Do you love goal setting or is it something you dread? Maybe you set goals but never actually reach them. I LOVE goal setting. Carving out space with beautifully designed notebooks and planners to create all of the lists and brainstorms is my main love language.
But, confession, I have never actually gotten anything out of setting goals. Goal setting never really “works” for me. I never got to the end of my year and felt so accomplished and proud of the work that I planned to do and then actually accomplished. I think I just like the idea of goal setting but the things on my lists never happened.
This year, it's different. Period.
So, last year in 2020 I was determined to change that. I was determined that “this year would be different” and blah blah blah. I quit my job that was no longer giving me the life and creative fuel that it once did and I set out to be a work from home mom (to my then one-year-old) and start that creative business that I have been dreaming of.
I was so excited to dream up what this perfect year would look like. But you know what happened? I just sat there. Time after time again I would just flip through the pages. I could not convince myself to actually write anything down.
Eventually, I got some ideas on the paper. Some were really boring and bland. Most didn’t have any way of measuring progress or being able to check in on them throughout the year.
It wasn’t until this year, 2021, that I actually realized WHY goal setting never worked for me in the past. I’ve never been able to set goals that are realistic or exciting. I have always set goals that either feel out of reach because they are or are too small because I feel incapable or not worthy of accomplishing more.
So when I started my powersheets for this year, I took a completely different approach. I decided to set goals that fuel my soul and actually sound fun and exciting.
*Major thanks to Lara Casey for encouraging fun goal setting and making progress towards the person you want to become. I want to be a fun person and I have often taken myself too seriously which has prohibited me from getting much traction here. That is why I have not been able to set goals that are attainable or even exciting.
In order to make goal setting work for me, I had to shift my whole thought process and perspective around them. Instead of looking at my goals a place to measure how much I failed in a year at not being perfect, I had to CHOOSE to view them as a tool to make progress in and on myself. Note that this is a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly choice. Every time I look at my goal list, I am tempted to compare my progress or lack thereof to perfection. I have to actively choose to view it differently.
Choosing FUN goals as well as more serious ones really helps that.
I know the value of setting measurable goals. It really helps you see the big picture and helps keep you accountable and moving forward. BUT I also think it is important to set a “big picture” goal as well. These may include measurable action steps but the overall goal is a little more abstract.
I think it’s really important that you have both because it helps you get a well-rounded sense of where you want to go and who you want to become.
For example, I want to become someone who is more in tune with their body and pays more attention to their physical health. That is a big picture goal for who I want Abby Powell to be. To make that happen, I will set measurable goals or action steps that will help me make progress.
Maybe that looks like a goal of working out three times a week or a total of 156 workouts in one year. But that doesn’t mean I want to become a person who works out 156 times a year. My overall focus is on making progress towards a healthier version of myself.
Do you need a perspective change?
For me, this is all about perspective and a different way of viewing myself and the person that I want to become. I am becoming a version of myself right now by setting goals or by lack of goal setting. I get to choose what things belong to that new person.
Ultimately, goal setting never worked for me before because I had a really negative relationship with it. I didn’t believe in myself and I was scared to commit to goals. I didn’t know how to dream up big ideas for my life or how to handle my days not going PERFECTLY according to my schedule and goal list.
To make goal setting work for me, I had to reorient my mind. That is often the answer to many of my problems. Your goals should inspire you and make you feel excited! If they don’t, it could mean that you need to take another look at them. Or it could mean that you need to take a look at your perspective.