In January, I made a list of my goals for the year. This was the first time I was ever so intentional about goals. I mean, I usually think about a few things I’d like to accomplish, but everyone says you should write them down. I didn’t want to write them down because that would make them real, and I was being intentionally non-committal about them. Is that a thing? Intentionally non-committal? I think so.
Anyway, so I made my list, and they were SMART, which Jennie also talks about in her recent goals post. In fact, mine were SMARTeR…they included a little Risk. They had to be a stretch so I would care about them. I had ten goals for 2017 – some were habit goals that lead to an accomplishment goal. For example, I set the habit goal of exercising four times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. I had the accomplishment goal of running a half marathon by November. Those two goals worked together…the exercising four times a week included my training runs and I couldn’t run a half marathon without them.
I set big goals and I wrote them down – this was a totally new way of thinking. I’m still not totally sure what got into me, except I was tired of just going along – I wanted to get more involved in my life.
Here’s what went well. I set up all the goals, knew why I wanted to accomplish them, and knew what I needed to do to accomplish them. For some of the habit goals, I didn’t schedule them to start them until later in the year, so I wouldn’t be starting a bunch of new things all at once. This staggered approach worked well, and I didn’t get overwhelmed or feel like giving up. Off to a great start!
Here’s what didn’t go well. There’s only so much time in the day – I set ten goals but really was only able to focus on and pursue five. Around May, I had to just let some of the goals go and make peace with that. This was just as important as initially setting the goals – learning what I could manage and couldn’t manage, without making excuses. And of course, life is life. Some new things popped up that weren’t on my mind in January, but became important to me later in the year. So I replaced some of the goals with new ones.
I think all of these things are okay. Figure out some goals, write them down, keep an eye on them each week. Consider: Are you actively working toward them? What’s your next step? Is it manageable, or is it overwhelming? Do you remember why you set this goal in the first place? If you can’t remember the why, it will be a lot harder to stick with it. And then just work on them, day after day, month after month. Put the habit goals on your calendar – schedule time with yourself. Find some accountability partners (like us) and tell us how it’s going.
If you’re not sure where to get started, my favorite virtual mentor (besides us, of course) has a new book coming out Jan 2 that outlines exactly how to go about identifying and setting goals. I used Michael Hyatt’s methods this year, and I really have had my best year ever. However you choose to pursue yourself, I hope you let us share in your journey.