How to Use Gamification Techniques to Accomplish Your Goals
Episode 3, season 1 [Goal Getters & Dream Doers]
The other night (after playing a little too much Mario Kart Wii with my husband…), I had this crazy dream that I was a member of this gym that let you earn gold coins for every exercise that you completed. You could compete against others for gold stars, and get fit while doing so. To tell you the truth, I was a bit bummed when I woke up! Some place like that might ACTUALLY make me want to work out every day! It’s no secret that gamification techniques (the act of making a task into a game) work wonders for getting us engaged and motivated. So why not apply them to our goals?
In this episode, I share with you my favorite goal setting activity of all time – the 100 Goals for the Year game. I’m starting another yearly round as we speak, and I’d love to teach you the rules, give you the resources to play as well (you can download the free tracker in our library here), and show you how playing this game can help transform your life for the better, no matter your score.
♦ What’s gamification and how you can apply these techniques to your goals
♦ Step-by-step instructions on how to play the game (It’s pretty easy – plan your goals, do them, earn points!)
♦ How to come up with 100 goals for the year (Also easier than you might imagine!)
♦ How to break down a goal into “Manageable Moments”
♦ How to put yourself in the driver’s seat and take control of your goals
♦ The 18 categories of your life and how they relate to your goals
♦ Why small bucketlist-type goals lead to a life well-lived
♦ How our goals and societal expectations can frame our identity (if we aren’t careful…)
♦ How your perfect day can lead to your perfect year
♦ How this game can document your growth throughout the year in ways that are a bit unexpected…
♦ How you can track your goal setting progress through the interactive dashboard
♦ I share my high score (Yeah, admitting it now – it’s not that high…and I’ll share why!)
♦ Aspects of my strategy that I’m changing this year, in an attempt to beat my high score
♦ Why the wording of your goals matters so much
♦ What to do if you get off track or start to feel discouraged or overwhelmed with the game
♦ What you can learn from the goals you no longer want to pursue throughout the year
Here are some resources mentioned during the episode…
A few of the links below are affiliate links, so if you decide to make a purchase, a small contribution will be made to fund future episodes of the Soultiply podcast. Although this is appreciated, I can promise that all resources were chosen before affiliate links were even added, and they absolutely did not influence my decision to include any particular resource in this episode.
♦ Health/Fitness related gamification tools:
◊ Lose It App (I love their challenges)
♦ Free “100 Goals for the Year” Excel tracker (to use to play the game), download it from the Soultiply Goal Setting Library
♦ To learn more about breaking down your big goals into bite-sized pieces, check out this post: “It Only Takes a Moment: Using the Manageable Moments Exercise to Jump Start your Dreams”
♦ The goal setting book/program I’m currently working on: “Maybe It’s You: Cut the Crap. Face Your Fears. Love Your Life.” by Lauren Handel Zander
♦ If you find yourself in Southern California in the spring and you want to see something beautiful…Carlsbad Flower Fields
♦ I remember the name of that show now…Drew Carey’s old improv show, “Whose Line Is It Anyways?”
♦ Want more context for this game and how to plan 100 goals for the year? Here’s where I first introduced the concept with a blog entry and YouTube video explanation of the planner.
♦ Curious to hear more about the planner and how Nadalie plans her own goals for the year? Check out Episode 002 of the Soultiply podcast, where Nadalie and I gab about yearly goal setting and how to get back on track if you find yourself ditching your goals mid-year
It means the world to me to be a part of your goal journey…
♦ And I want to continue to do so – Subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode! And if you have a spare moment, it would mean so much to the success of this show if you could leave a rating and a review!
♦ Have a goal setting question or want to send a quick note to say hello? I’d love to hear from you and hear your thoughts on the show. Feel free to reach out to me by email here, on Instagram or on Facebook
Edit – Here are my 100 Goals for the Year
I’ve been receiving quite a few comments from folks saying that they are having trouble coming up with 100 goals. So, I thought – if I’m going to talk about how much I enjoy this game, I should probably stand behind my goals and share them too. I sanitized some of them due to personal concerns, but I hope my goals for the year inspire you to think about the areas of your life where you might want to expand your focus this year! Let me know once you got your 100 and we can keep each other motivated!
If you would prefer to read this episode instead…
HEY EVERYONE THIS IS EPISODE 3 we’re going to learn how to apply gamification techniques to our goals, so we can stay motivated and have some fun.
Hey there. It’s Brittany Hoopes and welcome to Soultiply! This podcast is all about goal getting, mind setting and dream doing. We talk, we laugh, we tell stories, and I have heart to heart conversations with goal getters, just like me and you, helping you translate your dreams into actionable to-dos. Hey, I’m ready when you are. Let’s do this!
