Productiviity, The LIST Series

5 Ways To Set Goals and Achieve them

So today, i remembered i was to do something last month but never got round to it. For one, i have been busy at work. Meetings, drawing up plans and procedures and of course busy at the home front. Not been easy.

All that was the reason my stress level got elevated a while ago and i had to destress. Stress levels are now low so i can take a breather. This is how i usually destress Tick. Tock. Tick: Stress levels high

I am trying to do some things i never learnt to do growing up as a teenager. There is no limit to learning and knowledge. Life is constantly evolving at the speed of light and we need to keep up! Not at the speed of light lol. That will just spell doom! But seriously, we need to learn new things every day. Find a way to learn something every passing moment. I pride myself on knowing virtually everything there is to know about anything. If not all but a very reasonable level. But the thing is, i still don't know shit about a lot of things lol. What don't i know? I am a lost cause when it comes to Information technology.

When i decided that i want to really take this blogging thing very serious after leaving the blog fallow for years, i knew i needed to learn any and everything about blogging. I went on Pinterest and saw names like SEOs, Plugins, Gravatar, affiliate marketing and  i was like what the hell are these people talking about? Its a whole new world for me! I like challenges and because i am constantly seeking new ways to better myself professionally and personally, i had to start reading like i was going for grad school so i could familiarize myself with a lot of jargons and other related issues as regards blogging.

So what i planned doing last month was to go for refresher swimming classes. Yeah right! Is there any such thing as refresher swimming training? Well i never perfected the art of swimming and i thought it is something i should do because it'd be very beneficial for me in the coming months and years for some things i have planned in the pipeline.

I am now making an affirmation that i will sign up for the classes and perfect the art of swimming to a T. Well not like a professional swimmer lol. I don't wanna sing, COULDA SHOULDA, WOULDA like Celine Dion when the time comes for me to use swimming to achieve an aim that would be very beneficial to me.

So you want to avoid singing Coulda Woulda Shoulda? Then it is important that you follow up on anything that you have planned to achieve. Planning to do something means that we aim to achieve something at the end of what we have planned. It could be that you have planned to take take sewing classes so you could open a fashion house. It could be taking music classes to enhance your singing skill, learning to drive, learning crocheting (this i would like to learn. My sisters are wizards when it comes to crocheting but i have two left hands haha), hairdressing, even going for a professional course to enhance a skill set! The list is endless but at the end, our time and effort is justified after achieving what we set out to do.

Achieving a set target, goal gives us this feeling of fulfilment. We get confidence that we can do anything each time we achieve something. A feeling of happiness. However, we plan things and never get round to getting them done. Distractions, poor will, lack of motivation, pressures at home, work etc all have a way of getting in the way. If these don't hinder us, then we abandon our goals half way when things get tough or difficult along the line. When challenges arise, we'd rather abandon ship and run away. Imagine a pilot abandoning a flight because there  are turbulences in the air! Of course he will have to find a way to navigate the airplane till it gets to its destination.  There are a number of things we can do to achieve set goals and practicing them so we don't end up singing the Coulda Woulda Shoulda song.

1. Think About What You Want to Do and Decide

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Think about what you would like to do. You admire fashion designers a lot and you see yourself as being creative enough to do it? Sign up for design and sewing classes. You want to build a new career path different from what you are doing now because you feel you have a passion for the new career you'd like to pursue? Perhaps a career in Physiotherapy because you like making people feel good? Maybe you have always had a flair for singing and want to go into music professionally but have never gone for any professional training in music. Think about whatever goal you'd like to achieve and then decide it is what you want to do. You have a passion for photography, art, writing etc and want to do it professionally? You want to be an entrepreneur. Think and then decide. Don't dilly dally.

2. Write The Goal Down

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You have a dream. A goal. You have decided that this is the dream, the goal, what you would like to achieve. Write it down. Does it matter to write it down? Writing a goal makes you committed to it. Writing the goal down means it is no longer wishful thinking but a plan. A 'To Do" plan. Writing down your goal means you are articulating it. This is what i want to do. Where i want to be in the next five years. This is what i want to be doing in the next three months. This is the level i want to be in six months. A written down goal is a testament of a commitment to do all you can to achieve it. I am always writings bits down. I am obsessive about it and it helps me a lot in my "To do".

At the beginning of every year, i write down the things i would like to achieve. It could be going for a professional course (i regularly do that to improve myself on the job, trying to drop bad habits (who is perfect?) and all that. Its usually not too much and then i go cross off them off once completed. Some i have to keep at like a dog with a bone but eventually i get them done. So writing down a goal or set of goals you want to achieve is a big step towards achieving them. Importantly, a written down goal must be specific and not vague and must include deadlines. Keeping or pinning the written down goal(s) somewhere it is easily accessible and referenced will help you on the journey.

3. Break Goals Down

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Setting a goal is like planning to climb a mountain. You have to get to the top and to do that you have to devise ways to get to the top of the mountain (which when likened to your goal, is getting what you planned to achieve). This works very well with long term goals. Take for instance. You want to pay off your student loans now that you have started working. The loan is $20000 dollars and you plan paying it off in six months. It will mean for every month, if you pay approximately $3,400, you would be able to clear off the debt. The major aim of breaking down goals is that it makes the goals small and attainable so that the sheer size of it wouldn't become a limitation to achieving it. The rule to breaking down goals is remembering that GOALS must be SMART. Goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.

SPECIFIC: I will pay some money this month from my salary to offset my electrical bills

MEASURABLE: I will pay out $340 dollars for my student loans

Now you have set a specific goal that is Measurable. Is it Achievable and Realistic? Check, is possible for you to achieve considering your current situation? Is paying $340 every month realistic considering your monthly income? Now it wouldn't be feasible to pay $340 from a $500 income if you have to also pay other essential bills and buy food, would it? So goals must be realistic. A written goal stating the time for it to be achieved (eg pay off student loans in 6 months, losing 20lbs in 3 months) will make a goal time bound. A SMART goal will make make it possible for it to be achieved. Go on. Break down your goals and make them SMART.

4. Keep At It!

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After breaking down goals, keep at it. Don't stop. Things will get rough, motivation may become reduced along the way, but don't give up. KEEP AT IT. From previous example, you can consider writing out cheques for every month, seal them up and regard it that they are already on the way to their destination. This will make it very easy. Keeping or pinning the written down goal(s) somewhere that it is easily accessible and referenced will help as a reminder and motivation to keep at it.

For someone trying to keep healthy/live a healthier lifestyle for instance, can have a written down goal of eating vegetables with every meal on a daily basis (goal broken down for living a healthier life) which can then be pinned on the front of the refrigerator. This will help you remember and also remind you that you need to buy fresh produce. Be tenacious. Be dogged. Commit to it. Keep doing it, keep moving forward and you will achieve! Be like a dog with a bone.

5. Celebrate!

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To the kings and queens of celebration. I like celebrating every little thing i achieve. You don't have to pull out all the china and guns to celebrate. You could reward yourself by giving yourself a mental pat on the head. But of course! You could even celebrate by setting another goal. Achieving one goal, gives you confidence, lifts your spirit and of course boost morale so you can as well ride on those good "feel" feelings and strive to achieve more!

Remember, Failing to plan, is planning to fail.

P.S. I do love Celine Dion. All of her music. All of her. Yes including coulda shoulda woulda lol.

Jennifer Pompaski

To each his/her own. That is why we all are uniquely different.

Love, Jennifer.
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