2017 New Year’s Resolution… Number 2

This year I’ve decided to type up my New Year’s Resolutions in separate posts. I like to do a little bit of explaining when it comes to goals and this will help me elaborate each goal without writing a novel! ;)

Resolution #1

Resolution #2?

Stick with my new motto: Actions over goals.

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I’m typing up New Year’s resolutions. It is OBVIOUS that I like setting goals for myself. Here is the thing about goals, they’re great at giving you an idea of where you want to go/be but just setting a goal won’t get you results. You must perform specific actions to achieve your desired results.

I wish we could set goals like…

Reduce my body fat percentage by 5 points.

Improve my half marathon PR by 7 minutes.

Grow my business by 15%.

Wake up each morning to a clean kitchen.

Set aside 10 minutes per day for relaxation.

… And they would JUST. HAPPEN.

Sadly, that isn’t the way things work!

So, with my 2017 resolution of actions over goals, I am not going to stop setting goals each week or month or annually, but I am going to put specific action steps behind each goal… Actions that require my attention weekly, if not more often. These action steps will help me get closer to my goals and – hopefully! – surpass my own personal expectations.

I’m curious – Do you often set SMART (specific-measurable-attainable-realistic-timely) goals? How often to think about the action needed to meet your goals?

Here’s to 2017 being an ACTION-FILLED year!

On goal setting.

Goals.

A serious topic for a Monday, eh?

I’ve been thinking about the topic of goal setting over the past week and thought I’d share my reflections on the importance of setting and following through with your goals. Spoiler alert – The follow through takes a lot more effort than the actual goal setting.

Big goals. Small goals. Personal goals. Professional goals. Fitness goals. Relationship goals. Life goals. The goals you set and deem to be important in your life are up to you. No one else can decide what you should achieve in the next month (or year or five years…), so if you want to achieve big things (or small things!) you have to set the bar high for yourself and follow through.

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Let’s step back for a moment and chat about goals.

All of us have goals – at least in some form, but only some of us really have goals.

See where I am going here? What sets apart the goal setters apart from the goal “getters”?

A lot of hard work, that’s what… along with a few other things that I am sharing below.

1. Set goals… and write them down. It’s fine and dandy to set goals and keep them in your head, but from my experience, that method won’t take you very far. Step 1 is to determine your goals and step 2 is to write them down. And you don’t want to simply write them down in your notebook, close the cover and walk away… Nope. You want to write them in a place where you will see them multiple times per day. This keeps your goals top of mind. For example, Kyle had the awesome idea of painting a little nook in our new home with chalkboard paint. Once it is completed (this week, hopefully!), we plan on writing out our goals so they are staring at us each and every day.

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Now, I’m not suggesting that you paint your entire house with chalkboard paint (although send me a photo if you do!), but keep your goals in your line of vision – Post-Its on your bathroom mirror, a list on your desk at work, your phone’s home screen – and they will stay in your focus.

2. Find a mentor. I recommend finding a mentor for your personal goals and another mentor for your professional goals. You want your mentor to be someone that you trust, someone that motivates you toward your goals, someone who has experience in what you want to achieve, and someone that can ask you the hard questions and give you honest feedback. Set up recurring check-ins with your mentor – Maybe that’s monthly or quarterly or bi-weekly, the timing is up to you, but I’ve found that the more often I connect with my mentors, the quicker I get to my goals. Funny how that works. Oh, and take your mentor’s advice to heart. You chose them as your mentor for a reason, make sure to take their feedback, realign your methods, and be able to show them how their advice helped you succeed since your last meeting.

3. Hold yourself accountable. Set aside a few minutes at the end of each day AND at the beginning/end of each week to review your goals and give yourself a reality check. What did you do the past 24 hours/7 days to help you reach your goals? If the answer is nothing, ask yourself why. What is keeping you from those goals? Fear? Schedule? Time? Unsure of where to begin? As a side note, if time is your answer, give yourself a little smack… If something is important to you (like YOUR goals!), you will make time for it.