Hello everyone! Oh, I am so excited to share with you one of my favorite goal setting exercises of all time. So I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but I kind of do some weird, sort of quirky things sometimes… And I don’t know if I’m the only one, but do you ever do those things when you’re at home, and you kind of don’t really tell anyone else about it, like maybe you wear your clothes in your closet in a certain order, or you have that overly detailed you know Excel spreadsheet ranking your favorite workout classes? (Well, I do both of those) but I also do what I’m going to share with you today. I have a 100 goals for the year goal planning game that I play every year. I’ve played it… let’s see….at least from 2014, I think. So several years now. And it just gets more and more fun each year that I play it. I also I’m one of those kind of people that has a bit of a healthy competitive streak, and also a nerdy love for board games… and an extreme passion for goal setting and making the most out of life. So, really when I came up with this idea I just decided to kind of mash them all together and create a yearly goal setting game, that not only can keep me focused on the life that you want to create for yourself over the next year, but it also keeps it fun, it keeps it engaging, and you stay motivated to get those goals off the list throughout the year and to beat your personal records.
So it’s a super simple game. I’m going to teach you how to play. Like I said, I’ve been playing it for several years now. I’m going to teach you the rules, and I’ll give you a free copy of the exact Excel tracker, an interactive tracker that I use to play. I actually developed this tracker last year – I was doing it with pen and paper, or in a PDF, or something like that. But with the help of my super smart numbers nerd husband, last year I created this interactive Excel spreadsheet that can automatically track your goal progress to let you know you know how many you’ve achieved, what you’re working on, what are your best months – it shows you a lot, and it does it all automatically. And it’s super cool! So it’s a completely free download that you can get today to play along with me this year as well.
So in this episode I’m going to share with you how gamification, what it is, how it can help you achieve your goals, how to play the game, and also some tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the past couple of years that can help you beat your personal score each month. And if you’re interested in some other yearly goal setting activities, I’m going to share with you some other resources too that you might like, that you can either pair with this game, or you know find out what works for you – it’s so personal – so I want you to find what’s going to be your system to help you make the most of this year.
I mean, aren’t you excited!? It’s a new, fresh slate. So, of course right now we’re in January, so we’re starting a brand new year, but and so I wanted to share this with you. But of course, since this is a podcast, maybe you are binge listening, or you’re listening at a different time, and if it happens to not be January when you’re listening to this…You know, January is great to start new things. I think that’s when most people start goals, but hey – guess what? A year is a year. That’s a calendar. It repeats every 365 days, so you’re not out of luck if you’re listening to this or some other time.
Start your year whenever you want. Maybe you want to start on your birthday. That’s always kind of a good marker, you know, like what you want to accomplish over the next year of your age,, or you could start at the beginning of a new month or you know whatever date is going to feel like a fresh clean slate to you that’s going to put you in that mindset. Start then, it can really be any day.
So first, let’s go into what exactly is gamification.
So I’ll read you the definition of gamification. It’s the application of game design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.
So do you remember if maybe your parents, or something, would trick you into cleaning your room when you were little? They’d say that they’re going to time you, or that you’d race your siblings and see who could clean their rooms the fastest? Yeah – that was gamification in action, right? It was trying to motivate you to do something by kind of making it into a game. So we see that a lot with kids, basically taking a task, turning it into a game, so you can measure your progress, and you can track improvements. It’s a little fun too. So it’s kind of similar to how some people use maybe fitness apps to compete in challenges with other people across the world. Or how you track your personal records with a Fitbit, or I’ve actually never been to an Orange Theory class, but I think that might be, from what I’ve heard, you know kind of making sure you’re in a certain zone and you’re playing against other people… or there’s some other fitness classes, I don’t know if it’s necessarily Orange Theory, but some other fitness classes where you kind of can compete against other people.
But the real question that we have today is: how can you use gamification for your goals? So what’s so interesting about gamification is that it really gives us humans a structure that’s really deeply seeded and intrinsically familiar to us, right? We all know how games work. We’ve been playing them since we were children. I mean, it’s one of the first things we learn, right? We learn our numbers, or we learn the alphabet, through games that we play at school, or we play games in the school yard, we play games for fun, we play games to make friends. We quickly learn as a child what it means to win, and also what it means to lose. And by applying those same gamification techniques to our goals, we’re literally setting ourselves up to win.
We’re putting that mindset, we’re pretty much overlaying that structure onto our lives. And so we can win at our lives. And what do I mean by that, “win at our lives?” Well – guess what – you get to define what win is. We win by doing the actions that we have determined, through this exercise, through this game, that would give us the ideal life that we want to live. So winning is really up to us. Winning is setting out and saying, “Hey, here’s the life I’m living right now. I love certain parts of it. Here are the parts that I want to introduce into my life, and I’ll win by doing those things.” That really sounds like a win to me!
So heres how you play: Ok, first step. Go and download the interactive Excel tracker for free at Soultiply.com/library.
