Monday, January 27, 2014

40 Pieces of Advice Challenge - Day 4

This is my favorite piece of advice so far, because I've been a goal setter from as far back as I can remember. I love having a plan for my day - it gives me direction and I feel great that I'm accomplishing what is important to me. And, as soon as my children were old enough to understand, I talked to them about what we wanted to accomplish that day. Even now, during our morning drive to school, we take turns talking about our plans for the day.

It's through our goals that we discover who we are and where we want to put our energies. Goals help us to see the big picture. They give us strength to get through the difficult times and keep us from being easily distracted by what is unimportant. 

Goals need to be specific.
So, if, for example, one of the kids says something like, "My goal today is to make a new friend", I would ask them how they planned on doing that. Are they going to say hello to someone on the playground that they've never talked with before? Are they going to have a pleasant expression on their face, so that people will be naturally drawn to them? 

Goals need to be written down.
Even if you never read what you've written, just the physical act of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) makes them a real part of your life.

Goals need to be achievable. 
Is your goal to be an Olympic athlete? That's great. But, if you're in your 50's and have never been physically active, then that's not an achievable goal for you. However, a completely achievable goal in the same vein would be to compete in a local tennis championship. Then, to work toward that goal, you'd need to set a smaller goal that would set you on the right track. For example, you could sign up for tennis classes at your local athletic club or community college.

Goals need to be measurable. 
"My goal is to get in shape." How many times have you heard that line? Or, maybe even said it. The spirit of this goal is admirable, but the problem with the way it's worded is that there's no way to know when it's been achieved. So, working from "get in shape", we can say something like, "My goal is to be able to do 50 pushups in a row." Or, "My goal is to be able to run a 5K in 25 minutes." 

With that being said, sometimes you have a goal for the kind of day you want to create that is more of a feeling than a concrete goal. That's ok, too! My kids and I are on a new kick of using adjectives and adverbs to plan our days. Here are this morning's selections:

Annie wanted a cool, swinging kind of day.
Nicholas said he wanted a wonderful road runner beep beep kinda day. And Jayden planned a happy bamama jamama jumping kind of day.

Do you have a goal you gave up on? Or are you newly inspired to lead your life in a different direction? Maybe you just want to have some fun! The best thing about goals is that you can have as many as you like and you can change them as you need to. The most important thing, though, is to start identifying your goals and get on with achieving them!

So what goals are you setting for yourself? Let me know in the comments section!

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