How to Start Goal Setting

It seems like the start of a new decade has got us all motivated, positive and wanting to make big things happen. I spoke a few years ago about how I don’t make resolutions anymore, that I’d been setting intentions, bigger goals to achieve by the end of the year.

The last few years, instead of resolutions, I have been aiming to make big changes in work and life that take time to work towards. Shifts in attitude and mindset, to make a better you or things to work towards to shape your dream career. Whatever it is you want to achieve this year; you are more likely to do it if you set a challenging but realistic goal. But how do you set them? I’m going to share my process here and it’s super simple. If you haven’t done it yet there’s still time.

So How to Start Goal Setting…

Reflection on the past year/few years is always my starting point. Looking back and getting into what went well and what could have gone better is a great way to get the measure on your current situation and feelings. I find this process cathartic, like a cleansing process, getting it all out so you can start a fresh from a position of clarity.

I start with a list of questions…

  • What am I proud of?
  • What did I achieve?
  • What did I enjoy the most?
  • What do I want to leave behind?
  • How did I feel?
  • What was missing?
  • If I was observing my year from a far, what would I think?
  • What did I learn?

Reflections Informing Intentions

From these answers you can start to pick out what you enjoyed, achieved and where growth can be found. Think about how you can incorporate the things you loved more and get rid of the things that brought little joy. Also, thing about where you would like to be a year from now, five years from now and further into the future. See this year as a steppingstone to that future you.

Make it Achievable

Planning your goals

The thing about goals is that it’s fabulous to work towards something but if it isn’t broken down into smaller steps it is overwhelming and procrastination sets in. Take each goal and break it down into chunks that can be achieved in a quarter, then allocate tasks into each month/week and so on. Josephine Brooks has an amazing twelve-week wall planner for organising three goals over a quarter.

Set Check-in Points to Review and Reset

Set in weekly, monthly or quarterly review points to monitor your progress and realign your goals. Sometimes things go off track and either need a bit of refocussing or rewriting. I like to do a quick weekly check-in and then a full-on reflection check-in at the quarter point.

Talk about your goals with others

It’s super scary telling other people our goals, as it makes us accountable for them. Once they have been spoken, they become real and people ask you how you are getting on with them. But I’m here to say embrace that, tell people so you have to achieve them. Imposter syndrome or self-sabotage are killers when it comes to goals, but by telling people you can’t talk yourself out of achieving them. I will put my hand up to this, self-sabotage has definitely talked me out a few goals in the past.

So, in the spirit of sharing goals to make them real here are mine…

Launch a full virtual assistant service

I want to offer my digital marketing, web design and social media services in a virtual assistant, one women band kind of way. Less agency more Claire.

Grow a product-based angle to my business

The agency side of my business will still exist, but I want to move towards digital products

Share my love of teaching and develop an online course

I want to use my teaching experience to provide online courses that help people gain skills and confidence.

Live a life I love

I want to do more and less, spend time in the moment with the people I love and do the things I enjoy most.

Fitter than at 30

After an injury last year, I want to get back into moving in an intuitive way and feel fitter and healthier.

So that’s it how to start goal setting, not too hard actually. Reflection is the key bit, in my opinion, really dig deep into what you loved and didn’t love to find how to make the most of this year. I’d love to hear your goals and feel free to keep me accountable too.


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