Goals are constantly popping into my mind, as I continue to assess ways I can be a better me. Maybe it's a new hobby to conquer or a way to improve my running. And I've started to think, Why wait until January 1 to make a resolution. Today is as good a day as any to create a new goal for yourself! I don't know about you, but I can get overwhelmed when making goals for myself. I'll get an idea, an aspiration to achieve, and I'll set a goal. But shortly after setting that goal, panic sets in. Can I realistically reach this goal? I'll wonder. What if I fail? How will I get there?
Well, make baby steps.
One of the first rules of goal-making is make well-defined and measurable goals. When you make the nebulous goal of "I'd like to lose weight," there is no way to really measure this, nor are there action steps to get there. If instead you say, "I'd like to lose 100 lbs." That is a specific goal. And then you can make sub-goals to get you to your goal. If your long-term goal is to lose 100 lbs, start by making the short-term goal of losing 1-2 lbs per week. It is important to work to achieve goals in realistic steps. I found it helps to break goals into short-term goals and long-term goals. To reach your long-term goal of saving $10,000, first make the short-term goal of putting aside $25 a week into savings for 3 months. If you achieve this, up the weekly savings to $50.
It's also important to make the goal real. I like to think of it as saying the goal out loud. Maybe it's writing the goal down in your journal, and the script from your pen makes it real to you. Maybe it's telling a friend who will hold you accountable. But don't keep it inside. You'll be more likely to procrastinate or falter if your goal is a secret only you know about. I highly recommend getting an accountability partner!
But my most favorite rule of goal-making? MAKE SMALL CHANGES. This is a little different than attainable goals. YOu don't have to make adjustments to your life in life-changing leaps and bounds. You have your whole life to tweak, to adjust, to learn, to grow. Take it one step at a time. Thinking of ten things you want (or need) to do in order to be a better you can make even the most steadfast of people weak in the knees. And you'll be setting yourself up for failure. Pick 3 small things. 3 attainable goals. Something as simple as a dietary change or a small addition to your running schedule. For example: You want to eat less meat. Don't make the goal of never making meat again. Start, instead, by doing one Meatless Meal per week for 4 weeks. When you reach that goal, make it two Meatless Meal days per week. Or, if you are trying to become a better runner, don't make the goal of running 7 days per week. You'll most likely peter out and potentially hurt yourself. Instead, add 1 extra day of running per week for 4-6 weeks. Then add another. Until you reach your goal.
Improve my 5k time.I've shared the ups and downs I've experienced since starting to get serious about running last Summer. After healing from my foot injury back in February, I've been trying to train wisely and improve my running. Through June, I was running 3 times per week, adding up to 9-11 miles weekly. I've been happy with progress, but as the Fall arrives (and races pick up again), I wanted to challenge myself to run faster race times (but to do it safely and without injury). To achieve this I've added 1-2 days of running per week, with one of those runs being one 5+ mile run. I've been loosely following this advanced 5k training program.
Blog 3 times per week.I know, is it weird to you that blogger's have blogging goals? Blogging is a part of me, therefore a part of my journey to a better me! I can be really inconsistent with blogging. And it may surprise you to find that my goal in blogging is not to get more fans or blog visits (although that can be a nice benefit of blogging more). My goal is to be a better writer. I love to write. And build community. These are the 2 reasons I started blogging in the first place. Not to be famous, not to make money. To be a better writer. And the best way to improve writing is to write, write write!
Make dinner 4 times per week.Summer has gotten me really off of my schedule, especially since my husband is home more (he's a teacher). During the school year, I do a good job of planning out my meals each week, trying new recipes, and generally not eating out too often. Summer has thrown a wrench into normally scheduled programing with swim lessons, camps, tutoring sessions, and various part-time jobs that we don't normally content with. It's hard to plan meals if Hubby isn't home or if we'll be out and about at dinner time. Before school starts again, it is my goal to get back into the routine of making dinner 4 nights per week (the other 3 nights account for eating dinner at our parent's houses and leftovers). To achieve this, I've started pinning new recipes to my Entree/Main Meals Pinterest Board. I also intend to begin weekly meal planning again next week (we have out-of-town guests coming this week). Hopefully this goal will get us ready for a new (and chaotic!) school year!
Now I want to hear from you:
What goals are you currently working on?
How do you make sure you achieve your goals?
Leave a comment - and inspire the rest of you!