WARNING TO NON-NEW YEARS GOAL SETTERS
This post may bore you.
It will detail how I’ve arranged my goal setting for 2018, because I’ve never been faithful about getting these done. But I am 26 and it’s high time I figured out how to trick myself into accomplishing things. I am nothing if not systematic.
Also, this is scary. Because you may just keep me accountable.
FIRST, I listed what I actually want to do and where I want to be next December. Not the things I want to want to do, or feel pressure to do, but the things that I actually want to do. This takes brutal honesty and is not a bad barometer for how much I grew as a person in 2017. The fact is, I don’t particularly care about most things in life. But I do care about God, deepening my friendships, physical health, finishing my book, getting a single out, learning a language, playing a new instrument with a modicum of confidence, growing on social media, solitude, service and not living in total squalor.
SECOND, I accepted that most goals I had been setting weren’t even goals, really. For example, saying you want to lose 15 pounds isn’t a goal, it’s a dream. But saying that you will exercise 4x/week, avoid grains and sleep 8+ hours every night is a series of *attainable* goals. The result will likely be shedding those pounds. The first method–saying you want to lose 15 pounds or, worse, just “weight”–won’t get you anywhere but frustrated. This has been my experience, anyways.
THIRD, simplify. Set yourself up for actually getting it done. If you want to learn a language, start with one of the romance-based ones and not a cyrillic-based one. If you want to do a new physical activity, don’t join a rock-climbing gym an hour away. It ain’t gon’ happen. I tried it with UFC and 15 minutes is a long time, when you’re busy. Make it as easy as possible to succeed.
FINALLY, I whittled things down into daily goals. Here we go.
- BOOK: I have 25,000 words. So, for a 90,000 word first draft I need to write 200 words/day until December.
- HEALTH: Get to bed by midnight. Minimize processed grains. Exercise 3x/week for 30 – 60 minutes.
- MUSIC: Set up a photoshoot for single. Post about single 2x/week in February.
- LANGUAGE: I was born into a Spanish-speaking family and can understand it pretty well. So, let’s start there and not with Japanese! Duolingo Spanish for 20min/day.
- SOCIAL MEDIA: 2 photos/week. 1 video/week. 1 writing blurb/week.
- INSTRUMENT: Instead of trying to learn the theremin, let’s do guitar. Practice for 20min/day, to get those callouses going.
- CLEANLINESS: I tend to wait until things build up, before I clean. So I got a smaller laundry basket, wash a dish when I use it and try to make my bed every morning. When I see a bit of dirt or gunk, I wipe it in the moment.
- SOLITUDE: Instead of planning monthly getaways or trips the are unlikely to happen, I take time in the morning or in the afternoon to sit alone purposefully.
- GOD: Journal, read or pray in any combination for 20min+/day.
This has helped me in a big way. Being honest about what I actually want in 2018 was the first big step, especially because I have a rather suggestion-prone personality and a tendency to think every new bit of information must be incorporated into my life. The next move was actually turning things into concrete goals and making them a daily possibility. So far, I’m really happy with my progress!
I love talking about goal setting, so do comment. If you want to set goals but are exhausted by the mystery of making them happen like I was, I hope this helps you a bit.