How to Set Goals That Prioritize You

How to Set Goals That Prioritize You

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Today, we want to talk about you—about prioritizing YOU.

Day Designer is passionate about setting balanced goals; goals that support quality, improvement and achievement across the important areas in your life.

We offer an important caveat to the whole idea of “balanced” goals.  Which is to support your personal well being first. If the scales are tipped more in favor of you above every other life category, your health, energy and positive attitude are the greatest predictor of success in just about any goal you undertake.

Because self-care is one of the most important tools in your “life” toolbelt. If you don’t first take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone or anything else? And let’s be real—you aren’t likely to reach any of your goals if they aren’t first based on what you actually want and if you don’t have the energy to pursue them.

It is said that you cannot pour from an empty cup. So, how can you set goals that support your self-care and replenishing your energy? 

It starts with a conversation with yourself. Really tune in to exactly what it is that you want to pursue—or, more importantly, how you want to feel. Once you know that, you can come up with goals that get you back to that good-feeling place again and again.

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got a few questions to guide your conversation. 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Self-Care Goals

1. What were my favorite moments of last year? What made them so great? How did I feel in those moments?

Go through each of the months of the last year (feel free to pull out your old Day Designer for reference!) and jot down your favorite memories. How did you feel in those moments? Were you happy, grateful, peaceful, excited—or some other incredible feeling altogether? Review these happy moments and compile a list of your favorite feelings from each of them.

2. What habits, actions, and/or experiences would help me feel how I want to feel on a more consistent basis?

Now, imagine you could recreate those feelings. You likely can’t recreate the exact experiences, but if you wanted to feel more happy, grateful, peaceful, excited (or some other feeling) on  regular basis, what habits or experiences would support that? What could you do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis that would get you back to that feeling regularly?

3. Which 1-2 habits, actions, or experiences can I realistically implement in the next three months? Six months? Nine months? Year?

Now that you’ve got a good list of habits to choose from, set some goals to help you reach them throughout the year. What can you do in three months? Or six, or nine, or 12? What habits would you need to incrementally build to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and always coming back to a good-feeling place?

4. What potentially stands in the way of my being able to accomplish these goals and stick to these habits? How can I prepare to overcome those obstacles now?

Okay, so you know the goals you want to reach throughout the year. Now, think proactively: what are the very real life circumstances that might stand in the way of you reaching those goals? Creating a new habit or reaching a new accomplishment is no easy feat—and it simply makes you human if you run into obstacles. Think of what those might be now, and prepare a plan of attack to help yourself move past them.

5. How can I break these goals down into tiny, actionable daily habits that support my self-care?

You know how you want to feel, you know the big goals that will help you get there, and you’ve planned to overcome any obstacles well in advance. Now, let’s make the process of reaching your goals just a little bit easier on you—break them down into tiny, actionable daily habits (or steps towards implementing a new habit) that you can take to help you get there. Don’t overwhelm yourself at the start of the year! This is about feeling good, remember? And each of these steps will set you up for success as you work towards your new goals and towards feeling good in a life you’ve designed.

After all, your ultimate goal is to create habits and experiences that help you feel the way you want to feel on a daily basis. Sure, life can be unexpected and hard sometimes—but if you’ve set goals that prioritize your happiness (or however it is that you most want to feel regularly!), then you’ll be strong and supported enough to handle whatever comes your way!

What goals can you set at the start of this new year to support your self-care? Go through the questions listed above and share some of your answers with us below!

Understanding How to Set Goals for Yourself

Grasping Self-Prioritization

When we talk about setting goals, the cornerstone of that process should be prioritizing your own needs. It's not just about self-indulgence; it's about acknowledging that caring for yourself is the first step to achieving any other aim in your life. The importance of prioritizing your needs cannot be overstated. When you put yourself first, you are better equipped to handle life’s demands and pursue your goals with vigor. The impact of self-care on goal achievement is profound – it empowers you to operate from a place of strength, ensuring that your goals aren't just aspirational, but attainable. Without self-prioritization, goals can often feel like distant wishes rather than impending realities.

Reflecting on the Past to Shape Your Future

Looking back at the high points from the last year isn't just a feel-good exercise; it's a crucial strategy to shape a future that resonates with your innermost desires. Analyzing those moments when you felt truly alive can illuminate what genuinely matters to you. By recognizing patterns in these joyful moments, whether it's a sense of accomplishment, connection, or peace, you start to see a blueprint for happiness that is uniquely yours. These insights are invaluable, as they guide the setting of new goals that echo the successes and joys of the past, paving a path to a future filled with similar, if not more profound, moments of joy.

Defining Your Desired Feelings

The fuel behind your goals is the emotional satisfaction they promise. It's essential to identify the core emotions behind your aspirations – whether it’s joy, security, passion, or tranquility. Knowing these emotions gives you a compass to navigate the goal-setting process. Your actions, then, become more than just items on a to-do list; they align with your emotional objectives, ensuring that each step you take is a step toward not just a tangible outcome, but a feeling that fulfills you. When you clarify how you want to feel, every goal becomes a stepping stone to a more resonant and harmonious life.

Crafting Actionable and Impactful Goals

To turn dreams into reality, it’s crucial to craft actionable and impactful goals that can be approached step by step. For the immediate future, consider setting short-term goals for the next three months. These should be direct and relatively simple to achieve, providing quick wins that keep your momentum going. Medium-term goals, aiming for the next six months, might involve building on these short-term successes, challenging you a bit more as you grow. Looking further ahead, your long-term goals for the next nine months to a year should reflect substantial achievements that align with your overarching life plans. By categorizing your goals, you create a ladder of success, where each rung propels you to the next level, culminating in a fulfilling and self-aligned future.

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