is progressing your career, then a strategy could be improving your qualifications or undertaking some professional development. Don’t limit the number of strategies. You may need more than a few to accomplish your goal.

‘What’ will I do to achieve my goal?
Here is where the real detail is required for each strategy. What actions do you need to take and when by? Yes, accountability is key to achieving change.

For example, one approach may be to identify which course may help your development. Another may be to check with your employer to see if they could support the development financially or with time off?

So, planning the small steps, writing them down and giving yourself a timeframe for following through is key to successful goal setting.

The two steps above must go hand in hand. Once you have completed one goal you will find each one a little easier to plan but don’t stop here. It’s really important to keep moving forward, as the next step is your first step to your new future.

Execute your goal
And finally, hold yourself accountable to follow through. Make a ‘mini-goal’ or set out a few important actions (e.g. going to Human Resources to discuss financial support or time off) that will set you on your way to achieving your dream.

Why not treat yourself after accomplishing each action with something small but satisfying. Don’t underestimate the effort and discipline required to take action but once you have made just a few small steps it will grow your confidence to move closer to your goal.

Hold your head high knowing that you are now on your way to making that life change that you have thought long and hard about and to growing a new you: making the rest of your life, the best of your life.

So, go for your dreams and R.I.D.E to future success.

Sally is the Founder of LifeBuddy. She is an Organisational Development consultant and is a Practitioner with the Association for Business Psychology.