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This is the second in a series on setting goals. To read more, check out these posts:
Alright, so you’ve written down your dreams, picked a few goals, and are ready to go out and conquer!
You feel super motivated, like a ninja! You are going to take on the world!
Except…that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and those 10 pounds probably won’t drop in a day either. And come to think of it, that book isn’t going to write itself. In fact, you don’t really have time to write today anyway…there’s laundry to be done, bills to pay, and didn’t you sign up to bring a meal to some family from church?
Intrepid goal setters-welcome to real life!
I can’t count the number of times that I have set a goal for myself, fully intending to follow through with it, and then been totally derailed by the busyness and responsibilities of everyday life.
Were my goals unrealistic? Did I not work hard enough, not want them enough?
No, my problem was setting goals that were way too large to ever complete.
Think about it like a coconut. It would be ridiculous to try and eat an entire coconut at once, probably impossible (though I haven’t read the Guinness Book of World Records lately…).
Setting a goal like “lose 10 pounds” or “write a book” without breaking it down is like trying to stuff a coconut into your mouth-it’s not going to happen!
If you actually want to achieve your goals, you have to break them into bite-sized pieces that you can manage!
So today let’s talk about how to make goals happen, no matter how busy you are!
Use Idea Bubbles to Brainstorm Steps
If you’ve never brainstormed using idea bubbles, you’ve got to try this-it’s super fun (especially if you use colorful pens!)
First, grab a piece of paper, pen, and your list of dreams. Pick one of the ones that you circled to work on first and write it in an idea bubble in the center of your paper. Here’s an example of an idea bubble brainstorm that I completed earlier this year:
Now, “Plan meals” is a great goal in theory, but it’s not very specific and there are no action steps to take. So let’s go down to the next level and look at specific steps.
1.“Plan meals once a week.” This gives me the chance to actually think about what we have and what we might need at the grocery store. Doing this once a week keeps me on track and helps me to not become overwhelmed by always trying to figure out what we’re eating that night. I like to plan near the start of the week, so I chose Monday as a good day to make my plan.
2. “Look up meal planning system or make my own.” I knew that there were some awesome meal planning services out there as well as cute printables, so I wanted to look into them and see if any would be helpful for me or if I should make my own.
Honest disclaimer here: I still just use a plain sheet of paper to plan meals. It’s not super cute or overly organized, but since there are just the two of us, it works for now. I can see possibly looking into something more detailed in the future though.
3. “Make a list of favorite recipes” Having a list of recipes that you already know are good can help when you are stuck for a meal idea. I knew that if I made this list I would easily cut my meal planning time in half.
4. “Try two new recipes a month” After looking through Pinterest, it is easy for me to get excited at all of the possibilities and want to try something new every day! However, if I plan to try just two new recipes a month, it gives me the freedom to try new things without completely overhauling my schedule trying to fit in time to cook a new meal every day. It also gives me more possibilities for my favorite recipes list, which will help if we start to get tired of something.
Schedule Steps in Your Calendar
Breaking up your goals into steps won’t help you unless you actually put them in your calendar! If I want to plan meals once a week, I have to put a little block in my calendar that tells me to do it-or it won’t get done!
Some of the steps towards your goals will be one time things, such as making a list of favorite recipes or signing up for that 5k you want to run. Others, however, will take day to day dedication and work, and will need to be scheduled in carefully if you want them to be successful.
This week, focus on breaking your goals down into small steps. Is there one that can be accomplished in less than an hour? Do it! Next week we’ll talk about how to schedule those day to day steps into an already busy calendar.
How do you break your goals into actionable steps? What steps can you take today to get closer to completing your goals?