Friday, January 21, 2022

Goal Setting Fridays - Sort Your Goals for Goal Setting Success

Welcome to Goal Setting Fridays!

Why Fridays?
So you can ruminate over the weekend & get a fresh start on Monday!

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Last week, we talked about
If Resolutions Aren’t Goals, What Good Are They?

In our last post, I encouraged you to start writing down your dreams and aspirations for all the different areas of your life.

By now, you should have a wonderful pile of aspirations for your Relationships, your Profession, your Creativity, your Spirituality …  So many wonderful dreams for the year!

But now that we have this awesome pile of ambitions, what do we do with them?

The next step is pretty easy, but also really critical. If you’re like me and you love organizing things, this next step is for you!

(And if you don’t like organizing, no worries. It’s a pretty simple step!)

It’s time to sort your goals!

“Oh,” I hear you saying, “They’re all so important. How can I possibly sort them?”

Different dreams have different needs, and that’s what we’re going to figure out next.
Some need lots of time, some need an ongoing commitment, and some just need a spark of energy. 

By figuring out which goal has which needs, we give that goal a better chance of success!

We’re going to sort all the aspirations on our page into one of three categories:

  • Single Moment Goals
  • Habit Goals
  • Longterm Goals


These are small items that can most likely be achieved with a single effort. They might, in the end, become part of a larger project, but for now, let’s just put them in this category. Since Single Moment Goals can be achieved fairly quickly, they give us a swift sense of accomplishment and a strong jolt of motivation to tackle larger projects! 


Habit Goals don’t have end date. Instead, these aspirations are going to become part of your daily, weekly, or monthly routine. For example: "Read 50 books this year” is a Longterm Goal that will take you a year to achieve. While “Read 30 minutes a day” is a Habit Goal, requiring a regular commitment. Success with a Habit Goal comes by living into that commitment. Eventually, succeeding in this Habit Goal will help you achieve your Longterm Goal, but it’s important to differentiate between the two. We’ll discuss this important distinction in more detail in a future post.


This are the big projects that need concerted effort over a significant period of time. As I’ve already mentioned, both Single Moment Goals and Habit Goals can help contribute to achieving your Longterm Goals. For us creative types, a Longterm Goal could be write a book, record a CD, or perform a national concert tour. Other examples could be launch a new business, rebuild a broken relationship, or find and become a regular member of a local church.

To start this sorting process, let’s first choose one life area from last week’s brainstorming session. Since I talked about my walking habit in my first post, let’s look at the area of Health.

Look at all the aspirations you listed under Health.
Now, let's designate each item on your list as a 
Single Moment Goal, a Habit Goal, or a Longterm Goal.

Which items on your list are achievable in a Single Moment? Which will simply take a phone call, a few hours of research, or an afternoon of creativity to achieve? For example, one of your Health aspirations might be to catch up on overdue medical appointments. In that case, items such as “book my annual bloodwork” or “google local dentists” can go in the Single Moment category.

Next, which items from your list of aspirations can become part of your routine? Habit Goals are the things that will fall easily into a some kind of regular or semi-regular schedule. For example, my initial walking goal was a 20-minute walk, 5 times a week. It was something I could regularly mark on my calendar, and check off for each day I actually made it out the door.

And finally, of all your dreams, which are going to take a long time to achieve? Now’s the time to name those Longterm Goals! For many people, their longterm Health goals might look "like lose 40 pounds", "reduce my cholesterol", or "run a marathon". These are goals that will encompass many dedicated steps over a significant period of time. But once accomplished, they can literally become a "dream come true!" Ideally, we should have a least one Longterm Goal for every area of our lives. These are the major aspirations we have for our Spirituality, our Profession, our Family - everything! Do you want to travel to another country? Restore a French chateau? Launch your child into adulthood? Start your own publishing company? This should be an exciting list filled with inspiring dreams for your life.

Don’t just mentally sort all these aspirations - actually write them down. Maybe you can take your initial brainstorming list, and simply write SMG, HG, or LTG next to each aspiration. Or start a whole new list and colour-code everything. Either way, write it down and let it imprint on your brain.

And once that’s done, take a break. Have a snack. Let things percolate.
Goal setting can be overwhelming.
Allow yourself time to breathe and reflect.

What are some of your Single Moment, Habit and Longterm Goals for 2022? 

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