We all have dreams of things that we want to do in our lifetime. But how much time do we actually dedicate to making these dreams come true? Here’s where my FAVORITE goal-setting exercise comes into play…Make a 100 Goals for the Year List!
A 100 Goals for the Year List is exactly like it sounds – write down 100 goals you would like to do this year. I like to take on this goal challenge at the beginning of January, but you can measure a year starting at any date. Don’t let the timing stop you! The point of this exercise is to finally write out exactly what you would like to experience this year, so that you can make those dreams a reality.
How will the 100 Goals for the Year Exercise Help Me Achieve my Bucket List?
We aren’t guarenteed any amount of time on here on earth: I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but let’s do some truth talkin’. This exercise is a more realistic version of a bucket list. A Bucket List implies that you have an entire lifetime to do the things you want to achieve.
With a 100 Goals for the Year List, it condenses your priorities to an immediate and finite amount of time. It reminds you that there are things that you need to do now to live the life you want to live. It’s scary to acknowledge this fact, but we don’t know how much time we have on this earth. We only have the present moment. So what are you doing to do with it?
This exercise pushes you out of your comfort zone: It’s not easy. Every year I do this exercise and it takes me at least an hour to come up with 100 things I would like to do in a year (and I love setting goals!).
But the beauty of it is that all of your 100 goals don’t have to be huge or life-changing. They just have to be things that you want to do, see, be or experience this year – regardless of size or importance!
Last year I included some challenging goals (like relaunching the Soultiply website), along with some easy ones (like buying and wearing a Crystal Necklace). It reminds us not to judge our goals based on their perceived importance. A goal is only important if you want to experience it! Plus, there is a certain special sweetness of relishing in the small joys of life too!
Most likely you will not achieve all 100 goals: But luckily, that isn’t the main point of the exercise.
In a good year I’ll finish about 60, but usually I land around 50 completed goals each year.
The purpose isn’t to accomplish as many as possible (although doing so is never a bad thing!). The purpose is to get clear about what actions you want to take with your life this year. And to come up with a routine that will keep you accountable towards pursuing those goals.
That’s why I’ve developed a free 100 Goals for the Year Planner for you to download, which will make this process even easier. Now I’m completely geeking out about this planner. I wish I would have made it years ago, it would have been so helpful! It includes an area to write down your 100 Goals, a built in tracking system to show you your progress from month to month and over time, as well as monthly reflection pages to jot down your notes and feelings. After personally doing this exercise for several years now, I’ve refined this Planner to be everything you’ll need to make the process easy and fun.
A 100 Goals for the Year List gives you permission to create the life that you want: If you are anything like me, sometimes you can feel guilty for doing something nice for yourself. You juggle a million things everyday between work, home life, adult responsibilities and obligations… And sometimes when it comes down to what you want, it doesn’t always make the cut.
But with the 100 Goals for the Year Exercise, it puts you in focus. What do you want to experience? What do you want to see, be, or do? And once it’s on that list, you are acknowledging the importance of that dream. And that requires you too! So don’t feel guilty for buying tickets to the Opera, if that’s on the list and it’s something you’ve always wanted to do. These goals are not treats – they are the actions that you need to take to live the life that you want to live. And I can’t think of anything more important or necessary than that!
So, how do I do the 100 Goals for the Year Exercise?
First, download the free Planner! I’ve tried many different methods over the years. You can write out your goals in a journal (a bullet journal would be great for this!) or in a Word Document, but I found using this free downloadable template to be the easiest way to track your goals across the year. It’s an Excel file that you can fill in with your 100 goals, and save and track your progress along the way.
Next, Come up with your 100 Goals. I like to make this part of the exercise a yearly ritual. Maybe pour yourself a nice glass of wine, turn on some of your favorite music and get ready to day dream. What do you envision for your year? Go through each month – anything special you would like to do? Own? See? Experience? Accomplish? Write down ANY ideas that come to mind. To come up with a list of 100, you will need every idea you come up with! But here are a few categories to consider, to get the ball rolling:
Work/Business – Any career goals you would like to accomplish this year?