OK. Or I’m going to include the link in the show notes too, so you can go to Soultiply.com/3, you can download the Excel tracker. I think it’s called 100 game…No, it’s called “100 goals for the year”. This Excel tracker. Download it for FREE. It’s really pretty. It’s all decorated, and it’s perfect for your use, and you can you can start right then. You’ll see on the first tab that there’s a spot for each of the 100 goals. So I’ll get into that just a little bit later about how we can come up with those goals. Next, you’ll want to decide if you want to play solo or with a partner. Okay, now I’ve always, over the years, I’ve always done it solo, although I will admit my poor husband…He has to hear about it all the time! I’m constantly being like, “Ohhh! I checked one off!” or telling him my stats or whatever, he’s probably like, “Shush!”
But you can play solo and try to compete against yourself against previous years that you’ve done it, or “Oh! Look! I achieved more this month than last month” or whatever it might be. Or, you know, it actually could be kind of fun if you wanted to play with someone else, especially someone that might not live near you. Maybe it’s hard to kind of stay close and involved with each other’s lives, so you could you could keep each other motivated, or updated, and say, “Hey – this is what I accomplished this month.” Not only is it playing the game with them, but you’re also kind of telling them what you’re up to, and staying close with each other. So I think that be kind of cool. I kind of like to do that.
So here’s how we come up with the 100 goals… Now you’re probably thinking, “Brittany! Oh my goodness, 100 that’s too much! Ahhh!” And it probably sounds a little overwhelming. Well first of all, it’s way easier than you think, and I’m going to help you how. And second of all, these are your goals for the game. Okay – there’s no changing them later. That’s how you play the game, you come up with them all right now, at the beginning. So this really is the most important part, but it’s also the most fun. OK, you get to envision exactly the type of life you want to live over this next year. And I mean, we all know, years fly by, right? You blink and they’re gone. And if you outlay what you want to do here, and you’re successful in your game, that’s where you get to live. That’s really exciting!
So the highest score possible for this game will be 100, right? If that means that you’ve achieved everything on the list. So just imagine what the type of person you could be if you did 100 of those things over a year. It’s pretty exciting.
So here are some of the best kind of buckets, or ideas that I have, in coming up with the 100 goals that you’ll have for the year. So first thing I suggest is to take your big wild life goals. Okay, the biggies and we’re going to break them down. So for me, you know it’s making enough money through Soultiply to replace my full time income, like that idea to achieve over my lifetime, not even just in this year, (I mean, it would be cool if it was just this year) but you know, through my lifetime – is like woah, the idea of getting paid to do something I enjoy as much as Soultiply. Even just like ten dollars, would just like blow my mind, right? Because I would do, and I do do, this for free, every day. So to be able to have the time and resources to do it 100 percent of the time… That’s just magical to me. But that’s a huge goal, right? And it’s not one that can necessarily be guaranteed to happen in a year. Y,ou know we don’t know. So it has a lot of moving parts. I wouldn’t just put that down as one of my 100 goals. That’s too big, right? So we’re gonna take that goal, or whatever is a big goal for you, a big life goal, and we’re going to break it down into what I like to call “manageable moments”.
So I actually wrote a whole blog entry about this a couple of years ago that I’m constantly referring back to, and I’m gonna include a link in the show notes. so it’s Soultiply.com/3 – go back to the show notes, you can read more about what it means to break goals down into manageable moments, and you really just want to focus on what you can do this year. So, for my example, I can produce a podcast once a week for a year. That’s something I can do. That’s something that’s going to push my goal further. I can reach out to other podcasters or bloggers every month and do guest posts or interviews. you know. Here’s something interesting that I want you to consider: should you make, should I – for this example – make the goal, “I want to have 100,000 subscribers to the podcast this year”? Would that be a good goal to include?
Well I think the answer is yes… and no. OK, so when you’re coming up with your goals, I want to really urge you to make your goals actionable, but actionable for YOU. Okay? You can’t control if people ultimately subscribe to your podcast, or donate to your Kickstarter, or do any sort of other action that you have to rely on other people to do in support of your dreams. Okay. And so by putting that down. How are you going to take action on that specifically? But you can make a goal that says, “I will personally reach out to everyone in my network asking for their support for my Kickstarter” or “I will brainstorm 10 different ways I can bring value to my peers so that we can help each other work towards our goals” or something that puts you in the driver’s seat, right? Because these are your goals. These are things that you are going to be able to pull up this list and you’re going to have to take action on them, and you shouldn’t have to wait around for anybody else, you know? Make sure they’re actionable for you. So these are the things that work towards the goal and really do put you in control of it. Plus, it reminds you that your goals and dreams that they don’t really happen to you. They happen BECAUSE of you, right? And that action, that’s the action that needs to be listed as part of your 100 goals. So that’s one way how to come up with some of your goals.
