Does the thought of setting a goal bring up feelings of anxiety, overwhelm and failure? You’re not alone.
I didn’t write my goals down for the longest time because I felt like writing them down only gave me a solid opportunity to fail when I didn’t achieve them. The expectations we put on ourselves are insane. We don’t even realize we’re doing it. If you listen to your thoughts more – you will hear constant reminders of how you are failing to meet an expectation you may or may not have even known you made for yourself. I will be covering expectations in the future…but for now, just start listening to yourself.
Catch some of those 60,000 thoughts you have a day. Are you subconsciously expecting yourself to act a certain way, look a certain way or be a certain person, then berating yourself all day long when you aren’t living up to that? How can you win? Do you realize that the expectation is your creation? That means you can change it. You can decide to stop expecting more from yourself than you (or anyone else) is capable of doing. You can also decide to be okay with that. Perfection is NOT a goal. Why be your worst critic when you can choose to be your best cheerleader? If someone offered you 5 different lives to pick from on a platter…wouldn’t you choose the best one?
Start with writing down your goals. Get your journal, a piece of paper, or a sticky note. Write down 10 things you want right now. Here are some categories you can pick goals in and some goal examples to help you get started:
Parenting – I want to be better at being present with my children when I am with them.
Career – I want to go back to school to further my career.
Fitness/Wellness/Health – I want to drink double the amount of water I drink now.
Marriage – I want to go on a date night once a month.
Relationships – I want to grow the relationships I have with extended family by connecting more often.
Friendships – I want to make more time to catch up with old friends.
Productivity – I want to increase my productivity at home by setting up a chore chart for everyone.
Positivity/Negativity – I want to get better at noticing negative thoughts and replacing negative words with positive ones.
Finances – I want to open a Savings account.
Now that you’ve got these goals out of your head you can clear some space to start knocking some of them out. Journaling is hard at first. I fought it tooth and nail until I let go of my expectations around it and just started writing. I wanted the pages to be organized, look pretty and make sense. It was stressing me out. I finally bought 3 journals to satisfy my need for neatness so that I could actually write.
I use one for dreams, goals, ideas and things I want to focus on, study or learn more about.
I use one for daily journaling – I write out my current thoughts, worries, fears and joys here. I even write how I feel about the food I ate that day or how I’m feeling related to my cycle here.
I have one more that I use only to write down my daily gratitudes. I keep it by my bed and write out 5-10 things I’m grateful for. Having to write 10 specific things you are grateful for everyday keeps you in a gratitude mindset all day long – you will be searching for those things to write about. You won’t have as much time for the negative self-talk either!
I’m not perfect by any means. There are days I don’t write in all of them and days I write in none of them. But generally, having these 3 journals has grounded me. Writing things out will often tap into a part of you that cannot come out in any other way. If you hate to write – type, or use your phone. Just get it out of your head!
Your goals will change as you change. I want one of your goals to be to “check in on your goals.” Once a month, read over them. Set a reminder in your phone. Or plan to do it on the 1st of every month. When you do your check in, think about the next smallest step you can take toward the big picture.
Level up each month. Progress not perfection. Again – perfection is NOT a goal.
“If it’s important to you find a way, not an excuse.”