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Framework for Creating Holistical​ly Ambitious Goals for 2014

One common problem that occurs with goal setting is that we tend not to take into account all the areas of their lives that are important to us when we craft our aspirations.

This can result in an unbalance between how we spend our time and what is important to us.

This post outlines a framework you can use to establish and accomplish holistic goals for the new year so that you can experience progress in every part of your life…not just your career.

This methodology is broken up into two parts: goal creation and goal execution.

Goal Creation

Step 1: Establish the 6-8 different areas of your life that are most important to you.

Here are 8 examples of importance areas taken from the common “Wheel of Life” coaching tool:

•    Health
•    Friends and Family
•    Significant Other
•    Personal Growth and Learning
•    Fun, Leisure and Recreation
•    Physical Environment (i.e. home)
•    Career
•    Money

Step 2: Craft aspirations completing the following statements:

I want to develop more….
I want to become more….
I want to learn or get better at
I’d like to spend more time…

Some example aspirations:

I want to develop more sources of income.
I want to become more present-minded.
I want to learn how to surf.
I’d like to spend more time with my family.

Step 3: File all of your aspirations into the corresponding areas of your life that you’ve identified as important.

For example, I want to learn how to surf would be filed away into fun, leisure, or recreation.

You can strive for organizational heroics using an excel spreadsheet or simply jot them down in mini-lists on a piece of paper.

Step 4: After this exercise, review your goal distribution and ask yourself the following questions:

Is there balance between my aspirations and the areas of my life that are important to me? If not, am I okay with that?

Is there anything I want to achieve that I left out? If so, what area of my life does that aspiration apply to?

Step 5: Convert as many aspirations as you can into completeable or measurable goals.

The more specific your goals are, the easier they will be to attack.

An example:

I want to learn how to surf should be replaced by something more specific like I want to practice surfing 3 times a week and compete in a local surf competition by the end of the year.

Goal Execution

Step 6: Determine the best way to measure or verify progress for each goal when this is possible.

If you’re goal is to practice surfing 3 times a week culminating in participating in a local competition, determine a way to track your practicing at the frequency you desire. Then look up all the surf competitions at the end of the year and find out what you need to do in order to qualify and when the sign up deadline is.

Step 7: Review goals regularly and plan out progress actions.

Creating this list is a great first step, but what really matters is taking action on your aspirations. In order to stay motivated and make sure you’re making the progress that you desire, schedule a regular progress review and planning session.

I found that spending 30 minutes every 2 weeks on Sundays to reflect, chart, and plan my goal progress was absolutely critical for moving the ball forward.
Important: Goals are not meant to be set in stone.

If you no longer have a burning desire to achieve something for you life, don’t continue to pursue it just because you put it on this list. Your lives change all the time which means it’s okay if your goals do too.

Step 8: Find a way to be accountable to your aspirations and progress.

Building in some accountability mechanism will make you far more likely to keep pushing when the going gets tough.

This can be as simple as finding a friend to email about your progress every 2 weeks, or as extreme as making it public on your website. You want to find a balance between what motivates you and what you’re comfortable with.

What have you found to be some effective practices for setting and accomplishing goals in the past?

Written on 12/29/2013 by Scott Britton. Scott is a lifestyle entrepreneur based in Rio De Janeiro. He writes about self-improvement, business, and lifehacks at You can find him on twitter at @Britton
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