Goals are an important part of life. They keep us motivated, focusing on what is ahead. We try to do better, make things better, be a better person. Goals help us get there. They are by definition the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. But what happens when you aren’t achieving your goals?
I am a list maker, a goal setter by nature. I’m constantly looking for a better way to do things, a better process, something to give me a sense of accomplishment. We have a saying in my house: “cross it off the list”. It’s an unspoken way of getting things started and finished to be able to cross off another item on the proverbial “to do” list of life. The list that never seems to finish, the list that seems to grow and grow and grow. At the beginning of a new year, we like to make “resolutions”. But what is a resolution, except a fancy way of saying goal. We have a tendency to make goals for every area of our lives, such as work, religion, children, marriage, home, remodeling, money, debt, and the list could go on and on. But as we roll into the beginning part of April, why aren’t we achieving what we started off planning? If you are reading this and you are killing your goals right now, (first of all, good for you! ) then this post is not for you.
When we aren’t “crossing anything off the list”, and you look around and ask yourself “I’ve had all of this time, why isn’t anything getting done?” Then the three “D’s” are sure to start setting in.
I have discussed this before two other times, here and in another post here. There is a reason that I have written about this before, because it is close to my heart. Part of the problem, is that we set OURSELVES up for inevitable failure by setting too many goals. You’ve probably heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. And that’s very true, when thinking about our goals. So imagine that you have 10 empty cups that each represent a goal and one pitcher filled with water representing what you have to give to the goals. There is only so much water in the pitcher, and each of the 10 cups need to be filled. You could fill each one 1/2 way, and maybe that would be good enough for you. But what if it’s not? Really, the logical answer is to get rid of some of the cups, so that you can spend your time, effort, and love to carefully fill a few of the remaining.
So, what am I NOT saying? I’m not saying to get rid of your goals. You have to be true to yourself, you have to always be pushing in a positive direction in life. Goals are the way to keep everything rolling in the right direction. What I AM saying, is that it’s ok to let some of it go…..for now. Stop holding on so tight, those empty cups will always be there ready to receive your attention when you are ready to give it. Take a look at your goals and put them in a priority list of most important to least. Only you can decide how many are attainable right now. The others can wait until the first cups are full. The answer to so many things in life is “less”. When we have to much of anything, it causes worry, anxiety, stress, overload, fear, and ultimately the three D’s. Take some pressure off of yourself, give yourself some much needed grace and pick a couple of things to accomplish, the rest will come when your ready.
And now for your homework assignment! Here are some simple tips for ensuring that you will reach your goals.
- Decide what goals are the most important right now in your life. What do you need to “fill” first, within the next 30 days? This could be about a relationship, becoming more spiritually minded, making more money, getting healthier, being happier and less stressed.
- Make some notes and breakdown HOW you are going to get there. What do you need to make this happen?
- Write it down, in your own handwriting, somewhere that you will see if every single day. Don’t worry about the rest, just focus on this one for now.
- Make it happen. Do everything you can to make this happen. Push yourself to fill that first cup completely before you move onto the next one.
- Do something everyday that is going to bring you closer to that goal. Even if you only spend 10 minutes, its still something.
It’s really not that hard, once you determine in your mind that it’s going to happen and you implement these tips, you will achieve what you set out to. You may be thinking that you have so many responsibilities, and wear so many hats each day….how can you pick just one? Pick one for now. Work hard on it and then move onto the next one and you’ll start to see how easy one flows into the next.