Life happens. I get it! We get wrapped up in our daily tasks and before we know it the years have flown by and we feel like all those things we said we wanted to do are nowhere closer to being done. I have two young kids and someone recently told be that the days are long, but the years fly by. This could not be a better summary of my life and I am sure you are feeling the same! So what do we do about it? How do we get out of the daily rut and start taking action towards the life we want to live?
I know what you are thinking – “I have tried that!” “Who has time for that?” “Where would I even start?”
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am about to share a meaningful and actionable plan to set, act and achieve your goals.
Nowadays there are all these tactics that people swear by like S.M.A.R.T. goals and vision boards and whatever the next thing is. They are helpful tools and for some people, it is the only way to live. For me, I prefer simplicity. So – here we go!
Map out your dream life. The sky is the limit! Jot down anything that comes to mind even if it seems impossible or unattainable. You cannot achieve it if you do not try, so shoot for the moon at this point. If you miss, you will at least land among the stars! Here are some questions to help get you started.
What kind of life do you want?
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
What was your childhood dream?
What brings joy to your heart?
CLEAR THINGS UP!!
You have just put a brain dump of a bunch of ideas on paper. Some of them are real dreams and things that are going to bring you joy. Some of them are probably popular sayings or general terms that the world around us has ingrained in us unconsciously.
So take each of your B I G D R E A M S and sit with them. Detail them out and make it extremely clear what the end would look like to you. Remind yourself in this process that creating a life for others does not bring us individual happiness, so make these details personal and meaningful to Y O U !!
What does that mean to me?
How many times or how often should I do this?
If I had ____, what would I do?
Does this dream come from a place of ego or social pressure?
NARROW IT DOWN!!
There are plenty of studies to back me up on this, but it also seems like common sense that you can’t tackle everything at once. In order to create lasting change, we have to see and feel frequent accomplishment to stay on track. Think about when you first start a new workout regimen. You don’t start out at 100% every day. This would make you sore burning you out faster before you ever see any results. This is the same type of logic we have to apply to goal setting.
I suggest you pick 3 long term goals to focus on at a time. You can give yourself a set amount of time to focus on them – say 6 months – before you reflect on your plan and progress. Based on the reflection, you could chose different goals or the same goals, you can choose to continue with the plan you’re on or adjust to fit the new normal you have built.
This is Y O U R life and it is ever changing. Although the ultimate goal will probably always look the same, the route in which you take to get there could be an ever changing, fluid document.
Think of a river. They are always flowing downstream, moving in the same general direction and dumping out in the same ocean. But the terrain changes and over time rivers can change there coarse and cut through the land completely removing certain twists and turns. This is your life. The water isn’t stopping, but our paths can change.
When choosing which goals to focus on ask yourself a few questions.
If this part of my life is the same in a year, how will I feel?
Does accomplishing this goal give me better footing to achieve other goals?
How will I feel when I reach the end?
BREAK IT DOWN!!
Now take each of the chosen dreams and identify one action that will put you closer to that goal. Dig deep and be honest with yourself on what it will take to get to the end. You might even have to write down what you will have to sacrifice or give up to achieve this goal. Knowing this on the front end will help you stay on track when life throws you curve balls.
For example, my husband and I recently sat down together to talk about our short and long term goals. It is important to both of us to get out of credit card debt – C O M P L E T E L Y ! We talked about how we got there and what it was going to take to get out. When we spoke about the past, it was hard, but we really focused on not placing blame. The idea of looking backwards on this goal is to better understand how we got there and why we felt we needed the things we did at the time to buy them on a credit card instead of money we had in the bank. For us, a lot of it was due to lack of income, so we ended up being forced to put some of our “life necessities” on credit card. Things like the electric bill. So we talked openly about how much money we need for essentials monthly and what our income currently is. We made some adjustments to ensure we were living within our means, but we also made plans for the future. How much and which credit cards to focus paying off first? What happens with the money my husband makes on commissions? As much as mama wants a new pair of shoes, we as a family agreed on these gals, so it makes the decision a little bit easier when I get tempted to press the purchase button.
What are your priorities?
What do you have to give up to achieve your goals?
Why is your goal more important to you than the things you are sacrificing?
Once you have a list of bite size chunks, set a timeline to keep yourself accountable and measure progress against. We all feel better when there is something checked off the to-do list.
When you break it down into bite size chunks it doesn’t seem so scary and it makes Y O U R D R E A M S all the more achievable. Plus, it gives you more drive to keep up the hard work because you are seeing constant change towards the life you want.
I am serious! Share your goals with others. Tell people what you are working towards. Your circle wants to see you happy and see you grow. Sometimes they can even help you!! At the very least, they will better understand you and better understand why you are making the decisions and sacrifices that you are. They should also be encouraging you and the very best part is they will help you stay A C C O U N T A B L E !!
It can only be beneficial if you share your goals with others. And in complete transparency, if your circle is not doing the above (support, understand, encourage, etc.), then should they be in your circle? Maybe that person is something you need to sacrifice to achieve your dreams!
Give it a try cause, let’s be honest….