Goal Setting: Putting Your Events into Effect

You’ve got these events on your calendar, maybe you added in a couple more ‘things’ you want to accomplish in 2020 – I know I want to be stronger and faster on my feet, I want to publish some papers, and I want to start a podcast with my good friend and co-conspirator Dr Beth McCharles.

It is one thing to have these resolutions and events and another thing to put them into effect, to operationalize what you have set out to do. It’s time to write out your goals for 2020.

The first thing you need to know is how much time you have. If there is an event on your calendar then you can count back the days and weeks. If there is no calendar date, then now is the time to set a deadline, because having a timeline will help you measure success as you go after this.

Step two is to turn your events into actions. For instance, if you have a race on your calendar, such as the Boston Marathon, you would need to write something like ‘Race the Boston Marathon,’ or ‘Finish my first marathon,’ or maybe it’s something like ‘finish my first race.’ For my podcast with Beth, it is goal is to record our first episode.

Each event will need its own goal. There might be overlap between your goals, for instance, if you are racing a few big events through the year or speaking at some big conferences, you will have overlap. Two distinct events may even have some overlap depending on how you set out to write your goals.

My advice is to write down your goals and then step away from them for at least 25 minutes, whether you to do some physical activity, read a book, finish up some chores, the space you take away will help you see your goals through a different lens (I could talk ad nauseam about reflection and the spacing effect, but I will leave that for another day).

While I said the other day that resolutions don’t often work it is usually because these resolutions are too big, too lofty, or might not have an action plan; I once framed this as ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish.’ Play to your strengths, find your weaknesses and work to improve those weaknesses, figure out what makes you jump out of bed in the morning. If you start there with your goals, the once that are less exciting may not seem so bad after all.

Share your goals with me on social media or in the comments below. Let’s work together to achieve what we set out to do.