I stumbled across THIS ARTICLE over the weekend, and it reminded me first of all that I am halfway through the year, and second of all, that even though I’ve made progress on my various goals, I’m nowhere near “halfway” in achieving most of them. In fact, in some goals *coughcoughstrengthtrainingcough* I’ve not made any progress since the beginning of the year. Nothing. To me, that’s kind of sad.
Thirdly, the article reminded me of the importance of focusing on simple and specific goals, a principle I’ve embraced since I started this blog.
When I reflected over my goals this year, I saw that most of my goals were written for my BIG, LONG-TERM life goals. You know, like ‘Finish my novel’ or ‘Work out regularly.’ My goals broke all the tenets of what a SMART goal is supposed to be. Most of them weren’t even written down–rookie mistake!
And, aside from a general action plan floating in my head of cobbled together things that worked for me in the past that I was absolutely positive I could and would follow (snort), I neglected to have any small goals that would help strengthen my belief that I AM a consistent goal-achiever. I’m not talking about breaking down my big goals into manageable smaller steps. I mean, having small goals.
For example, I usually have a goal to read a set amount of books per month, or clean out my closets to see what I can upcycle/donate ,or travel to a specific destination just to take random pictures like this one:
(If you’re wondering, that’s me at Four Corners, UT being in four states at the same time. I know, I’m cheesy, but that’s my cross to bear.) All that to say, over the last few years, having small goals and accomplishing them empowered me to tackle my bigger goals. Heck, most of the time they gave me the energy I needed to continue on to whatever specified finish line I drew for myself, mainly because I used those goals as my reward.
The ARTICLE said it best: “The purpose of these smaller goals is not to get you closer to your goal, but to develop the skill of belief. The belief that you can accomplish goals – not steps.” I’d forgotten the importance of building momentum, of being able to claim daily, weekly, monthly ‘wins’. For a while, my various goals interconnected in a constant flow. Now, I just feel stalled and oddly exhausted (probably because I’ve been neglecting my strength training), barely sputtering ahead no matter how excited I am about my goals. Thank goodness that my paythebills job has a built-in daily ‘win’ system, whether in achieving sales goals or recruiting a set amount of people or teaching something new to my team. Otherwise, I’d probably be in a pretty dark pit of despair and self-loathing by now. I took for granted my nerdy need to constantly earn gold stars.
So, knowing this, I’ll be rewriting my BIG goals into smaller and manageable steps with a realistic FINISH time, and have a few small goals that I can count as wins. Some of those goals include:
- Reclaim my writing office by sorting through the storage boxes I moved in there. Evaluate if I even need those things. Donate what I don’t need.
- Create a writing nook–assemble the table that’s been in my garage for 3 years.
- Make my own GIANT chalkboard. (I’ll probably do something like THIS).
- Go to the local farmer’s market this weekend for produce versus the grocery store.
- Do this twice a week:
- You get the idea…
No matter how much I think I have myself and my habits figured out, I still need to take conscious, deliberate steps toward my goals, even if my goal is to maintain a good behavior (like consistent training and healthy eating). I accomplished so many goals over the last two years, and muscled through a lot of mental obstacles to get to where I am now. I don’t want to get too comfortable and revert to my old way of negative, defeatist thinking.
Success feeds success, and these small daily wins gave me the insight I needed to continue dreaming. I won’t stop now.
How about you? Have you felt empowered to dream bigger after achieving small goals? Where are you at in your BIG goals?