Goal setting is an important part of growing up and developing routines that can lead to dipping our toes into what we hope to be life long habits, professions and passions. Every year more and more of us make goals and don’t end up revisiting those same goals past the first 2-3 moths of the new year.
Over the years, I’ve developed a few practices to help me remain consistent with my short-term and long-term goals. They are by no means exhaustive, but they have helped me to make good progress, and I want to share them with you!
- Anticipate Interruptions
Family needs you. Washing powder runs out and that assignment is actually due this week instead of next. Be okay with starting, stopping, and coming back to your work – just make sure you actually come back within the next two days. After a more than two days, you’ll find it even harder to start again.
- Make your goals portable
Leave the cute tiny purse at home and find a spacious satchel, messenger bag, knapsack or wheeled bag (save your back) to lug your planner and tablet. You need to be able to carry your planner, workbooks, laptop or tablet, camera or any other materials/equipment you may need to setup a mobile workspace. You can try to cram it all into your cute MK hobo, but I guarantee you’ll have a sore shoulder by Wednesday (trust me, I know). Don’t let being on the go slow your progress.
- Make every minute count
Disclaimer: downtime during a workday is not a license to use company resources to work on your personal stuff; but lunch breaks and as gross as it may sound, bathroom breaks are the perfect times to flush out ideas (no pun intended) and get a jumpstart on your devotional, next blog post, query emails or LinkedIn profile. When you’re investing in your dreams, every minute counts.
- Find Ways to keep yourself Accountable
Make your goals public – IG them, blog them, email them – whatever you need to do to help yourself stay on track. Start a challenge with your friends, family or audience to see what you can accomplish in community. Placing reminders on my phone, in my planners and on my desk help me remember the purpose of what I’m doing and why.
- Don’t forget you are on a journey
It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of success and forget that everyone’s journey is unique. If you’re comparing your three months of newbie blogging to a three year blogging veteran, you will always feel like the losing team because of an unbalanced comparison. Look at the established influencers for inspiration, but stick with those only a step or three ahead of you for the purpose of motivation and research. Having someone in the same grind with as you, gives you a sense of relief and breeds more room for possible partnership. Remember: Comparison kills creativity. The world needs your voice, your ideas, and your story. Don’t become another copycat.
- Don’t lose focus:
It’s easy to get distracted in the moving parts of reaching your goal instead of remembering the big picture. Make revisiting your big goal for refocusing a routine practice. We all get a little distracted every now and then so don’t be hard on yourself. We all want to be doers, but platform building, email lists and growing an audience can be enough to drive you crazy. Remember that your platform means NOTHING without your writing. Focus on your sweet spot and set specific times for mechanics like marketing, branding, networking and web maintenance ect.
- Don’t ignore your source
Someone or some situation inspired or influenced the passions that lead to your goal. Whether it’s God laying it on your heart, inspired by a family member or friends, or born out of frustration and pain, don’t forget what brought you to this point. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and how you would feel a year from now if it didn’t happen.
- Clear your mental space
If you’re house/office needs cleaning, homework is waiting to be completed, laundry is piled up or your meal prep is non-existent, even a scheduled hustle hour won’t be as fruitful. Declutter your mind and free-up more mental space by eliminating no brainers, weekly priority items and routine to-dos. Have designated days and times that don’t conflict with your goaling sessions. Do them throughout the week to leave bigger chunks of time available on the weekends. Dump it by doing it and getting it out of the way!
- Goal Session planning and task breakdown
If you want to be really consistent with working on your goals, having monthly, weekly and daily planning routines really help to make one gigantic goal more digestible by breaking it down into smaller, daily achievables.
- Use technology to compliment your strategy and hold yourself accountable.
- The Evernote is my FAVORITE go-to tool for organizing my thoughts. Whatever I save on my phone is accessible from any computer and (1) additional device of my own on the free plan. Ditch the blah notepad that comes on every mobile phone and start using Evernote!
- Integrate all of your calendars. What happens when your work computer crashes or you can’t access the fb event to find the address you’re headed to? Use your personal email calendar and your work calendar to keep you on top of everything you’re scheduled to do. This method has save my butt so many times! Whether I was running late, out sick or having an off-day, the gentle reminders that a meeting was happening at 10:30AM or that I needed to buy a gift for a party that weekend made life ten times easier.
- If you’re a list person, write it down and digitize it by simply taking a picture or download an app for task completion
- Reminder: Your phone can help you succeed and not just distract you. Use your phone to link all of your email accounts (in use) and set a recurring day and time for getting specific task completed. These tasks can include time to plan, to write, to work on your blog, or to complete a work or home-related task. This little hack has helped me establish consistent routines for working on my first book, getting my blog up and running, keeping up with work and grad school and having enough socks to make it through the week. There are also plenty of apps dedicated to helping you schedule reminders, complete tasks and visually track your progress. For me, integrating my google calendar and outlook have worked best, but checkout these apps below that have great reviews if you need an extra nudge to get things done.
Now that you have a few strategies in mind for how to conquer your writing goals, blogging goals, or life goals, make sure you implement what you learned right away. Don’t read another blog post, click another pin or check any of your social media streams until you have put a few tasks on your calendar for this week.
Was any of this helpful? If so, I’d love to know!
To our Becoming,