Discovering Your True Goals

Hello, hello! It’s Brittni from papernstitch. And this week I am departing from my typical art roundup. Not to worry, I’ll be back to finding amazing artwork in two weeks for my next post. But today, I wanted to talk about something that’s been on my mind a lot lately: goals. What? Goals? Tomorrow is the first day of February, why would I be talking about goals now? Isn’t that a January topic?

Well, according to statistics, many of us have already thrown our resolutions and goals for the year out the window. Or simply, forgotten about them. And by the end of the year, almost 80% of us will have abandoned our once exciting, dreamy, “absolutely going to make sure this happens” goals for the year.

Why is that? Certainly, we all have the best of intentions at the start. But eventually the glimmer and potential of the new year starts to fade. And, well, many of us wind up being a part of that “failed” statistic. But I have a plan to get myself (and you) through to the other side this year!

So let me start with a story.

As soon as January rolled around, my husband had a mini list of goals and resolutions nicely typed up, printed, and taped to the wall right above his desk. Last year, same thing. In fact, he kept that piece of paper up the entire year. Kudos to him for keeping track. But the thing is, and he might get (a tiny bit) pissed at me for saying this, although he kept the piece of paper in plain sight, so he’d always remember, he only crossed a few things off the list as ever being accomplished.

And I think that is something that a lot of us fall in to. I know I have: Setting lofty goals that are difficult to measure. Not being specific enough or taken the time to get serious enough. And eventually throwing in the towel on crossing anything off the list. But that’s exactly the problem:

Setting lofty goals on January 1st doesn’t get you any closer to accomplishing them by December 31st.

So, what’s a girl (or guy) to do? I’ll tell you minute, but let me finish my story first…

So anyway, a question naturally arises as we are coming down from the holiday-high and getting back into normalcy; and he says, “So, what are your goals for the new year?“. And you know what happened? I froze. I literally had nothing to say. And it felt really strange. Nothing came to mind when the question was posed. And I suppose I hadn’t given the new year much thought being as though it was only the 2nd or 3rd at that point. But I felt silly nevertheless. Silly because I didn’t have it all planned out (heaven-forbid you don’t know your 2011 goals on January 1st, 2011!). And even more importantly than that, for some reason, I just didn’t ¬†know where to start.

So, I wallowed in self-pitty for a day or two and finally came to the conclusion that it really didn’t matter the exact date that I wrote down my tiny list of goals and taped it to my wall for all to see.

What really mattered was figuring out what I truly wanted to accomplish.

Because if I could figure out what I truly (and very specifically)¬†wanted, what I truly (and very specifically) needed deep down for the next year, I’d be far more likely to accomplish my goals. And guess what? The same is true for you.

So, I am inviting you to take a look at that list of goals that you have (probably) already created for the year and ask yourself a few simple questions.

1. Is this something I truly (deep down inside – burning desire) want and need?

2. Is this goal specific enough to accomplish without question?

*If the answer is no, than you need to break that goal down into smaller chunks. Make it more detailed. More specific. Write down the steps you need to take in order to accomplish that larger goal and turn that new list into a set of mini tasks.

3. Is this achievable or too far-fetched?

*If the answer is too far-fetched, rein it in. Narrow it down. Make it something that can be achieved. You don’t have to make it easy, just attainable – somewhere in the realm of possibility.

And that’s really it. If you’ve been struggling with your goals so far in the new year, try this method and see what happens. It worked for me.

And don’t forget to write it down! That helps. I promise.

P.S. If you need help tracking your goals in the new year, pick up your free Track This! worksheet now.

7 thoughts on “Discovering Your True Goals

  1. I think number 2 is the most important point. For this year I have a few grand all encompassing goals, but they will never happen if I leave it at that. I am setting more specific monthy goals that are small steps on the way. My plan is to review my progress at the beginning of each month, and then set appropriate new goals. I am also finding that because one of my goals is blogging, that writing about my progess helps keep me focused. (with the side beneifit of giving me something to blog about!)

  2. At the start of the year I had goals, big and small. Since I know that I can’t make them all happen at once, I’ve taken some of the smaller goals and spaced them out so that each month that comes along I can focus on a different small goal. It is definitely good to look more deeply and think about what is truly important and how to achieve that.

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