Welcome to 2018 my friends.
How are you enjoying the new year so far? Have you done anything exciting or empowering? How about made some plans or goals?
I have set my self a few goals for this year, but I have learned a little from 2017 and 2016 and… We all have goals we set in January that we forget by June, don’t we? I hate that! I get so frustrated and disappointed when I fall short of the benchmarks I set. Not this year!
I have decided to start small this year. I have an idea of where I want to be by April or by the end of the year. I am readjusting as I go, taking it one check mark at a time. I mean, you don’t get in a car, lock the wheel dead ahead and floor it do you? No. You adjust when you hit a bump and it pushes the car to one side of the road. You adjust when the road curves. You adjust when someone drifts into your lane (and maybe shout your appreciation for them being willing to share…your lane). That is how I have decided to take this year. A little correction here and there to get me to a better me. One mini goal at a time.
A little correction here and there to get me to a better me. One mini goal at a time.
I love that January is a reason for a fresh start. Take this month to burn that list of shortcomings you have been holding on to and create a more positive view of yourself. If you haven’t made goals yet, it’s not too late. They don’t need to be massive, or drastic.
Little goals make big dreams.
To help you get started I have made a short mini series focused on finding a goal and crushing it! Today we will go over the first part, finding a goal that is personal and obtainable. I want you to find a good 20 minutes or so where you can sit down and think over these questions.
The only wrong answers are going to be the ones where you lie to yourself. Be brutally honest. No one has to see your notes. There is no reason to gloss over your weaknesses or (and I know you naturally will) amplify them. If you review yourself honestly, I promise you will find the right goals and you will make great changes.
How to find your goal
1. Brain Storm: What situations would you like to improve?
The beginning of a goal is a need for change. In the last week what situations have made you upset or sad? Is there a scenario that seems to happen over and over? What thoughts do you have about your performance throughout the week?
For an example:
- Each week I am frustrated that they change my work schedule at the last minute.
- I constantly am angry about the house being a mess and it makes me grumpy.
- It seems like I am always hearing myself say “Of course this would happen to me!”
- I am so stressed out about my loved one being sick.
2.Control Freak: What can you control in these situations?
Many frustrated people have completely given up because they were chasing a goal that they had no control over. For each of the situations you wrote down, you need to find the factors that you can change. You may not be able to heal a loved one, but you can find a way to have a positive spirit.
For an example:
- I could find a new job, but that doesn’t seem practical. If I know they change my schedule each week, I can try to find the pattern so that I can be prepared for their call. I can use my earned time off to make sure that I can go to important events.
- It seems that if the house was cleaner then I wouldn’t be so grumpy. I feel better in a cleaner home. I could find a cleaning schedule to follow.
- Each time I say “Of course this would happen to me!” I am making myself a victim. I could try to find a phrase to replace this one, a phrase that makes me in control of the situation.
- I wish I could just make my loved one feel better! I don’t have control over their health so instead I will focus on making them (and me) feel better emotionally, I can have some control over that.
3. Get Real: What is and what isn’t?
Part of making a change is understanding what is and what isn’t. Our lives create this unique angle from which we see the world, and that is a wonderful thing! On the flip side, this point of view will put a filter over the events in our life. We need to get past this filter and evaluate things how they are. This is not about perception or feelings. This is the time to write down the facts.
For an example:
- I know that I get called in almost every time Joe works. I know that I have an event coming up I do not want to miss.
- The laundry and dishes both pile up. I feel overwhelmed with the chores.
- I am not a victim of the universe. When I lose grip on my phone, it will fall to the ground (that is gravity) and it might break (that is just a fact).
- My loved one is sick. My loved one enjoys going outside and gardening. I feel helpless and alone.
4. Be Honest: What are your abilities and weaknesses?
The quickest way to disappoint yourself is by picking a goal that is not within your abilities. I can never be an olympic runner. That’s okay. I am not angry but I do need to know that I do not have the physical ability to obtain that goal. Please understand, I am not discouraging you from stretching your self outside your comfort zone. Just the opposite. I want you to be encouraged (by meeting your goal) to continue growing and bettering yourself and the best way to do that is to understand your abilities.
For an example:
- I have the ability to get the schedule from work each week and see when Joe works. I know I get upset when I have my heart set on something and plans have to change.
- I struggle to manage my time well. I follow patterns well and I do better with structure. I have the ability to hire a maid service. I have a hard time asking for help when I need it.
- I have a hard time changing the way I think. While I don’t enjoy being angry, I seem to let it linger and compound. I have the ability to change the way I think. I am good at following patters, so maybe I can find a new phrase to repeat to myself throughout the day.
- I am very funny. I can usually make people laugh easily. I feel emotions deeply, so sometimes when I am sad it is hard to “come out of it”.
5. On Your Mark: Polish your goals and get started.
Now you have all the pieces you need to put together one perfect goal. You know what you need to change and how to change it. If you have been honest with yourself about you weaknesses (and equally, your strengths) then I am very confident that you will be successful!
I suggest starting with just one or two goals at a time. Quality, not quantity.
For an example:
- I will not plan important events when Joe works. I will take vacation time for any “must attend” events. I will try to avoid making any “solid” plans, but instead be more fluid by giving answers like “I will make it if I can.”
- I will find a schedule for household chores. I know I will be able to keep a cleaner home if I have a set time for doing each task. When I feel overwhelmed, I will get help (even if I don’t want to) by asking my partner or hiring a cleaning service for 1 hour a week.
- I will replace the phrase “Of course this would happen to me!” with the phrase “These things happen to everyone. I will accept it with grace and not let it dampen my spirit.” Each time I hear myself say the former phrase, I will repeat my new phrase 5 times until it becomes habit.
- I will bring my loved one outside (or take them flowers if they cannot get out) once per week. I will be conscious of how this makes them feel. I will allow myself to feel their joy and look back on it often. When I feel down, I will go outside and walk for 5 minutes while I list moments in the last week that brought me joy.
Comment below with your goals.
I am truly proud of you for taking the time to understand yourself and your need for change. It is a wonderful thing to have your goal identified but now you need a plan to keep you on track. Next we will be talking about rewards and how to stay on track with your goal. I hope you can join me.