Finally – my goals for 2010 – and some thoughts on launching your goals

Posted on January 11, 2010

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Ta-daa!  My beautiful goals for 2010, finally, have taken form.  I will post them on the home page so I can see them every day (as will my accountability buddies).  In writing them down, I tried to keep a few principles in mind: (1) to pick just a manageable number of goals, (2) to pick goals that mean something great to ME and (3) to inject some fun and MAGIC into them.  I tried (4) to set stretch goals – goals that go beyond anything I’ve accomplished in the past.  I also (5) set some really easy/fun goals, e.g., ‘connect with friends’ that I will give myself liberal credit for because they bring me a lot of pleasure for the level of effort.  Not everything has to be hard in order for this year to be AWESOME.  Hopefully these principles will maximize my chances of success.  Also, some of my goals focused less on ACCOMPLISHING awe-inspiring tasks and more on what I could do to make myself and my family happy.  Those goals don’t require fire, acrobatics or astonishing feats, they just require attention, but they produce a lot of bang for the buck, and they’re important to me, so they’re there.

I also had to keep in mind my own strengths and weaknesses when formulating my goals.  Specifically, for something like exercising, I LOVE the results – but sometimes have trouble motivating.  So, for me, breaking it down into the smallest reasonable size (20 minutes) and making it a daily thing – hopefully to generate a new, joyful habit – will make it more likely I’ll succeed.  For more disciplined people, scheduling longer exercise sessions 3 times per week might work better.  I also allowed myself some fun alternatives, like dancing or hula hooping, on days when running or walking seem too hard or boring.

Each goal’s sub-parts had both fun/easy elements and harder, longer term efforts.  Being able to check off something easy like “register for race” helps me to see progress without requiring a lot of effort.  Plus, even though the act of registering was easy, it also served as an act of commitment (in the past I sometimes waited until the last minute to register for races or other events ‘just in case’ things didn’t work out as I planned.  But waiting to register was just a way to delay making a commitment.  This year, I’m committed).

Thoughts on Successful Execution:

1. Have some goals/actions set to fire off in the 2nd half of the year.  Put them on your list – but schedule them to begin later in the year.  You can keep the total number of activities manageable by splitting up the number of goals you’re working on at any one time, and, by scheduling important goals later in the year, you have something to look forward to.  So long as it’s on the list, even if it’s not currently active, it won’t niggle at your mind and become a source of guilt.

2. Schedule time to check your own progress – at intervals that make sense for your plan.  I have a number of goals that I’d like to chip away at on a daily basis, so I plan to check in on my progress on a weekly basis.  Other goals have longer timelines, and I may check on progress on a monthly or quarterly basis.  Checking in reinforces the sense of progress that makes this a fun process, but it also allows you to refine and adjust based on your experience to date.  Which leads me to my last hint:

3. Adjust your goals, if it makes sense.  A lot of times, we set goals without having a complete idea of what we need to succeed.  As you progress, you  develop more and better information about what you’re trying to accomplish.  Sometimes, you’re crushing your goals early on and you want a bigger challenge.  Sometimes life happens.  Give yourself permission to tweak those goals over the year.  This is a learning process, and tweaking your goals doesn’t mean you have failed.  In fact, it may mean that you’re crafting your goals for an even better outcome.  Just keep in mind, as you tweak, WHY is this my goal?   What values am I supporting or building or strengthening?  How can I continue to support those values by adjusting this goal?

4. Look for ‘twofer’ opportunities.  There are things that I can do that will move the needle for more than one goal.  I can connect with friends while brainstorming on job possibilities.  I can run with my husband or dance with my kids.  Which brings me to my next point . . .

5. Give yourself liberal credit for progress.  Every corporate employee knows that, sometimes, success is when we declare victory.  You are not trying to achieve perfection, and, if you learned and grew during this process, you’ve accomplished something.  Declare victory!  You deserve it.

So, without further ado, here are MY goals for 2010 (click for details):

1. Write!

2. Get a (paying) job!

3. Love my body!

4. Play with my family!

5. Connect with friends!

6. Make or appreciate art or music!

And one resolution: Don’t save the good stuff.

How about you?  Do you have your goals written out?  Accountability partners in place?  Timeframes established?  Excellent!  Let us proceed to the great adventure.  (Whether you’re flying high with great goals or feeling stuck – SHARE!  I’d love to cheer, brainstorm, nag or whatever you need to make this year awesome.)

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