Whew, you guys, we are already halfway through this challenge! Pat yourselves on the backs for making it this far. Today we’re going to take some time and explore the right volume of annual goals that work to help us truly maximize our success and turbocharge our achievements.
We’ve also come up with some SMARTER goals.
So let’s dig in.
How Many Annual Goals are Enough?
A lot of experts over the years have studied goal achievement, attention spans, and memorization. The general consensus is that most of us cannot manage more than 5-7 things at any given time (that’s why phone numbers are only 7 digits, remembering more gets messy for the average person.) Most goal experts advise only setting 5-7 goals at a time.
And that’s all your goals. Personal, professional, and family. Studies also show that the more goals you have, the harder it is to juggle other responsibilities (that divided focus thing again).
Because of how our brains process rewards, it is better for most people’s mental health to set and achieve 1-3 goals than to set and make progress on five but only achieve 3.
This is especially true if you suffer from a mental health issue such as depression or anxiety, or if you are dealing with physical health issues.
I know myself and I know that I break this rule. I would rather go big and can celebrate every win and progress towards a goal, thereby tricking the dopamine centers in my brain. Knowing that about myself, I always set 7 goals. But if I know I have something big coming up in my life I will adapt that workflow accordingly.
For example, I know that between now and March I’ve started a new job, I’m supporting an invalid after surgery who can’t lift for another month, finishing this challenge, running the 12 Days of Indies event (check back here the 13th-24th to see dozens of indie e-books on sale for $2.99 or less), moving before that person will be well enough to help, and I am a major sponsor/ genre manager for LitCon. (Whether you are an author or a reader, be sure to sign up on the newsletter so you can hear more news as it get’s closer. This event is sure book lovers!)
My goals for the next 90 days( we’ll dig into this concept more tomorrow) are just focused on those things. My writing goals are on hold. My rebuilding courses are on hold. I want to get a couple of books republished before LitCon so I can promote myself as an author as well, but I’m not going to push to republish everything. My fitness goals are in maintenance mode.
Schedule Time to Work on your Goals
You have to schedule time to work on your goals every day! If you know that you only have an hour a day, 5 days a week and maybe 3 extra hours on the weekend for a total of less than 15 hours, then setting 7 majorly intensive and heavy goals isn’t going to be sustainable. But you can say that you will write a half-hour each day and spend a half-hour working on one other goal. Maybe you will work on marketing Monday, Wednesday, Friday and work on business management Tuesday and Thursday. You then commit to one hour of writing, one hour of marketing, and one hour of business management each weekend day. There is no room for personal or family goals in there. Perhaps you know that you like to write in chunks so you decide to spend an hour each day during the week focusing on the other goals and spend three hours each weekend writing. That works too.
the point is that you need to be able to realistically predict how much time you can devote to a task and whether that is enough time, then decide how many goals to make.
Keep your Goals in Sight
How do I keep these goals front and center? I use Canva to design an inspirational theme then print them up and stick them on my wall in front of my desk. Every day, when I sit down to work, I look at those goals. I plan my workday around them. If something does not serve those goals, it gets bumped down on my priority list. If it serves those goals, it goes to the top of my priority list.
Now, does that mean that if I have a goal of growing my social media following I need to log into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Linkedin every day and send follower request etc? No. No one should spend that much time on social media every day. But it does mean that schedule posts on all my platforms. I do log in for 10 min on each account each day and interact with and comment and engage. And I do log into each one once a week and manage my follower standing.
Wrapping up Annual Goal Planning
Alright, so knowing all of that and knowing what you have going on in your life, take a few minutes to go back to that awesome worksheet of SMARTER goals and pick which ones you will work on this year.
Then post them in the best way to help keep them front and center in your life. I personally use Canva and create an inspirational image under them, like so:
My husband writes his on his dry erase board. My son likes to make a screen saver with his goals. I know people who keep an annual journal and they put their goals at the front of their journal for easy access.
So take the system that works best for you and try it out. Trust me, we will be checking back often enough that if one isn’t working then you can always try another.
Do you have a suggestion of how you keep your goals you’d like to share with the group? Let us know in the comments. Are you not sure which goals to focus on and would like some feedback? Let us know. We’re here to work together and grow together! Want to share your cleverly created annual goal tracking method? Share on social media channel of your choice using #DreamMaker2021. I will be looking for them!
Until next time,