Tag Archives: goals

A Strategy for Setting Goals and then Crushing Them

We are halfway through February which means most people’s New Year’s resolutions have long been dead and buried. This was the fate of every resolution I ever made prior to this year. But this year is different because this year I have a plan.

At work we have to set goals for the year and the process we use requires us to set check points for these goals. So you have your goal for the year – maybe it’s something like “Sell 500 widgets”. Sure, you can toss that out into the universe and hope those widgets sell themselves, or you can break that main goal into smaller pieces. Like “work on my sales pitch” or “find three new clients by August” or “convince current client they need 100 more widgets”. (These are terrible examples; I clearly do not sell things for a living.)

The point is, it’s a lot easier to accomplish one small task at a time than it is to take on your giant goal all at once. So I took this strategy and applied it to my personal goals. I wrote down my top goals for the year and then brainstormed easy first steps I could take to help those goals come to fruition. I decided to tackle things quarterly, so I gave myself a handful of tasks to complete in Q1.

For example, one of my goals this year was to learn basic photography so I don’t spend tons of money getting my kid’s pictures professionally taken all the time. So my first checkpoint was “research cameras”. Then “research photography lessons”. Then “buy the camera”. If I hadn’t already had some money set aside I would have added “save up for camera” in here as well. Using this strategy I feel like I am always making progress toward my bigger goals without ever feeling overwhelmed.

Some other tips to help you succeed with this:

  • Assign dates to your checkpoints. Put them in your calendar and set reminders so you don’t forget about them.
  • Make sure your checkpoint goals are small enough to be easily achievable. If your checkpoint goal feels daunting or you keep putting it off try breaking it into a smaller goal.
  • If you consistently are putting off tasks that work toward your overall goal, ask yourself if that goal is something you actually WANT to achieve or something you feel like you are obligated to achieve. If it feels like an obligation, ditch it. It’s 2019, we only do things that spark joy now. #mariekondovibes
  • Check in with yourself regularly to review your goals and what’s left to accomplish and keep putting those checkpoints on your calendar.

What are you hoping to accomplish this year? What steps are you taking help you get there?

Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash

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New Year, New Me

I know, I know. We’re not doing the whole “new year, new me” thing anymore. Resolutions are out. It’s not healthy to reinvent yourself every year. And don’t you dare let Diet Culture brainwash you into thinking you need a weight-related goal this year. YOU’RE PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

But for me, this year more than any other before, I truly feel as though I am a “new me”. Because this year, I’m a mom. 

Everyone says that becoming a mother changes you, but the reality of that is w i l d. I definitely did not fully comprehend what that meant until it actually happened to me. The first few weeks were HARD. It felt like I’d given up my entire life in the blink of an eye. Nothing would ever be the same. The days of just popping out to Target were over. Hell, the days of having even five minutes to be alone with my thoughts were over. It was a harsh realization. One that I hadn’t prepared myself for at all. 

Four and a half months into this whole motherhood thing and I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of it. I am indeed able to pop out to Target again, only now I have a shopping buddy. So while some things went back to normal, my life is still completely different. The goals and aspirations I had pre-baby aren’t the goals and aspirations I have now. The things that felt important before don’t feel important anymore. Everything is now looked at through the lens of “how will this affect my child?” 

So yeah, I am becoming a New Me this year. And not only am I okay with it, I’m excited about it. I’ve got goals and new strategies for achieving them (more on that later). It also helps that the pregnancy fog I was in for all of last year has finally lifted. Me and this sweet bug are taking on 2019 with gusto. 

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NaNoWriMo 2013

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It’s NaNoWriMo time again! NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place every November. Basically, you sign up on the website and commit to writing 50,000 words (essentially, a complete novel) during the month of November.  It’s intense. If you finish it, you “win” NaNoWriMo.

NaNo isn’t actually a competition, in the traditional sense. It’s a competition with yourself, really. There are no prizes, and your book doesn’t automatically get published at the end. No one is judging your work (well, I suppose YOU are judging your work, and anyone you show it to, but there are no JUDGES in any official capacity).

It’s meant for those of us who want to write a book. Those of us with dreams of being authors, published or not. Those people with that niggling feeling in the back of their brains, that feeling that you have a story that just needs to get out. It’s a challenge  to commit to just doing the dang thing. Write that gosh darn book just so you can say you did! Even if at the end of November you shove the thing into a forgotten corner of your hard drive and never look at it again. At least you know you have the capacity to DO it.

I’ve attempted NaNo oh, I think three times? I’ve finished it once. It is hard, man. And I ended up hating my finished product. Okay, it wasn’t even finished. I wrote 50k words and it wasn’t even a complete book.  It was really just 50k words strung together into sentences. I liked the premise, and I still do, but I wasn’t ready to write that story. I may never be ready to write that story. It may actually be a complete dud and I’ll never go back to it again. But not every attempt is going to be a success.

I’ve committed to NaNoWriMo again this year, and I am super excited. Originally I was going to go with an idea I’ve had percolating in my mind for a little while now. The vague idea of it sounded good to me, but I couldn’t make any real details stick. When I tried to come up with a solid plot my chest would constrict and my eye would start to twitch. Nope, that idea is definitely not ready to be born yet.

So last night, three days before this thing is going to start, I changed my course. I’ve decided to go with an idea I’ve had for YEARS. I mean a seriously long time. I actually wrote the first iteration of this story when I was about 12. And it’s been with me ever since, because I think the idea is good and I know I can totally blow the version my 12-year-old self wrote out of the water (no offense, 12-year-old me). It’s been adamantly knocking around in my head for a few months, just begging to be written, but I’ve been squashing it down. I don’t know why. I’ve kind of always thought this idea would be my pièce de résistance and I didn’t want to let it loose too soon. You know, before I felt I had the skillz to write it.  But no sense waiting, I suppose. The time is now! Carpe diem! YOLO! So it’s happening.

Wish me luck.

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