Set Goals, Not Resolutions
In December of 2016, while on Christmas family vacation in the Poconos I had a moment of profound conviction. During that two week period it felt good to be tucked away in the secluded snow capped mountains of Dubois, Pennsylvania. It was as though the change of scenery, the smell of the brisk, cold, fresh air and being around family was a much needed antidote to a tumultuous year.
One evening, during one of our many sisterly chats over a glass of wine, words tumbled off my tongue and so, with a mix of conviction and contemplative introspect I told her that I was going to do four things in the coming year for 2017. As I threw those words into the universe, little did I know that the universe was actually listening.
Firstly, it was my usual routine to set yearly resolutions for myself. I honestly do not even remember if I had ever accomplished any of those resolutions over the years. But for some reason, these four things, which were actual goals, not resolutions stuck with me and came into fruition without me even realizing it.
It was not until around mid-year of 2017 that my sister brought to my attention that I had already accomplished three of the four goals that I had set for myself that year. As she said it, my heart swelled, because I was so laser focused on getting things done, that I had not realized or even remembered the conversation that we had had that cold night in Dubois.
Realizing that I had come this far made me even more determined to place the final tick of approval on my fourth and last goal for the year. So I pressed on and I am happy to say that before the end of 2017 I had begun the process of closing in on this goal.
I had done it. I actually did it! But it was not easy by any means. This was not possible through some magical spell that was spun or genie wish come true. It required discipline and determination coupled with daily to do lists and a vision board. Not to mention lots of sleepless nights.
Before I delve into the details I would first like to establish the difference between goals and Resolutions. In short, goals are attainable actions that have to be met, while resolutions are long-term life changes or adjustments.
What type of goals did I set?
So two of my goals were project oriented. Launching my 4MomsLikeMe blog being one of them of course and an online boutique. I had been putting these projects off for years because I had been so focused on others instead of focusing on my own personal development. The third goal was personal and had to do with my relationship, which needed to desperately end (based on this post you know it did) and the fourth goal was based on my professional career.
What is the first step to goal setting?
Set realistic and achievable goals. Once you have fine tuned your goals, (they should not be more than 3-4), write them down on paper. This is very important. Things feel more real when you can actually see it on paper. By writing your goals down you are taking thoughts and putting them into words so you can activate. In goal setting being realistic is also key or you will only be setting yourself up for frustration and inevitably failure.
Speak your goals out loud.
That good old saying “words become things” is so real! There is something mystical about speaking your goals into reality. It cannot be explained, it just is. So say it, truly mean it, pray on it, and let the all-knowing universe do the rest.
See your goals everyday.
Place your goals in a place where you can see them everyday. I chose a wipe clean board that I hung on a wall over my desk in my work area. The hustle and bustle of everyday life can take a toll on you, so it is important to have a constant reminder of the the goals you want to accomplish, so you can stay motivated. The wipe clean boards are easy to find on amazon. See a link here.
Set deadlines for each project.
It is important to take things one step at a time. Project oriented goals usually require lengthy time periods for planning and execution. So set deadlines and timelines for each task. Place them on your calendar on your board. This way, you give yourself reasonable time to reach each goal. Bear in mind, that it may take several of these same steps repeated in order to complete your project or goal.
Once you begin the task of actually putting in the work here is where most people tend to give up. You cannot give up. Every time you feel like you can’t do this push through. For me, it was difficult having these projects on my plate with two young children, but every time I looked at them, it reminded me that the work I was putting in was for them too and that in itself was motivation enough. Ask yourself, why you are doing this and remind yourself of the reasons behind you creating these goals in the first place.
Create daily and weekly "To Do" lists.
If I do not create a to do list, my day usually ends in disaster. Literally. I am all over the place and find myself getting less done or nothing at all. Last year I created my own To Do Lists and carried around a basic notebook, but since then I have found this amazing journal to help me with the daily and weekly process of goal-setting and task-completing, which I am happy to say you can now also own. The Productivity Planner is the best organizer, planner, journal and motivational book all in one! You will not need anything else. Click on the photos below to learn more.
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Who doesn't love rewards?! Each time you complete a task on your list and you have reached a goal be sure to tick or cross each one off on your vision board and in your planner. This is an award to yourself and an incentive too. Once you see your ability to set and reach your goals as well as complete daily and weekly tasks you will be motivated to stay the course.
I still have a long way to go and although I have accomplished my initial goals, I have new goals for 2018 and that is turning my projects into income-generators and that will take time. Success does not come over night, but it can be realized over time. So my goal for 2018 is being consistent. I truly hope this post inspires you to achieve! Share your own goal reaching strategies and habits with me. I would love to hear from you!
Cheers to an amazing 2018 Achievers!