Before we get into the nitty gritty of today’s post, I would like to address the elephant in my corner of the Internet: the blog’s different look. If you were following along with me on Twitter yesterday, then you already know that I decided to switch to self-hosted WordPress. In short, doing so allows the writer to own the content that they produce. It also allows for a lot more creative freedom in terms of the layout and customization of the actual website. This is where my problems began. To spare you all the boring details and myself some renewed feelings of rage, know that how the blog looks today, is not how it will look forever. I ran into serious technical problems (shoutout to the Siteground customer service team – you’re fabulous) that prevented me from properly using the theme I wanted. Changes are coming, in more ways than one, starting with today’s blog post.
New Years Eve is in a few days. With said holiday comes a lot of pressure to be better, to change and to impress other people. Friends and family come together on the last night of the old year and discuss goals and plans of both the realistic and far-fetched varieties. However, hardly are actionable plans to achieve said goals brought into these conversations.
That’s what I’m going to share with you today: a way to create a plan that works for you so that you see success in achieving your goals (those set on New Year’s Eve and beyond).
Perhaps the most daunting task of them all is having a conversation with yourself regarding the types of goals you want to set. What is important to you? Is there something you wish was less significant? Do you wish to explore a new place, a new hobby or a new business venture? Whatever you decide to center your goals around, make sure it relates specifically to you and your life. Goals that stem from a place of authenticity and genuine curiosity are more likely to be achieved overall. You have intrinsic motivation that will continue to bring your attention back to the heart of your goals.
(More on the blog: How to Set Goals & Why They’re Important)
Now that you have selected the overarching theme for your goals, what specifically do you want to accomplish? For example, if you want to be more adventurous, how would you like to do so? Read more books from different genres? Try different types of cuisines? Travel? Define your goals for yourself. Only you define what success will look like because only you know what you’re “measuring.”
As you’re making a list of specific things you want to accomplish, continue to brainstorm. Weed out the goals that don’t excite you and replace them with ones that make you excited. Most importantly, write them down. These days, it’s incredibly easy to open the notepad on your phone and start brainstorming. That is not where your goals belong. Use Post It’s, copy paper, lined paper, whatever you have on hand – physically write down these goals.
Remember my post on pressure as a motivating force? That’s about to come into play. Now that you have your list of goals physically on a piece of paper/cardboard/napkin, it’s time to set deadlines. Yes, you read that correctly. Deadlines. Before you begin to worry about any amount of pressure or stress you feel may come from these deadlines, understand that these deadlines are for yourself. Just because one year ends doesn’t mean that the rest of the world does – be realistic.
The best example of setting unreasonable expectations I can think of is someone saying that they want to lose 50 pounds in two months. Is that realistic? For most people, no. Is that a healthy goal? Probably not. Be real with yourself and realistic in setting deadlines.
In my recent post on pressure that I linked above (it’s a good read, I promise!), I talk about working backwards after you’ve set a deadline. The same principle applies here. Once you have set your end-of-the-line deadline, work backwards to set smaller milestones for yourself. To continue our weight loss example from earlier: you set a goal that by June 30, 2017 you want to have lost 50 pounds – great! Back track a few months and set another goal of losing the first 25 pounds by March 17, 2017.
That being said, breaking apart your larger goals into more manageable pieces won’t alone guarantee success. Once you have the smaller goals in place (yes, write those down too), write down weekly actions you can make to help bring you closer to that end-of-the-line goal. Let’s say you want to save $1000 by December 31, 2017 and you want to have $500 saved by June 30, 2017. To break that down even further and make it even more manageable for you, give yourself the goal of saving $20 a week. That doesn’t seem so bad now does it?
Now that you have your goals all written out, leave reminders in plain sight. Personally, I am ordering one of the prints pictured above (not an affiliate, just really love the print) to remind me to welcome new opportunities. Reminders can come in all different forms. They can be in a print that you hang on the wall or they can be as simple as a Post It you hang on your bathroom mirror.
Before I leave you to set goals of your own, I want to stress that goals are personal. They are most likely to be achieved when they are viewed as attainable and that something greater is to be gained from achieving them.
Next week, I will be sharing my goals for January on my new YOUTUBE CHANNEL next Saturday, January 7th and a corresponding blog post will go live in which I share my blogging goals for January. Make sure you subscribe to the blog’s YouTube channel so the videos show along with your other subscriptions.
What is one goal you would like to achieve in 2017?