The next way that I would say to jar your memory as you’re doing this brainstorming exercise – which first of all I kind of want to pause here – This is the fun part! I would make this, since you do it once a year for this exercise and it’s going to set you up for success, I would have fun with it. I love to make it a ritual. I mean I’ll say, “Shoo husband. Go away Stephen!” and I go off by myself. I play some music, maybe you drink a little wine, whatever it might be, and I have fun with it because this is the dreaming time. This is the fun time to think about what your life could be. So make sure you have fun with it too. But when you’re sitting down, you can either break down into manageable moments some of your big life goals into what you can do this year.
Next you can also think about more minor things. OK? All these 100 goals here, they don’t all have to be life-shattering things, okay? I like to call this next bucket the “That would be nice” or “Oh, I’ve been meaning to do that” goals or bucket list items. OK? They are the things that you’ve been meaning to do, to have, to be, to see, to experience. OK? And they don’t have to be earth shattering. For example, this past year I’ve always wanted to try a Sensory Deprivation Tank. I also really wanted to get a Hoopes first Christmas ornament for my first Christmas with my new husband as our newly formed family. Oh this is a weird example. I had been wearing. OK. This just shows how base these goals can be…. OK, I’ve been wearing the same bras since high school… OK. Don’t judge! And I wanted to get some nice fitting bras. I wanted to spend some cash on something that would feel nice, and so all those like little like I don’t know if you have those to-do items that just kind of clutter your brain, and are things you’ve been meaning to do for a while. Things that you deserve to do, things that you wanted to try. Maybe it’s a museum you’ve heard a lot about, and you have just forgotten to go. They are all the things that bring you peace when you just take a few moments to do them. So maybe there’s a comedy club you’ve been meaning to check out, or a new fitness trend that sounds fun. Like, for instance, I so know, for this year, I put that I’m going to try a belly dancing class this year, and I’m so excited about it, because my friend went and she utterly convinced me. So they’re all the simple joys because we don’t want to forget about those – all those add up to really fantastic moments that really make a year very special. So they don’t add up to huge life shattering goals, but they add up to a life well lived. And I think that’s just as important. So that’s another area to help you think of some goals.
Another way to think of goals is to jar your brain by thinking about all the different areas in your life. Ok, so I’m going to list out quite a few, and then I’m going to point you towards a resource where you can where you can find out more about this…but this could include your career, your body, your health, your family, home, your sex life, community, character traits, your bad habits, your personal space, fun and adventure, spirituality, time, money, relationship to your self, learning, romance, and relationships. I mean there are so many, right? And I just want to say, all these categories – they are not my own. They come from my favorite goal setting book of all time and the one that I’m currently working through, which is called “Maybe it’s you: Cut the crap, face your fears, love your life.” That’s that’s the whole title, it’s a little long, but it’s by Lauren Handel Zander from the Handel coaching, and really – it’s blowing my mind, so I’m going to include a link to that book and that’s an extensive goal setting program. It’s pretty kick butt. But those are different areas in your life that you go through with this program, and there’s really so much you can go into it with goal setting for each of these areas in her book, but for the purpose of this exercise use it really as a springboard for just coming up with goals ideas. I think one of the things when we think about goals sometimes is that because one of the first questions when you go to a party someone will ask you is, “What do you do”… we place so much importance on the career goals as a defining part of our identity almost, that when we think of goals we jump to career. Maybe that’s because of society, maybe that’s because we spend 8…9…10 hours a day working on our careers. You know, if we work full time and it’s just such a big part of our life. But I want to challenge you to think that there are other areas in your life that deserve your goal attention. That can really make you happy. I mean one of the interesting areas I never really thought about was personal space. What personal space goals do you have? When I sat down and thought about that one, I thought “Ooh, I really would love this beautiful reading and writing room, like a space that just makes me feel very tranquil, and a place that I can relax and and recharge” And I’m realizing that I didn’t really have that space, and that I have some goals to create that for myself, because that really would bring me a lot of joy.
I mean, it’s just interesting to think about these other areas. So please don’t neglect those. Another area that you can look into to jar some ideas for your 100 goals is maybe you’ve done some goal planning in the past, yearly or otherwise. And I urge you to go back in and dig out your old list, and see if there’s any goals on there that you haven’t yet gotten to, or you’d like to repeat, or try again. Maybe you weren’t able to accomplish it the last time, or maybe you want to tweak it,, or revise it a little bit. You know each year can really build upon the next, so you learn, you get better, and you can refine these, and you can use that data that you have from past years to your advantage, if you have it available to you. So I would go and I would mine those past lists for any good ideas too.
