It’s that time of year again. The time where we start thinking about a New Years Resolution and Quickly redirect our thoughts to something else because, of course, we aren’t actually to follow through this year.
Well, that’s my norm at least. In fact, I’m usually so bad at this, that for 2018 I only made one resolution. That resolution was to get together with a friend (at least once!) that I’d been wanting to get together with for a while. I know, lofty right? Well, guess what? I DID IT! Go Me! I knocked it out in early March.
It felt good to accomplish my goal, so this year I’m setting my sights a little higher. Before I sat down to decide on what my goals were, I decided to make sure any goal I set would follow these three simple steps.
1) Keep it Simple & Achievable
Setting a goal like “Climbing Everest” when I have a hard time with a flight of stairs may not be the most practical or achievable goal I should be shooting for.
That doesn’t mean those big goals aren’t good. Big goals make great dreams. Consider dreams as your life goals. Maybe Everest is on there, and in the time between now and realizing your dream you can plan on setting achievable goals to help move you toward your dreams. I find that goals that work toward my dreams are far easier to keep my attention anyways.
Once we have an achievable goal, setting benchmarks for your self and planning ways to celebrate those benchmarks helps keep us on track and motivated to keep moving forward.
Heres an example of an achievable goal with built in benchmarks and celebrations.
2) Accept You wont Always Feel so Resolute
As you begin setting your goals with benchmarks your commitment and excitement will only be matched by the excitement of the first day working toward that first goal. However, you may notice on some days that initial “New Goal Smell” has worn off. You may find yourself less than enthusiastic. This is where most people stop working toward their goals, BUT NOT YOU!
You knew this day would come (because you read this blog, HA!), and you’re prepared. Armed with the knowledge that excitement can diminish, you’re ready to keep going. Let me put this another way. If I said to myself before going to bed, “I will go to the gym tomorrow, if I feel like it when I wake up at 5:00am”. I promise you this, I would NEVER go to the gym.
Giving yourself the freedom to acknowledge that you “just aren’t feeling it” without believing you always have to do what you feel, relieves you from the demand that you “can’t do it” because you “aren’t feeling it”.
Note: If you find yourself dreading it, schedule a break! That’s Okay!! After the break get back into it, and check in with yourself to make sure you still want it. If you don’t, that’s okay too. Things change.
3) Grace for Mistakes
Making “mistakes” like; missing that run, breaking your diet, or falling behind on a new reading schedule, or whatever it is, happens. In most people this triggers a shaming “should” response. When we feel this way it’s natural to want to avoid feeling the shaming shoulds. Maybe a small voice pops up in your head and says something like, “These new goals only lead to mistakes and failure.”. This is the sly voice of shame. It convinces us to give up chasing our dreams in order to avoid feeling shame about not staying on pace.
That’s why this step is crucial. You are a human. Believe it or not, you make mistakes. What’s the answer? Grace for mistakes. Give yourself the right to be a human, share that humanness with someone else and get back to working toward your goal. Remember, single moments don’t determine success or failure.
So get out there! Set some goals. Make mistakes. Keep going!
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