January is usually the time for goal setting. Why am I writing about it in February? You may have thought about setting goals, you procrastinated so it never got done. January was a busy month this year with all the ongoing changes related to Covid 19. Now might be a better time for you to take a moment and think about goals. Goals don’t have to be set in January you can do it any time of the year. I want to present three ways of setting goals.
Pick one area and improve it
I am a person who is motivated by a fear of failure, I don’t want to fail, so I am cautious. My system of setting goals is to look at my business or life and see where I think could be improved, what types of skills I need to improve so my business or life will improve. I pick one thing and then work on it all year to get better at it. For example, I didn’t like social media so I decided to start working at becoming better at it and setting up a system that works for my day and philosophy about the importance of social media. I picked a platform, got good at it and continued to add more and more platforms. I organized workshops on Twitter and Google My Business, I listened to webinars. A vague plan works for me because I am self-motivated, I am not a procrastinator. I read an interesting article by Ravi Venkatesan about the importance of learning new things, “What skill will you acquire this year? What new activity will you start?” Perhaps learning to play a new instrument, going on an adventure or taking on a new role- anything that causes you to move out of your comfort zone. Pick a goal that challenges you at about a level 5 out of 10. If you are too fearful you will panic and not start. Choose that goal that challenges you and allows new neural connections to form. That would be a good goal for this year.
That vague framework of deciding what you want to do to improve your business or life would not for everyone. We are all different. So there is a goal-setting system called SMART. You pick a specific goal, with measurable outcomes, that are achievable, realistic and timely. When you use this system of goal setting it gives you a step by step plan to follow. For example with my social media goal, if it had been a SMART goal, would be something like
I will learn how to post on Facebook,
S (specific) – I will post 3 times a week, one original content, one a picture, one comment on someone else’s post
M(measurable) – Did I post 3 times/week?
A (achievable) – I have that much time in my week
R(realistic) – If I only have to do it 3 times a week I will not become frustrated and stop
T(timely)- I have 3 mornings a week when I can do these posts. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
This will work for some people who like to have a step by step plan and follow it. It can cause problems if people stop following the plan. They may give up and not start again or some people may feel like it is too rigid. Set your goal and keep trying to do it, that is the only way you will get better at it.
Turn desire into intention
I read an article that reveals a simple trick that doubles the chance for success of obtaining goals. Earlier I commented on what motivates me. Sometimes we say, I need to motivate myself to get working on…., In this article, it says motivation is not the key to reaching your goals it is intention.
A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology divided 248 adults into 3 exercise groups.
- Group 1 had to record how often they exercised during a 3 week period
- Group 2 were told “ most young adults who have stuck to a regular exercise program have found it to be very effective in reducing their chances of developing coronary heart disease. ” ( motivation to exercise) and had to record how often they exercised during a 3 week period
- Group 3 recorded when and where they would exercise (intention to exercise), they were given the same motivation as group 2 and they recorded how often they exercised during a 3 week period
- Control group 1 38% exercised at least once per week
- The motivated group 2 35% exercised at least once per week
- The intentional group 3 91% exercised at least once per week
We all have some level of desire or willpower or motivation but what turns desire into action is a written plan for implementation. When you have a goal to do something, record when and how you will do that behaviour or activity. It will be the environment that triggers you to do your new behaviour or activity and not motivation or will power. This year I used the intention method to become better at making videos.
- Every morning for 30 days I made a video of 1 minute or less and sent it to a friend. It was not edited and most of the time there was only one take, no practice videos. The when of the intention, was at 8 am and the who of the intention, was a friend who expected to receive a video.
- Step 2 was 30 days of videos on Instagram Stories. It was usually at 8:15 am but sometimes it was at another time in the day when I was getting dressed up for a meeting. Check out my Instagram stories.
- Step 3 ( I am not there yet) will be 30 days on Facebook live.
The level of challenge increases with each step. It is a great way to become better at doing video. Thanks to James Mel for teaching me this.
These are just 3 systems
- Having an all-encompassing vision or
- Setting SMART goals or
- Intentionally decide when you will do something and block off time
that can help you establish new behaviours to accomplish a goal for 2021. Pick the one that works for you.Set goals to help you move out of your comfort zone, learn new skills and grow. Click To Tweet
When you hire me, I don’t come to your office or home with the Mind over Clutter organizing system, install it and then leave. I come and see what is working for you and how you do things so I can find solutions that work for you, how you think, feel and your lifestyle. I want you to accomplish your organizing project so you meet your goals.
Now I liked to hear from you:
What strategy from today’s post are you going to try first?
Maybe I didn’t mention your favourite way to set goals?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
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Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.
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