Romantic Relationships – Last year, I set the goal to be more present with my fiance. (I also set the goal to get a fiance! Whoo hoo! Won that one!) Any romance goals you would like to focus on this year?
Experiences – One of my fav categories! This can include trips, concerts, plays, weekend adventures – you name it!
Health – Maybe you would like to fit into those “skinny” jeans again…that was on my list last year! (And for a few months, I fulfilled that goal…oops!)
Material Things – Hey, your goals can involve items too, no shame! Last year I wanted to revamp my wardrobe, so I set a goal of purchasing 10 new items.
Life Milestones – These are the BIG life goals that you want to achieve. For me, planning a wedding will make the list this year! If you don’t have any life milestones that will happen this year – what steps can you take this year to make sure they will happen in the future?
Travel – Where do you want to go? Think big!
Home/Physical Location – I set a goal to focus on decorating our apartment last year. How do you want to nurture your home space this year? Do you like where you are living?
Education – This can consist of courses, books, workshops, or topics that you want to learn more about! I set a goal of learning more about Philosophy and Quantum Physics last year. Never stop learning!
Social/Friendships – How do you want to nurture your relationships this year?
Money – Always a fun category! You can set a goal of saving $5,000 dollars towards a home downpayment, or set income goals.
Creative – Last year I set a goal of seeing all the movies nominated for “Best Picture”. How do you want to feed your creativity this year?
Mental – This is the category we often forget. What type of person do you want to be this year? Last year, I set a goal of focusing on being more patient. What mental obstacles seem to get in your way? What actions can you take this year to ease those pain points?
Routine/Habits – Implementing new routines can create habits. Last year I set the goal of starting a personal meditation practice. What routines will you start this year?
Personal Betterment– I love this category too, because it’s so important. You can set a goal to talk to a Life Coach, or clean out your closet & donate unwanted items. What goals will help you grow as a person this year?
Help Others – The world could use these type of goals this year. How do you want to contribute? Where can you lend your talents, services or money?
Overcome Fears – Another important category. What fears will you overcome this year? What actions will help you face these fears head on?
If you want even more goal ideas, check out Bucketlist.net to see what other people are envisioning for their lives!
Next, setup check-ins. Add reminders in your planner or calendar to check back in on your goal list on last day of each month. During each monthly checkin, go back through your list and refamiliarize yourself with your goals. Believe it or not, you might forget about some of them throughout the year! Check off which goals you’ve accomplished so far and which ones you are currently working on. Remind yourself of which ones you would like to focus on for next month. Use the progress tracking graphs to review your progress from last month, as well as over time. Then, take a brief moment to jot down some reflections on your progress since last month. What did you enjoy the most? Did you surprise yourself? Any difficulties or things you would like to focus on for the month ahead? I LOVE re-reading these reflections from month to month, because they show you how far you’ve grown in such a short amount of time. Repeat this process each month until the end of the year!
Here are some final tips for your 100 Goals of the Year Journey:
Try to be as specific as possible when writing your goals! Quantify your goal whenever you can. This means, instead of saying “I want to learn how to speak Italian” – make your goal even more specific. Say, “I want to have a 15 minute conversation in Italian.” You want your goal to be measureable, with a clear beginning and end. Otherwise, how will you know once you’ve accomplished it? Think to yourself, “What does success look and feel like with this goal?” Don’t bite off more than you can chew here. You can always exceed the goal you set, if the opportunity arises.
I hope this exercise brings your year as much fun and excitement as it has for me. The best thing I find about doing this exercise throughout the year is the power that it brings me when I’m feeling down or discouraged. We all have days where it feels like our lives are off track, and we are not where we thought we would be by now. It’s easy to want to curl into a ball and eat mini kit kats until we feel the need to unbottom the top button of our jeans (I mean, I don’t do that…). But instead, pull out your 100 Goals this Year Planner. Close your eyes and pick a goal! And then work on it. Better yet, pick an easy one and just do it. Let the endorphins run through you as you “check” that box that it’s done. Watch your progress rise. And know that you got this. You are creating your life. You are writing your history. And you deserve it.
What goals are you including on your list? Please do share!