Every so often (ok, all the time…I’m a bit neurotic…) I tweak my “current” goals. I have long-term goals and short-term goals. I freaking love goals. I love making them. In fact, every birthday I have I take immense joy in creating new goals as I enter a new year of life. It’s seriously one of my favorite guilty pleasures about my birthday. Just leave me alone for a few hours and let me stay in bed with a cup of coffee and a new (I have to start a new one) journal and let me brainstorm what I want to do with my life.
I love analyzing my goals. I love reflecting on the progress I’ve made. I even have a journal where I log my daily + and – as far as what I’ve accomplished. So yes, maybe I am a bit neurotic, but I find being mindful about goals and progress made toward accomplishing goals is so important. It’s one thing to make a goal and throw it out there in the world. It’s another thing to actually do what you intend to accomplish.
For example, I have a friend. She’ll set a goal. Let’s take the goal she seems to have every year: losing weight. All too often I’ll hear her say “by my birthday I want to lose ten pounds.” (She probably needs to lose about 50 pounds, but that’s another story.)
Her birthday will come and go, and she’ll be 10 lbs heavier.
I’ll hear her make excuses. It’s called cognitive dissonance. She’ll “backwards rationalize” anything in her life. She’ll say “I tried.” Or “oh well, next time.”
What’s the point of the goal?
It could be anything. This same friend also says she wants to be a writer. She doesn’t write anything. Time will come and go and still nothing written down. She’s full of excuses: work, kid, commute, busy, busy, busy!
That’s why I believe it’s so important to track your progress toward your goal. Think about it: even if you did just a little tiny bit a day, it’s still better than NOTHING. And if you added all the tiny bits together, what you’ll eventually get is some serious progress. Progress toward your goals= the whole entire point.
For me, my current “immediate” goals are the following:
1. write 1000 words/day.
2. improve my craft
4. potty train my daughter
5. teach my son to read
6. run 6x/week
7. be kinder to myself.
As mentioned earlier, I journal. A lot. I like online journaling but I still love old fashion paper and pen journals too. I have journals for vacations. Journals to chart my writing progress, and then just plain old regular daily life journals where I write about my days and keep track of my goals and progress. This is where I record everything and look back to when I’m wondering how far away or how close I’ve come to my goals. Writing things down is a beautiful thing. It preserves information. It helps us remember and reflect and learn and grow.
I still have a lot of growing and learning to do, and that’s the beauty of life. You can life your entire life and never learn everything. Isn’t that a great thing? Keeps things interesting.