And the last thing that I can urge you to kind of help come up with these 100 goals is to picture your perfect day. OK. Oh just sit there, close your eyes… What would you do? Pretend you’re waking up in the morning. What would be the first thing you’d do once you get out of bed? What would happen? How are you feeling? You know, who would you be with? How would you look? Just do a quick audit. You know, realize what is separating you right now from experiencing that day. And add those goals to the list. Maybe it’s nothing – maybe you’re like, “Oh my perfect day is… actually I could have it tomorrow if I wanted!” Maybe you are not allowing yourself to have those perfect days very often. And so maybe you just add that to the list, maybe “Schedule my perfect day at least once a month” or whatever it is. But either realize what it will take for you to create that day for yourself (and put those goals on the list to create that) or schedule time for that kind of day, because perfect days…if they add up across a year, that’s a pretty good life! I’d take that, right? So great. I want you to come up with those 100 goals, write down all those goals in the Excel sheet… It’s very straightforward on where you should put them, and now you’re ready to play.
OK. I want you to go back through. Go to your calendar. Or if you use a planner, or whatever you use to keep yourself on track, and set reminders in your calendar for the last day of each month to check in on your progress. OK. This won’t take you more than… gosh… it could take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. It’s very simple. I do mine on the last day of each month, but figure out what works for you, and you’re going to check in.
And in the meantime… Game on! It’s time to play. OK. And you determine your strategy. OK. Are you going to focus on each goal one at a time, or are you going to decide to, “Oh, I’m going to tackle the easy ones first, you know, get those out of the way” – gain some points, right? Because it’s one point for every goal accomplished. Which goals are going to need your attention over the full course of the year versus which ones are going to be quicker to accomplish? So map out your strategy, and then execute it.
For me, I love to consult my list whenever I’m feeling a little uninspired, or maybe a little dejecte, and maybe I’m feeling like “Oh gosh, I feel like I haven’t been productive lately.” I’m going to pull out that list, and I’m going to see if there is anything I can work on. Because you know – 100 goals, that’s a lot, if you don’t check in with your list fairly often, you’ll kind of forget…you’ll forget what you put on there. Oh, one of my favorite things that happens – and I can pretty much guarantee this will happen for you too – if you forget what you put on there. You might check back in with your list, and then see something on there that you forgot you put on. that you ended up doing! Like it’s really an eerie feeling. I did that one year. I really wanted to go… I live in Southern California and in Carlsbad, California there’s these beautiful wildflower fields…I don’t think they’re wildflowers… They’re just these flower fields. The Carlsbad flower fields – and I love flowers, flowers just make me so happy. And so I had said that I wanted to see a field of flowers this past year. That was one of my goals. It would make me happy… and I totally forgot about that. And so when I heard about the Carlsbad flower fields, I was like, “Ah!” I told Stephen, I was like, “Please please! We need to go! We need to go!” And we went. And then when I did my check in for that month, which I’m about to tell you about right now, I saw that I had that on my list and it was like, “Whoa – serendipity!” Right? You know, depending on how much you’re a believer of law of attraction, of bringing things into your life, this is going to help you know set yourself on track to just get really clear, and things will be open to you. So I love that. I love that…
Also, I consult my list whenever I’m feeling a little bored. You know, if you don’t feel like you have anything to do… Guess what! This list will really help you, or say you’re spending all your time kind of spinning your wills on things that don’t really matter. Go back to your list. If you have an opportunity come up, see if it would help achieve some of these things on the list. Because if it’s way off base, you really shouldn’t be spending your time doing that. OK?
Now let’s get into the monthly check-ins. So you have your reminders for your check-in, and say it’s the end of the month. You’re going to go back to this sheet and you’re going to look through the tabs. OK, this will only take about five to upwards of 30 minutes to complete each month. So you’re going to check the box for which goals are currently in progress, so you can see which goals that you’re working on right now but you haven’t yet achieved, or if you’ve accomplished a goal, you’re going to mark that box and assign which month you finished it. Okay?
And then you get to go to the second tab, which is your interactive dashboard, and that’s where you’re going to see all your stats on your progress, and those update automatically – which is pretty cool. So it shows you your overall score, how many goals that you’ve accomplished holistically so far, how many left do you have to go, how many you’ve achieved in any particular month so you can see like, “Oh, I was really great in January. But man, February, you know… not as much” or whatever it might be, and then you can also see if you’re on pace to finish all of your goals in the year. So if you did your goals, if you accomplished a steady pace each year, you could see where that would be, or if you’re falling behind, or if you’re ahead, you can you can see that.
I also, for my list (this won’t be the one that you can download) but I added a little section where you compare your scores from previous years to this year. So if you have any stats on previous years, if you’ve done this exercise before, if you’ve done something – just email me, and I can show you how you can add that little section to yours as well. Or just reach out to me on social media, whatever is easiest.
Then there was a tab also for each month where you can reflect on your progress for that month. So say it’s the end of February into January, you can go to that tab, and there’s a few reflection questions and areas for you to journal to ask yourself some questions about the month. What did you achieve? What are you most proud of? What was hard this month? What did you learn? What do you want to focus on for next month? And what’s really neat about this, and I think really special is at the end of this game, at the end of your year, not only will you have transformed your life through these goals that you’ve accomplished, but you’ll have a full journal recapping your entire year, and all that you’ve experienced, and all the ways that you’ve grown – which THAT is so special. I mean, I’ve loved to journal, but it’s one of those things that I find it’s difficult to make time… But this isn’t even… it’s like it’s done for you. And I really just love that.
