Hey fellow goal junkies! Welcome back. The last few weeks I shared how I’m setting goals this year: one habit goal, one big goal, and one monthly goal. Here are some additional tips for accomplishing any type of goal!
1. Start January with just your Habit Goal.
If these 3 goals are too overwhelming, just start with your habit goal. After 30 days, it will start to be a habit and won’t require as much attention. Then you can pick up a monthly goal or start thinking of the steps it would take to accomplish one of your big goals.
2. Be Realistic.
One of my goals this year was going to be to work an extra hour every day. Since I can only clock 40 hours a week, this would give me 2 ½ extra hours a week that I could then use to do other things during the work day. I was going to volunteer with a ministry one week and the next go to a coffee shop and write since often after the work day I don’t have the energy to do that.
But, you guys, I’m not a morning person. I need a lot of sleep to be happy and functioning. And, with my goal of having quiet time in the morning, this schedule would have me losing 1 ½ hours of sleep each day! Even though I want to do it, I just couldn’t get up. So I decided to let that goal go. It isn’t realistic for my life right now and probably not healthy. Life shouldn’t be packed so full.
3. Know Yourself.
Just like the tip above, you need to know what works for you. Someone else might make morning workouts work, but if you hate mornings and can’t function until after coffee, you’re not going to get a very good workout. It’s up to you to determine where you should push through your laziness and where you should schedule your goals around who you are and how you operate. The latter is usually more successful.
4. Have Grace & Factor in Failure.
And in all goals, you need to have grace with yourself. You’re going to fail. But one failure doesn’t mean you’ve failed at the goal. As mentioned, I’m not a morning person. But I want to have quiet time in the morning. Some mornings I wake up late and don’t have time for it. This used to really bother me and leave me feeling defeated before I even started my day.
But now, I’ve decided to also keep my lunch break open. If I miss my quiet time in the morning, I have it during lunch. That way I’m not starting out the day feeling like I already failed- I’ve factored in room to make it up. You can do this too! Example- if you want to work out 3x a week, schedule 3x and have a backup day that’s free. Some weeknights I’m exhausted and just can’t bring myself to work out. That’s ok! I can go home and know that I’ll make it up on Saturday morning.
When you accomplish a goal celebrate it! So often we focus on all the things we fail at without acknowledging the many things we did succeed at. I find this tendency strong in myself. Here are the goals I celebrated from 2015:
- Started a book club and read each monthly book for the whole year.
- Worked out 12x a month for 9 months.
- Took trips to Dallas, Duluth, New York City, Nashville, Wisconsin, and Cincinnati.
- Created a strategic plan for a multi-million dollar foundation for the Trustees consideration.
- Started blogging regularly.
- Started leading my church small group.
- Finished my 2014 Shutterfly photo book.
- Hired a fundraising consultant, and carried out the feasibility study to completion.
Hopefully, they’ll jog your memory of some of the things you’ve accomplished that needs to be celebrated.
6. You’re a Being, not a Doer
Contrary to what the world communicates to us daily, life is not about performing and accomplishing. We were created to want to accomplish things, but the products of our hands do not determine our worth. We were created to be not do. In your goal setting, make sure you are creating space to simply be- to rest and enjoy this beautiful life.
I struggle with performance, but I’ve also found as a young person it’s easy to think “I’ll have more time next year” and never accomplish or try the things on my heart. That’s why I set goals. Life is short and goals make dreams a reality.