Goal-Setting For Normal People

There are no less than 7 unread emails in my in-box from various people who were hoping to sell me on making 2018 my Best Year Ever.

How do I know if I didn’t open them? Well, for one, the subject line told me so.  Also, most of these folks emailed me several times about it.

I’m sorry to report back, that according to what I did read in some of the opened emails, I’ve waited too long and it’s now too late for me to make 2018 my Best Year Ever.

It’s sort of a bummer to find out I’ve already failed at 2018.

But then I realized something important. I love a new year and a new start, but I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not a high-achiever and I don’t think I want to be one. I hope it’s okay to admit that.

I’m willing to settle for “pretty good” or “better than last year.”

I want something that works for a 41-year-old mom of middle school and elementary kids. Something that encourages. Something that normal people with limited resources can achieve.

How about a mash-up of things I’ve seen work?

This is inspired by some of the goal setting productivity gurus I’ve followed for several years, with a side of commentary from a normal person (me).

Habits or Goals?

Jeff Goins recommends setting a habit and not a goal. Ironically, he learned that from Michael Hyatt who is a super high-achiever and who developed the Best Year Ever course. So, even though I “missed” the course, I’m learning something from it.

It’s really just semantics, but I’m embracing the idea of habits much more warmly than idea of goal setting.

What’s a habit I can implement daily/weekly/monthly that will get me closer to becoming the person I want to be at the end of the year?

Start With An Unrealistic Dream & Mix In Some Reality

When I bought my Brilliant Life Planner, it came with a “planner school” course. Beth Anne, the creator of the planner and course, suggested doing an exercise where you imagine your life in 5 years. Dream big. Imagine that you’ve accomplished the things you hoped and everything is perfect and shiny.

It’s not realistic, but that’s okay.

I’ve been looking over that list and asking some practical questions:

What does my current life stage allow? Am I okay with that? What am I willing to change? Are these things I really want?

I like this recipe of dreaming + a sprinkling of reality because I think it gives sustainable, motivating progress.

Track Your Progress

This goes hand-in-hand with the idea of working on habits. My planner has several pages of habit trackers in the back.

Do you know why this is important? It gives a specific record of each small effort. It’s not about perfect execution. It celebrates the effort and not just a perfect outcome.

Start With Smaller Time Increments

Instead of an annual goal, how about a goal for this quarter? I don’t know about you, but when I’m only looking 3 months ahead, I feel more of a sense of urgency about how I spend my time today than when I’m looking at a finish line 12 months away.

Okay, now it’s your turn. What works for you? What doesn’t work? What are some habits you want to work on over the next three months?

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