So you do your check-in…then rinse and repeat! You repeat each month, and you experience amazing things in your life.
So that’s how you play the game. But I want to leave you with with one more thing here. Here’s the thing. Guess what my highest score is in this game? And, you know, I was going to say I’m ashamed to admit this, but actually I’m not. I’m not ashamed to admit my high score – because I think it’s the truth, right? My high score out of all the years that I played this is: 47. Ok seriously… That was my score last year and this year I almost met it. I got forty five this past year. OK. I’m a goal setter. OK. This game is hard!
But get this. The point isn’t to reach 100. I mean, of course, if you reach 100 – awesome. That’s amazing. And please reach out to me, because I’d love to have you on the podcast if you can reach 100. That’s really a cool feat, but the real way that you win this game is if you’re pushing yourself to take action on the things that are going to create the life that you want to live. OK? The point is to have your priorities and your desire, to have that top of your mind throughout the year. Not just the first few weeks of the year, or right when you’re motivated, this is supposed to be something that will stick with you throughout the year. The point is to change your life for the better AND enjoy the process. Have some fun, to celebrate your wins, to see your progress. Okay there’s so many positives that come out of this game that really the numbers don’t even matter. It’s like that…what was that Drew Carey improv show? Where the points don’t matter? I watch that grown up all the time. I can’t remember the name… but that’s essentially the name of this game too! Okay, the points don’t matter. It’s what you get out of it.
But I’m going to say if you are competitive like me, and you want to see those numbers high (which I don’t I don’t blame you), here are some tips and tricks that I’m implementing this year that I’m hoping will help me beat my high score for next year and I want to share that with you too.
Be very specific with your goals. OK? How else how are you going to know when you accomplish them? There’s no worse feeling (I can tell you this from doing this a few years)…there’s no worse feeling than looking at one of those goals in the list and being like, “Did I achieve that? Question mark? You know, I kind of did that…” or you need to make them measurable, so that for the plain reason that you just know if you’ve achieved them or not. You need to be able to look at the goal and say, “Yes – go me. I’m so awesome. I did that” or you just say, “OK this one needs more work before I can check it off the list, but it’s in progress.” So instead of saying, “You know, I want to learn how to speak Italian” because there’s so many questions… What do you mean? Do you want to be fluent? Do you want to know just one word? Do you want to have a whole conversation? In what setting?…Instead, you’ll say, “I want to be able to have a 15 minute conversation with a stranger in Italian” or whatever your goal might be. So doubt for your goals only really seeps in when you leave room for it. So seal them up, OK!
Second thing that I suggest: Make goals that really allow for flexibility and space. Now you’re probably going to be like, “Whoa. What?! I’ve never heard this. Usually they have to be so rigid, this and that.” No I’m saying…the number one reason why I don’t achieve more goals each year, I’ve realized, is because I make goals that once I miss the item once or they’re all on technicalities because it’s how I’m wording them.
So for example, this past year I made the goal of “Write in my journal once a month” I love to write my journal. So, “Write in my journal once a month”. OK. So I wrote in January, I wrote in February, Oops! March came up, I accidentally skipped March, and now the rest of the year is shot, right? So no matter how many times I journal for the rest of the year, which was nearly daily, I will not have finished that goal that I originally outlined because of a technicality. Now if you’re my husband, you’re rolling your eyes at me right now because it’s like, “Ohhh you basically did it.” But the thing is you want to get very specific and you need to train yourself to be very specific. So I would try to be careful when you word your goals. So looking back on it, I think in that situation, I would have maybe worded it like, “Write in my journal more than I did in 2016” or something like that something, that I can continue to make progress on it, but it allows for some flexibility throughout the year to continue to pursue that goal.
The next thing that I suggest for you, as a big tip of mine…is stop being hard on yourself. OK. This is more when you start looking at your goal progress over the year. OK. Remind yourself it’s just a game! It’s supposed to be fun, and it’s a game that you’re gonna get better at. It’s a game that has real life rewards for winning, because we’ll all be experiencing and living the life that we want to live when we play.
