At the beginning of the year it’s pretty normal to make a New Years Resolution. I never do. However, I did start building up some annual goals for work. While I did that I got inspired to write life goals for the rest of my time.
I identified areas I wanted to work on and things I could do to start making changes. You are more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down, so I did. I ordered them according to personal priority and hung them on my wall.
- Healthy eating
- Get Positive – Be Happy
- Financial freedom
- Get Fit
- Get Social
- Give Back – Volunteer
I created a format that listed out:
What I want: 1, 2, 3
What I’ll do to get that: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
I will admit that I have not done a fantastic job of hitting all the points each month. Life occurs and you get distracted or consumed in all the things that make life the journey it is. I will say though, that I have done more towards these goals than I have ever would have if I hadn’t written them down and displayed them at my home desk.
It would be really easy to let this little goal mobile turn into background decor – in fact, sometimes that’s all it is- but the first of every month I read and review them. I am in various places with all of them. Get Social goals? Check! Get Fit? Getting there… Give back? Gonna have to focus on that one a little more this month.
The point of these goals isn’t to land in 2016 with a years worth of work completed but rather it is to practice being the person I want to be and living the life I want to live.
Healthy eating is #1 not because I need to lose weight or fit into skinny jeans. It’s #1 because I struggle so much with eating around my food issues. I don’t want to check all the ingredients when I go to a restaurant but I also don’t want to get sick when I accidentally ingest foods that make me sick.
I already workout pretty regularly so #4 isn’t a priority because I need to start a lifting program or get washboard abs. It’s a priority so I remember to keep my body in motion. I feel better when I exercise regularly. I am less anxious. I am less depressed and I feel more in control over other elements of my life when I consistently move my body.
This was the most rewarding and fun part of goal setting for me. It’s scary deciding who you want to be. It’s also empowering and it’s fun to dream.
For me, I want to be a stress free, worry free, got my shit together kind of person. I want to be known as a thinker, a dreamer, a problem solver. I want to feel like my life is the one I created for myself.
Make it measurable
I have 6 specific goals set that I am working towards. There are probably more than 6 areas of my life that I need to work on but that makes it too big, too overwhelming. Instead, I’ve got a list of things to tackle and a series of steps to take to tackle them. I’ve got one year to work towards all of them but the tasks assigned with each goal are spread out throughout the year.
For getting social, I had a task of reestablishing my WordPress site in February (check!) and blogging 2x a week (still working on this).
For me, I set monthly check-ins on these goals. I figure out what’ve I’ve done and reassess what I should be doing. I should probably check-in more frequently but for right now, I’m comfortable with this commitment and it’s manageable for me.
I have a series of smaller benchmarks to set that make building up to the big goal easier to bite off. For example, in getting social, I really want a strong online presence that shows who I am and what I value. That includes this blog, my LinkedIn, Twitter and the randomness that shows up when I’m Googled. But that is a tall order so I’ve broken it down into manageable bites.
- Establish blog presence by blogging 2x a week (check in monthly to see if this feels good)
- Spend at least one hour on social media a week (Facebook sadly doesn’t count – well it does but not towards this goal) sharing content that is relevant to my values and relevant to my potential audience.
- Regularly reach out to my humans and schedule social engagement with them. Online is great but I feel better when I connect in person with my friends and family. It also strengthens my relationships offline.
I didn’t set up specific rewards for myself when I reached my benchmarks and goals. I find that hitting a goal and giving myself a high five is enough. I love the feeling of being proud of myself. Plus I like the idea of in the moment rewards. I hit my goal and I feel good and I randomly decide that I’m going to go do my nails, schedule a massage or go out to dinner. I choose an in the moment reward rather than trying to be prescriptive about it. I’m not someone who works towards rewards well so allowing myself to celebrate how I feel when I win works better motivating me.
Do you have goals you’re working on? How do you stay motivated? How do you break it down so that it’s manageable? Tell me what you’re working on!