We all have goals and aspirations.
And until recently, I was apt to share them with whomever would listen.
I’m doing “this and that,” I’d say. Sometimes my goals would change, “actually, I’m doing that and this.”
I loved sharing my goals because it was like it was proving to others (and perhaps more to myself) that I was “on my way” and going places.
But then I came across this thought-provoking video over at Ted Talk.
This brings a whole new meaning to the term, “sharing goals.”
You’d think that would be the thing to do, too. You know, have someone else hold you accountable so that you’re more likely to achieve your goals.
But you know, after watching this video, I began to realize that my own goal-sharing and telling others of my plans had, over time, backfired.
Instead of people getting excited about my goals, they’d become apathetic. Perhaps it was because I sometimes got a little over-zealous and would share my aspirations like crazy.
Or maybe it was because I reminded people of their own goals and what they’d like to accomplish…but had not.
Or maybe they were so wrapped up in their own goal-sharing, that sharing mine was like overkill.
Any way I looked at it, the goals I HAD shared, more often than not, fizzled out. I didn’t achieve them.
The personal goals I hadn’t shared? I looked back and I think I accomplished more.
For example, I never shared with my parents my goal to graduate college early. I can’t recall if I shared that fact with anyone else. I knew what I wanted to do and I went for it.
I graduated college (the first time around) in 3.5 years.
Similarly, I never shared with my family that when I graduated college, I was going to move out and find a place of my own (I admit here that this was because I didn’t want them to take offense at my wanting to leave; it was time to spread my wings, though.)
I graduated on a Friday. The following week I lived 3 hours away and had found a job there, too.
But the goals I have shared? I feel like I’ve accomplished less.
Last November, I told everyone I was writing a novel for NaNoWriMo. I was sure I was going to publish it, and told everyone that was my goal.
Two days into December, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. My novel became rather autobiographical and I just wasn’t feeling it. At all. And so much for that goal. Oh well.
But having goals is what drives me.
So I’m experimenting. People can share their goals all they want. But I am keeping mine to myself.
To be sure, I actually have hundreds of goals.
Awhile ago, I decided to get really serious about some goals for myself.
I found a notebook/journal and didn’t like the cover.
I wanted to decorate it myself. I got a piece of canvas, glued it to the cover, and used Sharpie markers to write on and decorate it. I glued on four beads and a felt sticker to add to the design.
It came with a pen and I used Sharpie markers to decorate that, too.
I also made a bookmark out of hemp rope and beads.
After I finished making this notebook all my own, I sat down to work out all my goals for the year 2013.
And yes, having a fancy notebook motivates me to want to use my notebook and consult it for all my goal-making desires.
Working Out My Goals
The first thing I did was to write out all my yearly goals.
The trick is writing things that you can actually achieve while still pushing yourself a little more than you think you can do.
The way to do this is come up with where you want to be in one year, and be realistic. If you’re making $30,000 in a given year and in the next you want to make $1,000,000, well, I don’t want to be the bearer of sobering news, but that’s probably not going to happen. Note I said “probably.” Stranger things have happened.
But, let’s say you wanted to make $50,000 in the next year and you’re at the $30,000 mark.
That’s rather achievable, don’t you think?
Here’s another example:
Let’s say you want to write a book. A yearly goal could be “Finish Writing my Memoir.”
So, think of goals that you feel pretty comfortable achieving in one year but that will make you push yourself, too.
Then, onto the monthly goals
Once you’ve figured out where you want to be in a year, start with the current month and figure out what you need to accomplish to help you achieve your yearly goals.
Going back to the above example, how are you going to accomplish writing that book in a year?
If the average book is 80,000 words, you can break down your goal into month-by-month time frames: each month you’ll need to write just over 6,500 words and each week you’ll need to write over 1,625 words and each day at least 240 words.
So now, you have yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals that you’ve given yourself.
The trick is to configure your monthly goals into smaller achievable bits that will help you achieve your yearly goals.
Once you have figured out the current month’s goals (and perhaps a few months after that), begin working on your weekly goals and then your daily goals.
But don’t just write down your goals and forget about them. COMMIT to doing them, at all costs.
You read that right. If it gets written down, commit to achieving those goals, no matter what.
If they change, that’s okay. Just cross off the goal and rewrite the new one and why you crossed off the old one.
As you achieve your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals, check them off.
Read your yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals aloud to yourself each day.
By doing this, you’re committing your goals to memory, holding yourself accountable to them, and etching them into your subconscious mind.
Then tell people what you achieved if you want, or just show them, but after the fact.
And that’s what I’m doing with this blog. So as you see each post, it’s a reflection of a goal I had or something that I crossed off my list.