Personal goals are wonderful things. They challenge you to take that extra step to give your life more meaning, and therefore more joy. Of course, the path to reaching a goal isn’t always filled with smiles and rainbows. A tornado might come along, just as well as a massive rain shower. But remember: It can’t rain forever.
So, enough with the weather comparisons, it’s time for action!
Personal goals. They can be all kind of things. Getting a tattoo, writing a book, run a 5K, take a hot air balloon flight, visit India, get over your fear of needles, do something nice for someone every day … So, how do you reach them?
First things first: Think of something you would really like to do. Now think about whether the goal suits you. For instance: If you would like to run a 5K, but have severe knee problems, you might want to start with something smaller. As I’ve been saying in my last post: Cutting down your goals into smaller pieces doesn’t mean you should give up on the big goal. But starting small will prevent you from getting demotivated because you started out too big. So instead of going for the 5K straight away, maybe start with some physiotherapy to strengthen your knee. The next step might be running a 1K. Maybe that does seems a bit too small for you, but you will be certain you will reach the goal. And reaching a goal will motivate you to go for a bigger goal, like a 2K for instance.
Don’t bury yourself with too many goals. Of course, it’s good to have a lot of things you would like to do. But you can’t do them all in once. So maybe start with 1 or 2 goals at first, so you can really focus on them. Once you achieved those goals, you know you can do it, which will motivate you to achieve another goal.
Make your goals measurable. Drinking enough water everyday is a nice goal. But how much is “enough”? To make a goal more concrete you can add a timeframe to it. So instead of saying you want to drink enough water every day, you might want to change that goals into something like: “Drink 2 liters of water everyday for at least a month.” Making a goal measurable and putting it into a timeframe will prevent you from getting lost in your own goals. Drinking enough water every day is nice, but if there never comes an end to your goal, you will never have the feeling of completion one. A month for these kind of things usually will do just fine, because by the end of the month it will have become a habit and you’re most likely to continue your goal after reaching it.
Have a date with yourself. Making sure you’ve time to work on your goals will prevent you from quitting. So, ask your spouse to cook on monday, so you can work for an hour on writing your book. Or ask your sibling to watch your kids on saturday morning, so you can train for your 5K. Allow yourself to work on your personal goals.
Consider getting a buddy. If you’re afraid you might give up when you try to reach your goal by yourself, you might want to think about getting a buddy with the same goal, so you can work on it together. You can motivate each other to continue with the goal, and it might add a bit more fun as well.
Tell others about your goal. When you tell others about your goal, they probably will be asking you about it when they talk to you. Having to answer: “Uh, well, I gave up …” sucks. So when you get your goals out in the open, you will create a bit of a feeling that you have to do the best you can to reach those goals, because others will be asking you about it. Don’t be afraid to fail though. As long as you did the best you can, you did not fail. You can only fail when you don’t try.
Keep track of your goals. It’s always a good thing to keep track of your goals to be able to see how you’re doing. You can write it down in a journal, start a blog or just put the information in you phone or e-mail. By being able to read back how you’ve been acting while on the path to achieve your goal, you can locate your pitfalls. When you know where and why you’ve wondered off the path, you can prevent yourself from doing it again.
Enjoy. Achieving goals can be hard and might not always be a fun thing to do. If you find out a goal is too big for you to handle at the moment, don’t quit the entire goal, try to break it into a smaller one. You might not always enjoy it, maybe you even want to give up, but after you’ve reached your goal, your self-esteem will grow and give you the strength to go on with another goal.
For inspiration you might want to take a look at http://www.43things.com