Setting Goals in Spite of Outward Circumstances

You had your resolutions ready to go. It was the dawn of a new decade, a new year, a new you. It was time to turn over a new leaf.

You even picked your word of the year and maybe even a word for the decade.

This would be your year.

But, then it wasn’t.

Does this sound like you?

The word I chose for the year is minimize (worry, spending, distractions, possessions, waist line) and my word of the decade is launch (prepare my children for the world they’ll one day live in, release new art, etc.).

I had no idea when I chose these words that a pandemic would minimize my life more than I could have ever imagined. (I went through all of the stages of grief when this all started, sometimes all on the same day), but I’ve come out the other side changed (I think for the better), and out of that place I am launching this new blog, a blog with big goals in mind in spite of the unknown.

If we let ourselves be caught up in our circumstances or our fear of failure, we will never accomplish our fullest potential. Out of pain comes purpose. Out of hardship comes strength to persevere.

Will you set a half year goal with me?

There is that flickering light inside of each one of us, a flame that needs fanning. Pay attention to to what excites you and gives you butterflies. Follow that towards setting your 1/2 year goal.

I have had a lot of success setting resolutions in June instead of January, less pressure I guess. The year before last on June 1, I gave up gluten for good. It improved my health so much that after that first year of being gluten free, I felt empowered to start exercising.

Last June, I gave myself a goal of walking one mile 3X per week. Now, a year into completing my goal, I bike 2 miles and walk 2 miles every day of the week! If you would have told me last year that I would have improved that much, I would have laughed at you.

One Year Later I Feel So Much Better! Woo Hoo!

That’s the beauty of a long term goal. It takes a while to come to fruition, but once you break a bad habit or gain a good habit it is the best feeling in the world!

So, this year, my June goal is to show up for you and write one post every Tuesday and send out one newsletter per month. I’ll also share three instagram posts each week on M, W, and F, that tie back in with the weekly blog topic. I hope you’ll engage and interact with me there so we can build a little community of encouragement over this next year.

So far, I have a great track record with June goals, so I’m hopeful this one will bring me joy, too.

May I offer some practical tips for sticking with your newfound goal?

Think about what you need to minimize in order to maximize your goal setting potential. 1. Specific. Name your goal and tell a friend.

2. Measurable. Make a note in your planner, journal, or phone to declare your start to be able to track your progress.

3. Achievable. Set micro goals to move you towards your big goal.

4. Relevant. Make sure your goal is realistic. Start small so you don’t burn out or get discouraged.

4. Timely. Set a timeline to achieve your big goal and map out your micro goal target dates.

If you’re giving up a bad habit, find something good to replace it with. For me, gluten was in everything, so I stocked my fridge and pantry with quick gluten free snacks I could reach for in a pinch, especially those first 3 weeks.

If you’re aiming to start a good habit, like consistency in exercise, first pick a specific time each day to schedule it on your calendar. Last year for me it was 6 a.m. To make time for your particular goal, you may have to remove or rearrange something from your schedule. Be intentional about that. It makes all of the difference. For my writing goals, I’ve had to give up media consumption. For one, it clouds my perspective and secondly, it sucks all of the creative energy from me. Writing for me has been just as much about breaking a media addiction (a bad habit) in favor of putting something positive in the world (adding a good habit).

Pick an activity you enjoy doing or something to reward yourself with. For me that was certain podcasts I saved just for my walks. I looked forward to the podcast even when I didn’t feel like walking. I rewarded myself with a bike one month into sticking with my goal.

Currently, instead of turning on the news after I exercise or checking my social feeds, I read, write and design. That’s my happy place.

I hope this leaves you encouraged and inspired to move forward confidently in the direction of your ambition this year. I can’t wait to hear what goal you choose! Please let me know in the comments.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

Emily

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