Ten Steps Towards Achieving Your Goals
I have a confession to make.
I let myself down.
I did not show up for myself, and as a result, I did not show up for you.
Back in February, I decided to start a monthly inspiration newsletter. I intended to continue blogging on my regular blog, www.newnormal.me, but also have a separate newsletter that would focus more on goal setting and living with intention, which is what CLC encourages.
Well, now I am sitting here having to confess that I failed to achieve one of my goals and completely forgot to share a newsletter in May.
I am sorry.
I allowed life to get in the way.
My ultimate passion is helping people, sharing stories and lessons, and building a platform where vulnerability is accepted and encouraged, and judgment is non-existent.
In the past few months, I have been busy.
Aren't we all?
My family and I have been preparing for a move, and I have been nose deep in textbooks trying to complete as many courses as I can for my degree before baby arrives. All good and important things, but as I got wrapped up in all of this chaos (good chaos) but still chaos, I forgot to give myself time to do what fuels my soul and fills my cup.
I have been working on my first book, and I will tell you this right now, it is not easy. I thought writing a book on loss, and life after loss would be simple because I lived it, but the truth is; taking myself back to the beginning is painful and takes a considerable amount of energy and willingness to be in those memories again, which makes it very easy to "set aside" when I am "too" busy.
The last couple of weeks have been different, and I have once again reminded myself what is important, and what must not be set aside if I intend to live on purpose and in alignment with my soul.
I have an excellent way of managing all of my goals, but even I can get caught up in the madness and allow life to "get in the way," so please forgive me.
As an apology, I want to share with you some of the ways I ensure I get tasks that are important to me completed and how you can do the same.
1. Write your goals down - honestly, this is so important. Our minds are way to busy to keep track of everything, and if you don't write your goals down somewhere, they will be lost in your head, only to appear when you "have time."
Write them down and then place them somewhere you see each day.
2. Subgoals - each goal requires action so make sure that along with the goals, you also note tasks that need to be completed in order to accomplish those goals. I know this seems like a no-brainer and simple, but the more detailed you are, the better you will be at ticking off each task.
There is nothing I love more than ticking off a task as complete.
Also make sure these goals are attainable. Don’t plan to write 90,000 words this week if you also have a full time job and kids to look after. Make sure the sub goals you list are realistic so you aren’t setting yourself up for failure.
3. Schedule your day the night before - I used to try and schedule my days for a week at a time, but I have come to realize that anyone with children, a significant other, or contact with the outside world, is sometimes going to find it next to impossible to commit to a week's worth of scheduling. Keep in mind, getting off track because of an emergency (death, illness, natural disaster) or an unexpected event (talent show at your kid's school that you only just found out about), are good reasons to cancel what you had planned for your goals. Life happens, and sometimes you can't say No.
However, there are times when you DO NOT have to say yes.
4. Learn how to say No - I have become exceptionally good at this. Between school work, writing, child care, life coaching, and other long-term goals; I am tapped out. Don't get me wrong, I am not overwhelmed in a negative way, because all these things are things I love, but sometimes it is hectic and requires an awful lot of commitment and dedication. I have to say No, and I have to say it often. Those who care about you and value your dreams will completely understand so don't put too much pressure on yourself to always say yes.
5. Show up for yourself - I just finished listening to the audiobook "Girl wash your face" by Rachel Hollis, and in it, she talked about showing up for yourself. She said if you had a friend who regularly ditched out on plans and didn't follow through on commitments, would you still have a desire to be their friend? In other words, if you wouldn't act that way with a friend or tolerate a friend acting that way with you, why would you act this way with yourself?
If you set a goal for tomorrow and have made plans with yourself to achieve these goals, SHOW UP. Unless something comes up that you cannot say No to, and what I mean by that is, you can't say No because it would drastically affect either your well being or someone else's; then you need to SHOW UP. The more you bail on yourself, the less confident you will be in yourself at achieving your goals.
6. Enough with the distractions - Social media is honestly the best and the worst thing in the world. Social media has become such an integral part of our lives, but it has also created extreme amounts of distraction, depression, addiction, and sometimes even worse.
I often wonder when people say the phrase, "I don't have time," how much time they are spending scrolling through social media. I can almost guarantee most people spend at least 20 minutes a day scrolling. I for one am guilty of this as well, so there is no judgment coming from me. However, I also know how much I can get done in 20 minutes when I am on track, so I have become very good at setting my phone aside and completely resisting temptation.
One thing I have considered and plan to implement soon is setting up a boundary regarding the accessibility to my time. This may sound selfish at first but think about it, what did we do back in the day when we couldn't just text someone anywhere we were, and at any time?
These days we sometimes feel like we are entitled to receive a response from someone seconds after we message them. Should it be like this? Is it selfish if we see the message but don't respond right away?
I think sometimes we are always so worried that we are going to miss something, or it might be an emergency, so consider this; make sure those in your life know that if something is extremely important and they need to get in touch with you ASAP, they should call.
I am not saying to disconnect completely and never talk to your friends or family, just please don't allow it to be a frequent distraction. Those who genuinely care about you will understand and patiently await your response when you are no longer tied up.
Social media, instant messaging, and the need to be connected is destroying our focus, and I urge you to consciously think about how much time you spend scrolling and responding before you utter the words, "I don't have time."
7. You will make time for what is truly important - If it's truly important, there is a way, and you will find it. Simple as that. If it's your lifelong dream and you possess a passion, you must dig deep and make it a priority because if it's what you truly want, you will be able to find the time if you manage time appropriately.
8. No alcohol - Okay. I am going to say this quick because I know this is a touchy one for many. First of all, I am not judging. I can give you several links to blogs I have written discussing my excessive use of alcohol to self-medicate and release stress and trauma. Am I proud of this? Of course not, but I do know how common this can become and I know how easy it is to all of a sudden drink 2-4 glasses of wine a night, every single night.
Since being pregnant, I have noticed my focus has changed for the better, drastically. I honestly wasn't even drinking that much before, but I would definitely treat myself to a glass or two of wine almost every night.
Alcohol use varies, and this may seem like a lot to some, but to others it's minimal. Since being pregnant, I have been able to get so much more done, even in the first trimester when I was utterly exhausted.
I am not saying give up alcohol, unless you are struggling with your day to day functioning and have acknowledged it has become an issue. I have been there, so again, no judgment from me. I strongly recommend talking to someone you trust and seeking help if this is the case.
What I am saying is, if you have a list of important to do's, maybe consider swapping out the wine for some tea. I almost guarantee your brain will thank you in the morning and you will feel a lot more productive.
9. Sleep - Now I know this is a tough one too, because many people struggle to manage a full-time job and children, while still trying to fit in some "me" time. I know sleep can sometimes suffer when you are running out of hours in the day, and your only chance to binge-watch Netflix is at 9 or 10 pm.
I get it.
However, if you really want to accomplish your goals, what is more important? Sleep or clicking next episode on your favorite series? Maybe just make it a priority to rest when you can. Your body and mind will thank you.
10. Be gentle with yourself- This is one of the most important things to remember when goal setting. Some days will be harder than others, and some days you won't get a damn thing done. This happens, it's life.
Don't get stuck there.
Plan the next day, go to bed, and start again in the morning.
I managed to get an entire University course done in essentially one month, and it was because I followed every single one of these points. There were days and nights I was sitting at the table with my eyes ready to close because I was so exhausted from pregnancy and life in general. Many times I said to Scott, "I don't want to read anymore," but I did.
I did it because I am determined and because I know that if I don't show up for myself, no one will and I will never accomplish my goals.
Take care, be gentle with yourself, and have a fantastic summer.
You got this.