It is almost a month since I turned 31 and although it didn't freak me out as much as turning 30 did, entering a new decade and era of my life has made me think about some of the things that I would like to do. I've been using the Day Zero Project as a way to help me organise and plan my goals - the idea is that you plan a list of 101 goals to try and achieve in 1001 days (which works out as just over three years.) Armed with my goal list and some serious motivation I'm going to be re-starting some old hobbies that I have missed. I think it is important to have goals as they keep us fresh and motivated, and it is great to have a sense of achievement of our lives, regardless if how big or small our goals are. In light of this, below is my quick guide to successful goal setting.
I find having written goals to be a useful focal point and it is something that I have always done. I like things like Day Zero Project and the now defunked 43 Things to be useful tools in keeping track of goals listed and achieved, it is a great motivator being able to tick things off. The book in the picture below is my 'Goal Book', which I have been using since 2009 to note down every that comes to mind that I would like to do. I have also used it to keep track of goals when not using an online tool and again, have found the process of listing and crossing off goals to be very fulfilling. When you right down a goal, it some how feels more within reach - more attainable.
When planning goals you need to bear a few things in mind. Set a date by which you would like to have achieved the goal, otherwise it might end up falling by the wayside. Picture the goal in your mind, use positive affirmations and visualisations morning and night to help you stay focused and re-kindle the excitement that you felt when you first realised that you wanted to attain that goal. Remember that goals can be big or small, they have to be big to get you motivated. I feel just as excited about the idea of returning to dance classes as I do about my goal of discovering poetry.
A word about procrastination. I sometimes find it is easier to read about achieving goals than actually doing it. Of course it is. It's perfectly alright to read self-help books and a bit of motivational reading will help to keep your spirits up - but make sure you contain it. If you are only ever reading and dreaming, you are not achieving. I have been guilty of this many times over the years and now have to fight to keep this temptation in check. There are many positive workbooks out there that can help you in achieving your goals, from F*ck it! Do What You Love to The Artist's Way, and they can work wonders.
The biggest obstacle to my goals that I tend to encounter on a regular basis is 'my personal wall'. This is where I get in my own way by thinking things that greatly reduce my motivation. Such things include, 'I'm too old to do this' and 'It's too late, I've had my chance.' I'm sure you have a few walls of your own that like to sit in front of your goals. The best remedy for this is to look at them objectively and list reasons why you are not too old, or it isn't too late. Find positive opposites that will help you to overcome them. I know from personal experience that there is no greater obstacle to achieving your dreams than yourself.
I would love to hear about your goal setting adventures and encourage you to check out Day Zero Project, even if it is just to find inspiration for your own goals. I will keep you updated about my own journey and look forward to hearing about your. Good luck!