I love anything connected to living an intentional life, which includes planning and goal setting.
Something I struggle with, however, is perpetual planning with no follow through.
I can’t tell you how many times I have dreamed up an impressive list of lofty goals at the beginning of the year only to forget about them a month later.
If that sounds familiar, you are not here by accident. I am going to show you how to find your passion and set goals that matter.
Why should you set goals?
You have two choices in life.
You can drift through life with no real purpose or direction, or you can choose to live a life of intention by deciding how you will spend your time.
Goal setting is important because it provides a roadmap for achieving the life of your dreams.
Yes, it is possible to achieve the life of your dreams. You just have to decide to do so.
Connecting your goals to your passion will ignite a fire in you to stay focused even when you lack motivation.
Setting meaningful goals helps you overcome procrastination and gives you the drive you need to move forward.
Five goal setting tips to have the best year ever
I like to take an in-depth look at the past year before setting goals for the new year.
You need to determine what is working and what is not before you move forward.
Grab a notebook or journal and work through the following steps to get started.
1 // Evaluate your life
Take a look at your life in the last year and evaluate how happy you are in these key areas:
- Spouse/Significant other
- Spiritual growth
- Personal development
Rank each category on a scale of 1-10.
The categories that you are least happy with will give you an idea of where you will want to focus your attention in the upcoming year.
2 // Determine what matters to you
Make a list of the things that truly matter to you, such as your family, your health, or your hobbies.
What makes you tick? What lights you up?
When you look back on your life when you are 80 years old, what will stick out in your mind as the most important?
The last thing you want to do is set a goal for yourself that doesn’t fit your life or the life you want.
Do not choose goals based off of what someone else is doing or what you think you should be doing.
Choose goals that are going to propel you toward the things that matter most.
3 // Decide what works and what doesn’t
Look back at the past year and decide what worked for you and what didn’t.
Take an honest look at how you spent your time and how that makes you feel.
Start by writing down the things that didn’t work – the things that kept you distracted from what matters most.
Counter that list by writing down what did work – what filled your cup and fueled your soul.
Make a commitment to say no to the things that keep you from living with intention and yes to the things that propel you toward the life you want to live.
4 // Look at the big picture
If you could envision your best year yet, what would it look like?
Make a vision board or choose a word for the year to guide you on the path to intentional living.
Use what you learned in steps 1-3 to craft a vision for your life throughout the next year. Keep your big picture in mind when setting your goals.
5 // Set good goals
One of the most common pieces of advice given regarding goal setting is to set SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive.
While those attributes are all very important, this method forgets to ask one critical question – why?
When setting your goals, you need to look at why you are setting these particular goals.
Why do they matter and are they worth spending your time on? Will they get you to where you want to be?
How to find your passion and set goals that matter
You have to connect your goals to the big picture. Otherwise, what purpose do they serve?
Sometimes the big picture is what we have the most trouble with when trying to set goals and live an intentional life.
I believe we were each created with a divine purpose for our lives.
Once you connect to that purpose, you can find your passion and truly begin to live a life of intention.
Ask yourself these five questions to find your passion.
1 // What are you good at?
We all have natural talents and abilities. Think of something that tends to come easier for you than it does for other people.
2 // Is there something you have always wanted to do?
Don’t ignore the dreams you had as a child or young adult. Your divine purpose was knit into the fabric of your being before you were born.
3 // What do you enjoy?
Think of something you could do for hours on end without getting bored. How could this one thing you enjoy so much be used to serve others?
4 // What sets your soul on fire?
Is there something that makes you excited or angry and compels you to take action? Think of gifts and talents you have that could help you make a difference.
5 // What brings you peace?
I believe each of us was created with a specific purpose in mind. There is a peace that comes with fulfilling that purpose. When you walk in your purpose it feels honest and pure.
Now, it’s your turn
Goals don’t work unless you do. Download the free worksheet below to work through some of these questions and set some good goals.
Once you have your goals in place, you have to take action. Here are some other goal-setting posts you might want to read next:
- How to set clearly defined goals you can actually accomplish
- How to finally get over yourself and achieve your goals