Instead, I think it’s important to see certain goals as wonderful things to work toward continuously and imperfectly.
Did you drink 6 cups of water instead of 8? That’s okay! Try again tomorrow!
Maybe you overspent a few bucks in the budget. Be flexible and see if you can get creative to solve the issue so it doesn’t happen again (or at least, not often).
Happy people are able to give themselves a little grace when it comes to life’s goals. They know when to let things go. They’re able to forgive themselves. But I also think happy people tend to look for ways to improve their lives and relationships.
Eat the elephant… or maybe just the trunk?
Humans like to make BIG goals and plans, but when it comes to really sticking to our guns and getting it done, we tend to fall short big time.
Why is that?
Why can’t we seem to achieve those massive, beautiful goals?
I think it comes down to the fact that when we dream big, we fail to break things down into smaller, actionable steps.
We look at the whole elephant and say, “That’s too big… I can’t do it. I can’t eat the whole elephant.”
We’re told, “You can eat the whole elephant! Just eat it one bite at a time!”
And while that’s true, I still look at it and think, “Yeah, but that’s a LOT of bites…”
But what if you only focus on the trunk? What if you set a shorter timeline for a smaller goal?
What if you give yourself one month to build or break a habit, and then build upon that foundation?
When we set our focus on day to day activities that get us closer to our goals, we quickly see ourselves flying through to our next set of goals, and the next.
Why even bother with setting goals?
Goals keep us moving forward in life. They help us progress, improve, expand, and grow.
Even if the goal is to break a habit.
Every time you succeed, you build up your confidence and your ability to take on another challenge.
The more you celebrate the tiny steps, the more you’ll see that you can very feasibly achieve the bigger picture.
When you identify a goal or a desired result, you gain a sense of purpose, and give yourself something positive to work toward and focus on daily.
How to get started
First, consider what the desired end result will be. Do you want to create a habit? Break a habit? Lose weight? Get healthier? Start a side hustle? Focus on self-care? Decide on a goal. Be specific.
Next, create a master list of tasks. If your goal is measurable (Losing 50 pounds; getting 10,000 pageviews on your blog; saving $1000 for your emergency fund), figure out the steps needed to achieve that goal. What actions will take you from your starting point to your desired goal?
Break down your master list into smaller chunks. Put your tasks on the calendar for the week, and even break them up into daily “appointments” that you know you’ll be able to check off every day. These are appointments that you make with yourself. Don’t be wishy-washy and flake on yourself.
If your goal doesn’t have a specific end goal (read daily; practice self-care; meditate daily), figure out what will qualify for achieving that goal each day (read 10 pages; meditate 10 mins, etc.), and make the appointment.
Decide what time of day you want to tackle your small, daily tasks. Incorporate them into your routine and make them a part of your daily life.
Check in with your progress daily. Keep your goals visible and in front of you every single day.
Pick a day each week to proactively look at your goals for the following week. Finally, consider moving unfinished tasks to the following week and prioritize them.
Methods of tracking
There are so many different ways track your goals, but regardless of the method you choose, you need to track! What gets tracked gets done. If you don’t write down your goal and track it in some way, you’re letting yourself off the hook and ensuring that it won’t get done. Here are a few options for tracking:
A simple to-do list can be just the thing you need if you’re not into decorating and putting a lot of time into your weekly lists
Using a calendar can be a great way to visually track your goals throughout the month
If you do better with tracking things on your phone, check out this post for some of the best tracking apps to help you meet your goals
I’m sure you already have some goals in mind, but in case you don’t, here’s a list of some areas you may want to consider cultivating. Some of these don’t take too much effort to add into your daily routine, but can make a huge impact on your perspective.
Mamas… this one is for you. So often women are caught in a whirlwind of caring for others, whether it be our kids, spouse, or even our parents. We have so many things on our plates regarding our homes, our careers, and our finances.
We carry such a heavy load.
Every once in a while you need to take a step back and be a little selfish. (Although I think it’s silly to call caring for yourself “selfish.”)
Take the extra long shower
Grab a coffee on your way home and take the scenic route
Read a book
Hang out with some girlfriends
Figure out what recharges your battery and make it a goal to fit it in weekly.
What are your goals financially?
What are your long-term goals, short-term goals, and obligations?
How are you going to achieve those goals?
Save enough to add $100 to your savings account this month