The first step in accomplishing a goal is to write it down. Jobs in the past have asked me to set down goals and then take time throughout the employment to pause and self-assess my progress. I would sit down, read over my goals, see how I had met them or worked toward meeting them, and then adjust – either setting smaller, more specific goals to move me forward toward the original goals, or setting new goals because the old goals had been accomplished.
At this point in my life I do not have a boss looking over my shoulder to see if I’m setting goals, but I have adopted it as a lifestyle. Every once in a while it’s good to check in and remind yourself what you’re working for and what you’re working towards. I work best with checklists and spreadsheets. I appreciate very specific expectations, even when I’m the one setting them.
Every January I set myself goals for the year and then set myself up to make them happen. I want to read 100 books every year, so I set that goal on GoodReads.com and make sure my To Be Read list is stocked full of book options. I also joined a Facebook Book Club that is ripe with book recommendations and conversations. GoodReads lets me know when I am on track to meet my goal, ahead, or behind. These things help me reach my goal.
This year I set a goal of writing 500 words a day. Then I made a spreadsheet where I keep track of what I write down every day. My spreadsheet lets me know when I am on track to meet my goal, ahead, or behind. I have an accountability partner who cares about whether or not I’m writing. These things help me reach my goal.
This past weekend I started dreaming about the future, as I often do, and I started thinking about bigger life goals that I have, goals that can’t be assigned a due date. I decided to write them all down and take some time to see how I am doing at meeting those goals. Some of them are very specific (“get residency in the DR”) and some are a little more vague (like, “be adventurous in my ‘career’” – “career” in quotes because I like to keep it loosey goosey when it comes to my career). Some of them are completely in my control, like writing and self-publishing a book, and some of them are a little more outside my control, like becoming a wife (do you know anyone?).
But the common theme among all my goals is, of course, ME. I am the boss of my life! And the first step to accomplishing all of these goals is to write them down and define them to have something to work towards.
The second step is to break down what I need to do to reach those goals. Looking again at the example of being adventurous or open in my “career,” I am content with how I am currently meeting that goal. I am a teacher, but I’m also a freelance writer and a hostel manager. I’m keeping myself open to new ways to earn money and to learn and grow. Check and check.
I encourage you to write down some of your goals and dreams and to share them with someone. We would love to hear about them here! Glennon Doyle once talked about how writing is like sharing your very self, holding out a handful of dirt to the world, only to have the world point out that what you’re holding is gold. Those are your dreams, sisters. They are your very self, and they are gold.
Dreams don’t have to be big, huge things. They can be dreams like… get a dog, dye my hair, try being a vegetarian, drink more water, reconnect with an old friend, be social once a week (something I’ve yet to make a spreadsheet for, but probably should). They can also be big things like… move to a new country, go back to school, become a parent, buy a house, learn a new language, be more gentle (that was a goal of mine once – it’s still in progress). The best thing about dreams and goals is that they are YOURS! Yours to dream up and write down and outline and then yours to accomplish.
Dream big, sister. You got this.
Con cuidado y amor,