Everyone seems to be talking about goals at this time of the year. It’s a new year, and that causes people to reflect upon where they have come from and what they wish to do next. It’s a time for drawing that line in the sand and starting anew. I think its great for people to do not just yearly but quarterly if you have goals or projects you need to review to see where you are at that stage and what you need to change or add to move things along.
I’ve heard several tell me they don’t have goals or need them, yet the next words out of their mouth will be I have this huge list of things to do to get ‘X’ or ‘Y’ done. I laugh to myself since I know those are still goals. Goals are achievable items you wish to accomplish. They don’t have to be this huge bucket list of items that might take your lifetime to complete. It can be as easy as a chore list to clean the house.
Whether you are a stay at home individual taking care of the family and doing things to earn a living on the side while doing that or someone in a job with major projects to complete we all make lists to get things done towards those things. When I was raising my daughter I didn’t do the stereotypical things of eating bonbons and watching the soap opera’s on tv all day. I had a list of things that needed to get done. Planning meals and going shopping, cleaning routines to maintain, laundry to do, maintaining a schedule for my young daughter, doing some DIY type items to save money for our home, planning birthday parties and so forth.
The difference between those items and now are the things to do are bigger items towards larger goals. I still have to do all those other things they don’t feel like goals but responsibilities I maintain. When someone talks about a goal it feels like it should be this massive and audacious dream you want to make happen. They can be and they can be smaller items.
In the Bullet Journal community some of these smaller goals are things they call collections. They create pages for reading books for the year, seeing movies in the year, traveling to various places throughout the year and these items are still goals. One book at a time will help them reach the goal of reading whatever number of books they want to complete in the year. These could be things like learning about writing or photography in the year, or take a class for those purposes or improving on cooking skills and that takes practice and deliberate intention to cook. It could be as simple as being consistent with something you do. Some people call these type things habits too. Changing one thing each day until you become successful so that the habit is a new action you do every day is still a goal.
Research has shown that writing out what you wish to accomplish is helpful in making that item become a reality for you. What most don’t realize though when setting a goal or deciding to accomplish something is they have to commit to doing it for it to become a reality. It’s suggested that you find an accountability partner and that you write positive affirmations to help fuel you to push to attain these goals.
I have known many people that every year talk about losing weight. These same people haven’t taken the time to figure out what they will eat, how they will exercise or incorporate it into their current lifestyle. They keep telling themselves they will get to it one day. They also look at the number instead of the break down of it.
When you set a goal to lose 30, 40, 50, 75, or 100 pounds that number alone can be intimidating. If you break it down into twelve months you are looking at 2.5, 3.5, 4.25, 6.25, or 8.5 pounds a month to focus upon to meet that goal. Look at those numbers again 30 pounds versus 2.5 pounds, 40 pounds versus 3.5 pounds, 50 pounds versus 4.25 pounds, 75 pounds versus 6.25 pounds and 100 pounds versus 8.5 pounds. When you look at it that way that doesn’t seem so far out of reach. Let’s go one step further. The number per week for each of those goal weights would be: .5 a week, .75 a week, 1 pound a week, 1.5 pounds a week and 2 pounds a week. I don’t know about you but if I was focusing on losing one to two pounds a week and nothing more that seems doable. That seems like I can have a life without sacrificing to the moon and back to make it happen. That’s what you want when you take a goal and break it down into smaller steps so you can achieve it. If you had a goal of 100 pounds and you only lost 80 would you be happy? Would you say you failed?
Let’s use writing as an example. A typical fiction novel is 90,000 to 100,000 words. For math’s sake let’s use 100,000 words in this example. If you wanted to write that novel in one year you would have to write 8334 words a month. If you broke that down more you would have to write 1923 words a week. Let’s go one more step down to show you what I mean. If you wrote 261 days in a year, (excluding Saturday and Sunday) you would need to write 384 words each day to reach 100,000 words in a year. If you wrote 365 days, it would be 274 words a day to reach 100,000 words a year. I don’t know about you but I know friends and family that wrote word counts for the month in just social media posts each day. So writing the 275 to 384 words a day seems very doable. The beauty about writing is once you get into it you don’t want to stop at 384 words. It’s recommended by many authors to write 500 words a day if you want to focus on writing a novel. If you wrote 75,000 words instead of 100,000 words would you have failed or would you excited?
So you can see that taking a goal that seems huge and breaking it down to monthly, weekly and daily steps can change how you see it from massive to actionable steps. No matter where you land at the end of a year you are that much closer to reaching that goal. Just because you didn’t hit 100 pounds or 100,000 words doesn’t mean you failed. It means you worked hard towards your goal and you should be proud of your accomplishments you were working towards. Looking at 20 pounds to lose the next year after accomplishing 80 of the 100 will give you the boost you need to reach that goal. Your word count at 75,000 may be all you needed to tell your story or you may need a few more chapters to complete it. Either way, you did more by breaking it down and that is an accomplishment.
To push yourself further with these goals, find someone you can trust to hold you accountable. Check in every week with them and list what you did and what you didn’t do towards your goals. They can push you if you slacked off and encourage you if you are having a difficult time. If weight loss is your goal, then find a partner to exercise with you since you will know they are waiting for you to show up you tend to not want to let them down.
While going through the year add in a review time whether monthly or quarterly. This will give you a chance to determine if you need more time, less time, additional training or tools to help you achieve something, add in other people to your project, change your budget, get a mentor or coach or join a group to help you. We all have to take into consideration our responsibilities and how that will change the time frame to meet certain goals. Other goals it’s that decision to do it no matter what obstacles might come your way even if the deadline changes a few times until right. You are making progress either way as long as you don’t give up.
Life is about desires we all want or need to make us happy. A goal is a desire you have to ask yourself if it’s important enough to say I’ll do it one day or this will be day one. The choice always remains yours and living a fulfilling life with lots of joy and love is up to you what that will look like. Create your goals by following the desires of your heart and you will take those steps to make it happen.
I wish you success, happiness and an amazing adventure in achieving your goals this year. Comment below what goals you are working towards in 2018 as I’d like to hear from you.