Small Steps Toward Your Big Goals

60% of us admit that we set New Years Resolutions, but less than 25% of us actually follow through with them and less than 8% actually achieve them.

Pretty grim, right?

The worst part, though, are the ridiculous resolutions we tend to set: lose weight! Get organized! Enjoy life to the fullest! Get fit!

How do you know when you’ve hit those goals?

I’m one of those people who actually enjoys organizing, so I’ve been consistently organizing my house my entire life and I still don’t think I’m organized.

And yet, gosh, don’t you love the euphoric feeling you get when you write that resolution down? Maybe in color, posted on your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror and say, “This year, it’s going to be different!”

Here we are at the end of the year and the nostalgia for that feeling is not ever enough to stop the disappointment we feel in ourselves that once again we did NOT hit that resolution.

Sigh.

Regardless of the grim statistics, I still set goals (not resolutions!) each year. But each year I get better at honestly looking at what works and doesn’t for me. Then I set goals that I can realistically do (because I really, really, really hate to fail!).

Yes, I stretch myself, I’m not a total slacker! But the sting of defeat smarts enough every year end that I’d rather not feel that AGAIN.

I’ve learned to ask myself, “did I do this?” and if I did not do it, I ask, “why?”

Looking a level deeper helps me get better at setting realistic goals that I can actually hit (YES! Success!) and change my life in meaningful ways.

For example, I started 2018 with a goal to walk 10k steps every day, but I rarely have time to walk 5 miles a day in one outing.

So in 2019, I shifted my thinking from“get it done all at once”to“get it done over the course of the day”and I saw that I could more easily hit my goal by changing the way I think about some things in my daily routines, like:

  • Don’t worry about taking everything downstairs in one trip. Multiple trips up and down the stairs is exercise. When someone in my family forgets something, I volunteer to get it because I get the steps (ha ha, see how I win?!). CHANGE FROM, “Oh sheesh, I have to go upstairs again!” TO, “I get exercise, which is one of my goals.”
  • Break up my walks into multiple daily routines, such as walking on meetings or calls with friends and family. I walk my dog in the morning, at lunch time and after dinner. CHANGE FROM, “I don’t have time to take a long walk today!” TO, “I’m just going to quickly walk around the block.” They add up.

This same process works exactly the same for your work goals.

When you set a BIG GOAL like getting a big promotion, looking at the END can be too big a jump. And if it’s too big, it’s very easy to just give up.

What are the small steps that you can take to get there, one small action at a time?

Steps like:

  • Talk to your boss and/or your boss’ boss about the goals for their year or their department. Be curious without an agenda!
  • Get a on project for something that you’re interested in or will increase your visibility.
  • Volunteer to do something new.
  • Take a class that will teach you a skill you’re missing.
  • Look at job sites for 10 minutes every day (set your timer!).
  • Every day email one person from your LinkedIn contacts who you’ve lost touch with.

When it’s just too overwhelming to do alone

Want some help setting your goals? I found a couple of programs that look pretty good, you can check them out for yourself and see what you think.

Create Goals that are Worthy of You by Jodi Flynn

It’s time to toss out the old arbitrary formula for setting goals and create goals that not only represent who you are and the life you want to live they guide you to let go of who you are not and old patterns that do not work for you as you journey toward your goal.

Are you ready to feel so in alignment with your goals you love diving into “the work” involved in achieving them?

This program will help you set goals that bring forth your best self.

The Happiness Project Experience by Gretchen Rubin

A 12 month program that builds on Gretchen’s books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home that will have the biggest impact on people’s happiness. At the end of this year, you’ll look back and think, “This is the year I did it. I made my life happier.”

(I’m not affiliated with these in any way…Jodi is a colleague and I enjoyed Gretchen’s books!)

Let me know if you sign up for one and if you found it helpful!

Warmly,

Melissa

P.S. I write about goals every year.

In 2018, I wrote about the studies showing that your new year’s resolutions enthusiasm starts to waver at 8 days. What starts as excitement, a blank slate for a whole new year, quickly turns into feeling like you’ve failed…so in 2018, I thought about things thematically: what’s making me happy and what’s not? Read that post A Different Way To Think About Your Year HERE.

In 2017, I wrote about my love of Peppermint Joe Joe’s ice cream from Trader Joe’s, which reminds me that my theme about my body and sugar is one that seems to be on perpetual repeat! In that post, I shared the top five New Year’s resolutions and a strategy to help you “Own It, Share It, Reframe It” so that you can make your goals fun again. Read about Finding Connection Through Imperfection (how to make goals fun again) HERE

Live it, learn it and love it! Share this to make our tribe thrive!

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