Last year, I had grandiose goals, intended to take an entire year to achieve. I worked at them and throughout the year, I kept checking back to see how I was doing. It was a good year and I accomplished more than I anticipated. Still, I felt like I had not achieved enough. This was weighing heavily on my mind while I was contemplating what goals I should choose for this year.
One of the challenges I faced with last year’s goals was waning interest in some areas I had focused on in January. Those goals didn’t get accomplished, mainly due to the internal resistance that built up over time. I had good intentions in January, but my desires had changed dramatically by midyear.
After long thought, I am taking a different approach to goals this year. I have a few long range goals, so long range they can’t be tied to a single year. Instead, I am choosing smaller monthly goals that are steps to achieving the long range life changes. Each month I will make new goals and create daily tasks designed to keep me focused and moving toward achievement. Once I complete it, I’ll make another that moves me toward the long range goals.
As I read my Christmas book, Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It by Henriette Anne Klauser, I started wondering what I was capable of accomplishing. I did as she recommends and started a small journal of all the hopes and desires I have. They range from the well defined to the completely vague. It is from these, I choose my monthly direction.
One dream I have repressed for many decades is the desire to perform a French horn solo with a symphony. So, I wrote that down in my little book. One step is to get back into a symphony again. I wrote that down, too. As I was working through the exercise of choosing this month’s goals, I asked what I could do this month to move me toward those goals. The answer was easy. I needed to get my “new” horn reconditioned and practice 20 minutes every day. That is the goal I made for February. It is smaller and easier to achieve than “solo with a symphony”.
That is the process I went through to make my monthly goals. I looked through my life goals and asked myself what I wanted to do this month to move me toward it. Some things didn’t interest me this month. Others made sense. Here is the list I developed for February:
- Create a list of savings goals for 2012-2015.
- Create a report system for my financial goals.
- Create detailed specifications for the iPad applications my wife wants developed.
- Decide on topic I want to study this year.
- Finish reading four books.
- Perform 15 sessions of sit-ups and pushups.
- Go running 5 times.
- Create landscaping plan for 2012.
- Decide on my next woodworking project and plan it.
- Decide on topic for study
- Finish reading Increase in Learning – Spiritual Patterns for Obtaining Your Own Answers.
I have created a task for each of these goals to be on my list every day to keep me focused. I have had pretty good success so far this month with this method. Breaking things into small chunks is working for me.