But it can be difficult and sometimes it can feel discouraging. When you weren’t able to devote as much time to it as it requires… but get this – a happy life requires you to do happy things! And this list – really all it does is it just makes it easier for you to remember what actions you know that you need to take in order to live the life that you want to live. So if this is making you feel bad, or feel overwhelmed when you look at this list, I think you should really step back and ask yourself: Why? What is overwhelming about looking at the exact plan to live the life that I’ve uniquely requested and desired? Is it that you feel like you don’t have enough time? Are you unsure if this is the life you want, you’re still in doubt? Really understanding the answer to those questions. That’s going to be vital to rectifying them, and getting yourself focused and back on track. You gotta figure out that knot in the yarn before you can continue knitting, you know? And like I said, if you achieve all 100 – I’m bowing down to you. That’s unheard of! But if you don’t achieve all 100, you still feel the benefits from this exercise, because it’s about clarity, it’s about fun, and direction. And it’s something to turn to when you might be feeling a little lost. So here’s another thing – if you have commitment issues, and the word “goal” just feels too strong, just view it as a yearly bucket list, frame it in in that way in your mind, so that it feels fun, and it feels FOR you. Because this game – it’s not a judge OF you. It’s a gift of clarity FOR you. It’s only wanting to remind you of the things that you want to do to live the life that you want to live. And in a way, it’s a fun reminder of your growth. I have a handful of goals on my list from last year that I crossed out because I realized I no longer wanted them. My interests, they shifted across the year, I changed my mind – and that’s ok too. And honestly, I look back at those (I like to highlight them in red so that I can just visually see that like, “Oh, I’m not actively pursuing this one anymore.”) And I don’t replace them. I like to leave them on the list, because it’s a good reminder for me to realize that, “Hey – your interests can change.” I still learn something from that experience, by realizing I don’t actively want this anymore. So you’ll realize how far you’ve grown this year regardless, because there’s so many ways to grow.
So here’s some suggestions on how to keep your anxiety at bay. OK. Don’t be hard on yourself. There are a hundred on there to remind you to live a life well lived, and that that comes in baby steps. Take each month, make a ritual out of it for reflection and evaluation. This game – It’s not a daily game, it’s not every moment in your mind, weighing on you. It’s time for you to recharge…and realize that this Excel workbook… It isn’t out to get you, or to judge you, and it’s not watching you while you sleep, or watching you while you watch Netflix – it’s not judging you! It’s here to remind you. It doesn’t ditch you, if you ditch it. Just show up for it, and it will show up for you.
So I hope that’s fun for you.
That’s my favorite goal setting activity. And I hope it quickly becomes yours too. So you can download the free Excel tracker at Soultiply.com/library. There’s a bunch of resources in the library for you, I urge you to check them out, but one of them will be the 100 goals for the year tracker, and that’s the one you’ll be downloading. And I’ll also post a link in the show notes. And also I wrote another blog post last year that outlines a lot of these ideas to kind of help jog your memory as you work on these too…and it has a video that can walk you through it, and some pictures of what the planner looks like before you download, if you’re interested. Check that out too. And also I would recommend putting those reminders in your calendar to check this list as soon as you do it, and doing those journal prompts, it only takes a little bit of time each month, and it really helps you re-calibrate.
So like I said this is fun. It’s a game. It’s kind of the “throw it all against the wall and see what sticks” sort of goal setting approach. But if you’re looking for some yearly goal setting that can put some hair on your chest… if this exercise and this game is kind of like “fruit punch”, but you want like a “stiff drink”, like real life-altering, “I’m-forever-changing-my-life-and-I need-a-kick-in-the-pants” you know sort of thing…. No hard feelings!
The 100 goals for the year game might not be what you’re looking for, so I have a few other yearly goal setting resources that I’ve really come to love as well… and don’t feel like you have to…. I’ll rattle through these real quick – don’t feel like you have to write them down. If you go to Soultiply.com/3 for the show notes, I’m going include links to all of these, so no need to have to remember them. But also I want to say the caveat that you can do this at the same time as your 100 goals for the year goal setting game. Actually, I think they compliment each other, all these programs compliment each other really well. I do multiple at a time. I think they can help you get clear about what you want to do. I kind of view the 100 goals for the year as more of a game, and something kind of fun. Especially, because some of the items on there are like super easy, just comedy clubs I want to check out, or like little day trips I want to take, and things like that. That this is really kind of more focusing long term for you and how you can do it.
But here are some of my favorite resources. I love Leonie Dawson’s My Shining Year workbook. That was one of my first goal setting work books that I ever used, and I really love it. It’s a digital workbook, it helps you reflect on your past year, which I think is really vital. I think it’s really important for you to kind of realize like how far you’ve come, before you plan out for the next year. It really helps you decide where you want to move forward, it helps you break down big goals. It really was an inspiration – It has a section where you come up with a big list of goals. You know, I can’t remember exactly how many, I think it might have been close around 100, but it doesn’t have that game component to it. But it’s a great workbook. I can’t remember how many pages it is and I think it varies. She also has one for your business too, so if you have your own business you can do that version, or you could do the life version. Both really great workbooks.
