This recent series of blog posts is about making time for yourself and then using your ME time wisely. In the first post in this series, I offered some time management tips that work for me. If you missed this post, check it out here. Now we need to hone into where you want this ME time to be spent, but first you need to pause and make a plan.
Make things happen
There are two main buckets of people. Those that wait for things to happen to them and those that make things happen. I prefer to surround myself with the people that make things happen. I find them more interesting to talk to, inspiring, and uplifting. Perhaps this explains why I have a sick fascination with reading true WW II stories about survivors of the Holocaust. I can’t get enough of the stories about the strength and perseverance these usually ordinary people had to fight through extreme and unbelievable circumstances. I love the movie Rudy and any true story about the underdogs setting a goal, believing they can do it, and making it happen.
I gotta have a goal. A personal goal is a plan for my success. Knowing where I want to go and be a month from now, by my next birthday, a year from now is crucial to my happiness. Other than maybe at your place of work, no one is going to set goals for us. It’s up to us to drive our own success.
Goals for me start with dreams. I’ve heard women don’t tend to dream big enough. I challenge you to dream big! Years ago, I did this dream exercise and have repeated it a few times for a dream check. See the image below. Take a piece of paper and fold it once lengthwise and one width wise so you have four sections. Label each section like the image below.
Grab a cup of coffee or a glass a wine and just start writing. There are no wrong answers and nothing is too lofty! Here are some examples of what is on my dream sheet for each category that is still ‘open’:
Things I want to do:
Scuba dive, complete a duathon, get a tatoo?, ride a bike around Hubbard Lake
Things I want to be:
Married after 50 years, an engaged grandmother, current on scrapbooks, debt free!
Things I want to buy/have:
diamond earrings, screened in porch, closet organizer, personal chef
Places I want to go:
Alaska, Disney cruise, Portugal, family mission trip, RV trip in New England
My ‘get it done in a lifetime’ dream sheet has since morphed into a ’50 before 50 list’ – it’s basically 50 goals I want to achieve before I celebrate my 50th birthday. I’ll share this with you in a future post!
Short-term goal setting
Next, take these dreams or long term goal lists and define what we want to accomplish in the next year.
When to do your goal setting? Most Americans do this once a year as part of their New Year’s Resolutions. I used to, too. However, I find that over New Year’s Eve and Day you are just coming out of a crazed compacted time period where you have been binge eating and usually lazy as heck. It’s normally chilly and you just want to feel and be comfortable. If New Year’s goal setting is working for you, by all means keep doing it! For me, there are better times of the year to set goals and set myself up for success. With school age kids, I find that the back to school time is best to revisit personal goals. Everyone’s switching up the schedule and you have time to figure out the plan and then plan to do the work. Another time of the year to tweak your personal goals is in the spring. Nothing like warmer weather to get you motivated to complete projects and work on your personal health. A third potential time to re-evaluate is around your birthday. Mine is in July so again close to going back to school but I love to visualize where I’ll be by my next birthday and work toward it.
Most women I talk to, especially sandwichers, have one common personal goal around becoming more fit. Specifically this means eating better or cleaner and exercising more. It’s the evergreen goal that never goes away. Most women summarize it as ‘lose weight’ but I have cured myself from focusing on the scale to define my happiness so I don’t advocate you putting ‘lose weight’ as one of your goals. Instead, my one big fit goal for 2015 is to achieve and maintain 18-20% body fat. Since I anticipate becoming healthier is a common goal for many of us, I want to focus on this area as an example of defining short term goals. I’m going to bust up the overall’ become healthier’ goal into 4 specific areas: fitness, food, sleep and learning and share my specific current goals in these areas to give you an idea of who specific they need to be.
Cardio exercise 5 days a week for 40 minutes at target heart rate of 135
Strength train 3 days a week for a total body workout
Create a weekly dinner meal plan including at least 4 home cooked dinners
Prepare breakfast and lunches for the week on Sundays
Avoid grains, dairy, and sugar 6 days a week
Lights out by 10 pm results in 7 hours of sleep
Read 2 books a month
Listen to 4 business building podcast episodes a week
Believe you will achieve
Write your goals down and post them where you can see them. Share your goals with people who care about your success. This will keep you accountable and focused and give you the support you need.
Don’t beat yourself up when things go awry one day, one week, or even one month. Life happens. I’m certainly not perfect. I’m a work in progress and striving toward being better each day. This is my sincere hope for each of you. I know that when I take better care of myself, I have the mental and physical energy that is required to take care of my family.
What do you struggle with most in personal goal setting? Have you scheduled time on your calendar to execute upon your personal goals? What’s one thing you can do TODAY to work toward one of your goals? I believe in you!!! Let’s dig in!