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4. Get to work. You can’t make progress unless you take the first step. Yes, that first step is scary and sometimes larger than we want to leap but in order to get where we want to be, we gotta take the leap. Once that first step is out of the way (phew!), determine how much time you are willing to dedicate toward your goal(s) each day. If you only have 10 minutes, use those 10 minutes! You’ll be surprised how far you can get with 10 minutes per day/70 minutes per week. Also, something to remember about getting to work… Sometimes we all have to do things we don’t want to do in order to see success. We have to make sacrifices. We have to prioritize. We have to figure out how far we are willing to go to get to that goal. You can’t just sit back and say “I don’t want to do that” when something is uncomfortable. That is not how successful people think. If it were only that easy!

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5. Celebrate the small wins. You will experience failure. And set backs. And disappointments. It is all part of working toward something new. What you don’t see is that all successful individuals have experienced the same set backs. Their ride to the top hasn’t been full of rainbows and sunshine, but that is what you see looking in from the outside. People tend to only share the positives in the public, so don’t let your personal roadblocks prevent you from moving forward. Focus on the positive and celebrate each time you have made a step forward, no matter how small it may be! And use those “failure moments” as lessons for the future. Bring them to your mentor if you need help analyzing them, but those moments are just as important to keep with you as your moments of success.

6. Never stop reaching for more. You’ve reached your first goal – wahoo! So now you’re done, right? Not so fast… Successful people never stop setting goals. Maybe your new goal is completely different than before, that’s a-okay. Just don’t stop working toward a better you or toward your larger than life, pie in the sky goal. Also, save those sticky notes (remember the ones I mentioned above? they are on your bathroom mirror, right?) of the goals you’ve met. Keep ’em in a safe place and review them from time to time, especially when you’re feeling discouraged. There is nothing like looking at your successes to pull you out of a funk.

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7. Remember your purpose. A purpose. This should have gone at the beginning of my list, but better late than never. What is YOUR purpose? Why are you setting these goals to begin with? Do you want to buy a house? Be a millionaire by age 35? Squat 250 pounds? Travel the world? Provide for your family? Have more time to do the things you love? When things get tough – and they will, trust me – go back to the reason, your purpose, for setting the goals in the first place. When you remember why you are working so hard toward a goal, it is much, much, MUCH easier to push yourself a little harder.

Are you a goal setter or a goal getter? What tips do you have for meeting your goals?

2014 New Year’s Resolutions

Happy 2014!! I hope everyone had a fun and safe time full of champagne and laughter and friends last night ringing in the new year.

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I definitely did and can’t wait to tell you all about my night! However, that will have to wait until tomorrow because today is for resolution setting.

Yep, I’m one of those that loves to set New Year’s resolutions. Call it corny or lame or whatever you please but I am a big believer in new beginnings and the new year is a great time to reset and focus on what I want to accomplish over the next 12 months!

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1. Read 6 books. I love reading but never make time for it because of work or blogging or working out or just wasting time on my phone. I know I can make time to read 1/2 a book each month and that is what I’m going to do! My mom gave me 2 great books to start with but if you have any other suggestions, I’m always open to new book ideas.

2. Travel. This isn’t really a resolution, it is just something that I like to do and I want to make a point to continue to travel in 2014. A few places that are in the works include: Jamaica, LA (maybe), Spain, Colorado, Las Vegas and Blend (wherever it is held this year).

3. Stop procrastinating. I am not a procrastinator when it comes to most things in life. I like to get stuff done and out of the way unless it is something I don’t really like doing, like the dishes or making the bed… When I procrastinate (or just avoid…) with these chores, I get super stressed out and annoyed that the apartment isn’t clean. In 2014, I want to do the dishes and have the kitchen cleaned most nights so I don’t have to worry about it and have the mess bother me!

4. Run the Chicago Marathon. All I gotta say is that it IS going to happen this year. End of story :)

5. Enjoy the work week. I suffer from I like to call the “workday blues.” I tend to think a day is ruined or that I can’t do anything besides focus on work during the week which definitely doesn’t lead to a healthy work-life balance. In 2014, I’m going to focus on enjoying my mornings before work and my evenings after work! Some ideas I have include cooking a new recipe for dinner, trying a new fitness class, taking Mitchell to the lake (once the weather is nice!), going to a movie or grabbing drinks with friends.

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All of my resolutions are extremely manageable – well, maybe not the marathon, that’ll take some work… and I can’t wait to live a fun, healthy and fulfilling 2014!

Do you set New Year’s resolutions? If so, what are some of yours for 2014?

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