And then there’s also Nadalie Bardo’s from It’s All You Boo, her Slay Your Goals Printable Planner. Now this is a digital file that’s printable, it’s 60 plus pages, that’s going to help you pick your goals. It can help you break them down into mini goals, plan your year, set your intentions, crush your to-dos, review your progress, and just so much more. I mean, it is so comprehensive and it helps you stay on track and get clear with your priorities. I just love Natalie….we had her…I think actually in the previous episode, check out the interview with her. She is just like my goal setting sister – I love speaking with her. She’s so driven, and she is just so optimistic too. And I think that’s what really comes out with this planner is that you can set these goals and you don’t feel dejected if you get off track. She’s going to be there with you, and this printable planner is really going to help you. And what I really like is it helps transition your goals to your daily life. So it’s not just this thing that you write down the list and you don’t do anything with it. She’s she’s going to help you figure out, “OK, well what do I need to do and on what days do I need to do it” – which is really great.
There’s also another Natalie – Natalie MacNeil’s Conquer Your Year planner. Now this is a physical planner and I really love this one. I used this last year, and it’s a great daily planner, kind of mixed with some goal setting elements. So there are some goal setting pages at the beginning of each quarter, and then there are daily entries that help you stay aligned to those goals that you set. So it’s great for someone who kind of wants to have a primary focus on one big goal per quarter and then track their progress. And I think it’s really good for people if you start feeling overwhelmed with having too much to focus on at one time. It’s it’s really great for that. So it’s pretty, it’s an easy lay out, it has this little section for like gratitude each day, which I really loved getting in the habit of doing that. I wish – I need to get back to that now that I’ve finished the planner and it’s really great. But I will say, if you have a lot of goals that you want to accomplish, or things that you’re juggling at the same time… this goal planner… it’s going to require you to either narrow that down, or maybe it’s not the planner for you, because that’s one of the difficulties that I had with it, honestly, is that I couldn’t… like for instance, last year – I was planning a wedding that was a huge goal of mine and I couldn’t neglect planning the wedding for three out of the four quarters of the year and then hope that the wedding was planned. Like I needed to work on that at the same time as some other goals and so that was proving a little tricky. But it will totally depend on your situation. That’s why I like to give people multiple options, because it’s so personal.
There’s one more goal planner that I want to mention to you. It’s called Goal DRVN. It’s the word goal and then DRVN. So they just skipped some words there, goal driven planner. It’s a physical planner. It’s this nice leather book. And oh my goodness. It is jampacked with step by step guides on creating goals, worksheets that you can fill out, daily, weekly priorities. Plus there’s even room for hourly planning by day, I mean it is a planner and goal setting system in one, it’s very comprehensive for mapping out your goals onto each day. And I will say – it is not for the faint of heart. This is the break the glass emergency on goal planning for sure, but a great resource if you’re looking for that.
So again – why do I mention all these? Because goal planning and the way that you organize your life and your to do list. It’s so personal. If there’s anything that I’ve learned from myself and from the research that I conduct with goal getters – we are all very quirky individual people, right? Some systems are going to work for you, that might just like make me go cray-cray, and others are going to keep me on track, and they might make you feel feel overwhelmed. So when we’re working towards our goals, and staying motivated, and staying organized. It’s all a matter of personal preference. I want you to take a look at these options, see what resonates with you, and just give one a try. That’s the best way you’re going to be able to see. And then from there, you’re going to know what you like, and what you want to continue, and what you’d like to tweak, and what’s working for you. And of course you know that’s my job. That’s one of my goals with this podcast is that I want to just explore those options, give you all those options and that research so that you can make your best informed decision.
So I can’t wait to hear how this goal game is going to work out for you, and keep me updated. I’ll be your cheerleader, all right? Let me know, how many goals you’re at each month, we can play together, I’m definitely going to let you know my progress over the next year. And I would love to give you a shout out here on the podcast.
So thank you so much for listening.You know me, this podcast is a goal of mine, and to have you listen, you are making my goal and my dream come true. So that’s what I ask you, I ask you to please subscribe. You know my goal and dream is to be that little download notification that perhaps brings a smile to your face, or maybe this podcast, maybe it’s a reward for you to get your butt on the elliptical. I don’t know, however you treat yourself with podcasts, it means the world to me that I get to be a part of your day.
So please just help support my dreams, so that I can help support yours – and you can do that by subscribing. So on Apple’s iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify – episodes come out each Thursday, we already have three more interviews coming your way and literally thousands of ideas I have sitting in Evernote file just waiting to be born into episodes, so if there’s anything you specifically want to hear, or you want to talk about, or if you have any questions – you can reach out to me in a variety of ways through the Soutliply.com website, there’s a contact form there, you can email me directly – my email address is Brittany (B R I T T A N Y) at Soultiply dot com, or of course on social media, I’m active on Instagram and Facebook.
Let me know if you have questions, because I definitely want to spend these this podcast minutes wisely, and I want to make sure that they’re helping you.
So – can’t wait to hear how it’s going. Enjoy your time and happy goal getting!