July 1st was this past Monday and also marked the halfway point of the year. Holy moly. Where has this year gone?
I took this opportunity to think about what I want the remainder of the year to look like. Call it goals, intentions or objectives but they are all things I’d like to accomplish to rock the rest of the year out.
I wrote these down and have them posted in front of my desk that I sit at everyday. To make things happen I practice a few different thought processes I’ve learned from many hours of reading and learning from mentors, speakers and teachers. I hope it helps you too. Let’s rock the rest of 2013 together, shall we?!
Be clear on your ‘why.’
Sometimes, we create goals without total clarity on why we are doing them in the first place. We think it’s what we “should” do. We think it will make us look cool or get us more likes on Facebook. We think it will bring us more money or success in the worldly sense. Those reasons why will not hold up in the end.
Your motivation to do something has to be deeply personal and has to come from within- not from something external that you seek outside of yourself. When you work towards anything and you lose motivation, it’s your ‘why’ that keeps you going and moving forward. Some examples of my goals:
- Blog once a week- to practice discipline and processing my thoughts and ideas.
- Travel to two cities and one country: to expand my perception on different ways to live.
- Zumba instructor training: to gain more tools to help more people not be afraid to dance
Define success on your terms.
When you set out to accomplish your goal, be specific about success looks like. Will you succeed if you finish writing that book or if you get it in front of two publishers? You get to define what success means- no one else. Like the first point, make success deeply personal to you.
Some examples from my own goals.
- Complete Tough Mudder- I will succeed if I finish, no matter how long it takes.
- Since once more in a public setting- Singing at a performance venue or at an open mic with instrument accompaniment (aka not a karaoke bar)
Take small steps each day.
Accomplishing a goal can oftentimes mean establishing new habits. It can feel overwhelming when you fixate on the end goal. Rather than being consumed with the huge looming goal, think about one thing you can do that day or that week that will get you closer. Biting off your goal one chunk at a time eventually builds a habit.
In an excerpt of his book, The Kaizen Way: One Small Step Can Change Your Life, behavioral psychologist, Robert Maurer, argues that changing your habits starts with small, almost trivial steps. If you want to complete a running race, start by jogging one block and turning around. If you want to stop eating sweets, eat one less bite of your favorite pastry today. If you want to get into a writing habit, write one sentence per day. These small wins create the motivation to improve incrementally and eventually help you to see that the big goal isn’t so scary after all!
This process creates lasting change, rather than the quick fixes we look for like fad diets or other extreme life changes.
To take it further, once you start to see progress, you can create milestones to serve as guideposts to help you move forward and closer to your goal. Using my own goals as examples:
- Find a business/life accountability group- When returning from World Domination Summit organize a meetup with people you meet from San Francisco that could be potential group members.
- Complete Tough Mudder- Hold plank for 6 minutes by September 1st
I wrote my goals on a whiteboard at first to create accountability for myself. If I had my own words staring at me everyday on my desk it would be a good reminder and kick in the butt. But I also wrote this blog so anyone that reads it will see. I have people I am either collaborating with or consulting on some of my goals so that further creates a deeper level of accountability.
I might fail to accomplish many of these goals but that’s okay. Life happens and things change. I don’t set out to do something with the expectations that I will be perfect. But it’s important for me to work towards things anyway.
What are some of the ways you accomplish goals? Do you have goals at all? (Leo Babauto doesn’t believe in them!). If this is helpful at all to you, please let me know!
Cheers to a great rest of 2013!
Jeffrey Trull says
I definitely think goals of some sort are important. I see where Leo’s going with it, but I’m skeptical that would work for me or most people.
Creating a punishment system with an anti-charity has worked best for me. Last fall I made myself donate to the presidential campaign of the candidate I was NOT supporting whenever I missed weekly goals. It really sucked to send him $30 and then get a letter saying “Welcome to our team!”
I’m also a big fan of setting short-term goals, too. I have a hard time with yearly resolutions, so I prefer to break goals down into smaller steps that I can accomplish gradually.
Ahhhh, just realized 2013 is half over! Enjoy it!
That’s an awesome extrinsic way to keep yourself motivated! And yes, I agree that so much non-structure would not work for others, like it does Leo.
Here’s to a great second half of 2013!
Erin McNaughton says
I love the idea of having a strong WHY behind the items on your list, and I’m sure that makes it easier to put you’re full effort into everything you’re working towards. Thanks for sharing–I always love seeing what other are doing and accomplishing. It’s truly amazing what we can do when we put our mind to our heart’s desires. Here’s to a strong finish to the year!