A goal calendar. ISAAC SMITH/Contributed

When someone asks you, “What are your goals for the balance of 2020?” How does it make you feel?

Please take a moment to think about it. It is common to be so busy that you don’t stop to think about how something made you feel.

Does it make you:

  • Excited?
  • Motivated?
  • Anxious?
  • Overwhelmed?
  • Disappointed?

We are all so conditioned that we must have goals. “The bigger, the better!”  I have been there and still have goals, but I have learned to back it down a notch. 

I am going to go against the current school of thought and what other coaches and experts preach.

“What? I’ve been told to write down my goals every day.”’

Stop obsessing over goals.

Well, let me clarify.  

I have always been goal-oriented, but then last year, I became obsessed. Yes, truly obsessed with goals.  I had taken a course, and writing down your goals every day was pounded into our brains. Come October; I lost it. I hadn’t achieved my goals and thought I was a complete failure. The coach I hired never coached any of us that our goals were lofty and would take time. Of course, I knew it intuitively, but on the surface level, I was still striving. It stung, I was extremely disappointed, and I had to regroup.

What I started to do was take a step forward each day but a step back with my super high expectations.  And wow, did it make a difference. I focused on how I was feeling.

What does that look like?

  1. Each day take some action that moves you towards the future. Maybe it’s applying for a new job or it’s three smaller things, such as reaching out and networking with three people via social media (or gasp!) a handwritten note. Each day you will see it compound.  
  2. Have some goals, so you are focused, but then take allocated time every so often (example every three months) to reflect on what you have achieved.
  3. Celebrate those wins and be grateful that you stayed on a path. You would be surprised at the statistics of how many people do not finish something. I have heard that only three percent of people finish online courses. That is shocking. 

Imagine if you did one small thing each day towards your future, what it will look like one year / 365 days later. You would be happily surprised at the improvement you have made. You would feel good about yourself, vs. feeling disappointed.

James Altucher, the best selling author of “Choose Yourself,” writes about getting 1% better every day. That’s another great way to look at it. One percent better takes out the stress and anxiety of having to do so much. We can all do 1%  better in something and watch those results compound.

My husband and I have a whiteboard on our wall. I bought it at the beginning of 2019. At first, I had the year 2019 on it. Someone may chuckle at our very lofty goals. However, in October I realized it wasn’t going to happen in 2019. They are still our goals, but now it just says “Goals,” no year.  

We will accomplish our goals in due time, taking a few steps a day. And I am at peace with that.  

You can do that too.

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