If you’d like to hear the full audio version of this article on my Just Get Started Podcast click here -> The F.E.E.L Framework for Goal-setting or you can listen on any major Podcasting platform.  

Every year-end most of us reflect on the prior year and assess the areas we achieved in as well as the areas we came up a bit short. It’s inevitable to think about this as the calendar turns to another year.

Typically, we are also making goals for the upcoming year.

→ Did you set any goals or resolutions for 2024?

How are they going in the first two weeks?

Oftentimes, when assessing our goals, we either completed them too quickly, not at all, or there were too many to focus on and put the correct amount of energy into.

I discovered that I was in the “too many goals” camp and would never have enough time to accomplish them all.

I needed more structure and intentionality to advance.

This led me to create the F.E.E.L. Framework for Goalsetting.

I hope it helps you think differently about setting goals.

Here’s how it works.

→ There are 4 total categories; Focus, Eliminate, Experiment, Learn

→ Choose 1 item/topic within each category and work to achieve it for 90 days.

→ Then assess, refocus, and either stick with it longer or pick a new item for the next 90 days.

Let’s first look at each category…

FOCUS

This category will contain our big projects or most important endeavors.

What are the key items we’d like to complete that are going to help us get further ahead and bring more fulfillment to our lives?

Based on our lifestyle and mission, these could be anything from writing a book to starting a Podcast to creating a garden to losing 50 pounds to whatever.

→ What are some things that we’ve wanted to accomplish that got pushed down the list or is a new idea that has become important we’d like to spend more time on?

This could also be a part of a larger project that might take many years but completing the first part gets us to the next.

Imagine you want to run a marathon someday but first you need to be able to walk a mile without getting tired

Remember, each of these are our goals and our goals alone.

Focus on what will make us happy and lead us to a more fulfilling life and that should make choosing much simpler.

ELIMINATE

As we begin to focus on new projects and things we enjoy, it’s also time to look at areas that are creating stress or strain in our lives.

The bad habits, distractions, poor relationships, etc, that are taking us away from our priorities.

What could we eliminate that would help us achieve our goals, remove stress, make us healthier, etc?

Could be anything. Biting our nails, excessive Social Media/TV, sugary foods, negative friends, useless meetings, procrastination, etc.

As we consider our situations, what one thing would be a huge win?

EXPERIMENT

I’m a firm believer that we should acquire new skills that are related to curiosity or tied to something that might help us achieve future goals.

What new hobbies or interests have we been curious about but haven’t attempted to try?

Experimenting (or trying) new things is always exciting but it can come with fear, anxiety, and doubt when entering a new arena we haven’t ventured into before. That is part of the fun because it’s supposed to help us get out of our comfort zone and create new opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have existed.

Examples of this might be learning the guitar, doing Improv, learning Karate, taking up golf, etc.

As for me, I just bought a guitar and I am playing it right now! Just learned how to tune it and I’m excited to strum a few cords that are pleasant to the human ear.

Everyone will have different initiatives and drivers in their life. Choose what is best for you.

LEARN

The Learn category is geared towards topics that we are curious about, passionate about, or would like to get a better understanding of. This is not so much about acquiring a new skill but about acquiring a deep knowledge of a subject versus “headline reading” or doing a cursory search of a few articles.

Often, we tend to read a very small amount about a topic or get some stories from our peers, Knowing the name of something is not actually “knowing” something.

The learn category is all about depth.

What are some areas you’ve wanted to learn more about but haven’t invested the time in?

Examples could be to learn about nutrition or gut health, learn about flying to Mars, understand our political system, learn about Stoicism, etc. The topics are vast and the most important thing is getting a few layers deeper than normal and exposing ourselves to new learnings.

So that’s the Framework!

  • Focus

  • Eliminate

  • Experiment

  • Learn

Organizing our goals into a more structured framework will help us create more actionable and repeatable goals that last far longer than the “New Year resolution smell” that normally wears off weeks into the new year.

Here’s my Challenge:

→ Pick 1 category from the F.E.E.L. framework and set it as a goal for the next 90 days.

→ Then, make a commitment to how you are going to prioritize it gets achieved

Then, stick with it when it gets hard.

We need to hold ourselves accountable in setting time aside for these important items but not be afraid to adapt or change them as we see fit throughout the year.

We also don’t have to “pitch a perfect game”. If we miss a day or mess up, no worries and let’s get back at it next time.

This is supposed to be a fun and motivating process so we need to make sure we keep an optimistic mindset about it.

→ Challenge yourself and you’ll be rewarded at the end.

Not because you made it to the “finish line” but because you were able to commit to what you said you were going to do.

That’s when we get all the feels about a job well done!