Believe it or not, I don’t actually set a lot of goals for myself. Yup, it’s true. I make a lot of wishes, like “I’m going to lose that 30 pounds I gained while I was sick” and “my website is going to be a huge success one day,” but I don’t turn those vague announcements made only to myself into an actual tangible goal.
As a result, I’ve gotten really awesome at staying the same, but not so great in making the changes required to hit my full potential. Sound familiar anybody?So this week, I set some “goals.” They were:
- Wake up at 6am
- Spend 30 minutes reading a book I truly enjoy (this week was Ruth Soukup’s “Living Well Spending Less”)
- Spend the next 30 minutes setting goals for the day and week
My results were hit-or-miss.
Monday went well. Tuesday went well. Then Wednesday my husband was off so I spontaneously gave myself the day off. Thursday I wasn’t feeling great so I figured “just this once” and slept until 7… Then took a nap at 10. Then skipped working entirely. Friday I didn’t even try to wake up and instead of spending two hours writing, I spent five hours doing out our finances for the next year and bemoaning how much tighter money is than I actually thought. That sucked out the rest of my joy for being productive on Friday and all my enthusiasm for starting over on Saturday too.
Even right now, I’m putting in a good show of actually getting things done, but in reality, I’m trying to figure out why my Fitbit is displaying the wrong time and “eating” all my steps. I literally have zero focus today.
After some irritated-at-myself introspection this morning, I realized why I wasn’t succeeding in my goals to be better at doing stuff:
- My goals weren’t so much “goals” but a routine created with no real thought behind it
- I have no actual goals, just a bunch of “I wants” and wishes with no plans on how to reach them
- I’m not exactly how to create a goal that I’d follow through with
- I’m so self-conscious that I can’t be honest about the lofty wishes-that-could-be-goals I have
- I’m afraid of not reaching my goals which makes me afraid of setting them because, as it turns out, I don’t like to fail
I’m sure, or at least I hope, I’m not the only one who does this and while I’m sure that there are a few people laughing at the 30-something woman who says “I don’t know how to set goals for myself,” the reality is that setting a true goal is just not easy. Or at least it isn’t for me.
And setting a goal, a real goal, one that changes your life, fires you to get up in the morning so you can’t wait to get out of bed, one that brings you closer to something that you thought was unrealistic and totally unobtainable, that shouldn’t be easy. It should be challenging and rewarding, positive and meaningful, and it should be something really, really important to you.
So I’m sitting here this weekend, trying to come up with some tangible goals. Not routines (though establishing a routine can be a goal) and not a “boy, some day I will…” wish. But actual, physical, tangible goals.
And while I make my goals, I will:
- Define what a goal actually is
- I mean, that’s probably any step one to doing something… Find out how to properly do something you want to do. In this case, outline how I will measure what makes something a goal.
- Consider everything that makes me “me”
- What matters the most to me in the various areas in my life? Family, career, personal development, social life, etc etc. I’ve got a lot of things going on so I should have goals that hit all of those markers.
- Think about my needs from a variety of timelines
- Currently (Like, right this second)
- Short-term (as in, “this week”)
- Medium-term (this month)
- Long-term (the next several months)
- This year… (self-explanatory)
- … And Beyond (multiple years)
- Lifetime (when I die, I want people to say “she did this and she didn’t suck at it”)
- Ditch my fears
- I can’t not make a goal because I’m afraid people will laugh at me for having them. That’s silly. This is my life and if I have a goal that makes me excited but makes other people think I’m crazy or stupid, who cares? Maybe “stop caring what others think” should be a goal…? Hmmm…
- Be Ok with failing
- I don’t like failing, but not setting goals so that I can avoid not hitting them and thus failing is really failing through simply not trying. So I can consistently not meet any aspirations I have, thus failing over and over again, or I can set a goal and give myself the chance to actually accomplish something.
Seriously, I’m feeling better already. Hopefully this is more successful than my previous method of attacking life by throwing everything at a wall and seeing what sticks. For the first time in a really, really long time, I’m about to make some major changes to increase my productivity and my overall positive thinking and I don’t feel like I want to hide. Win!