Its that time of year. The time to make resolutions, goals, and to think about your years past and the year to come. Reflecting on choices made and how you would like to focus your year is a brilliant idea. Personally I am a planning addict. I love my Living Well planner, To Do lists, and thinking about goals and life mottos. My husband often tells me how like “Monica” I am. (get the FRIENDS reference there?)
While I love my short term goals and focused to do lists to get me through the week or weekend with out forgetting an important item, aka getting more diapers, I have found myself thinking about long term life goals lately. I turn 30 this year and have come to a realization that I had not had before. I can design my life. Yup, that simple and that powerful. I don’t have to work in a job 9-5 that I don’t love till I retire. I don’t have to be frustrated and feel unfulfilled but the everyday shuffle of surviving. I have the choice to shift my life towards work and activities that set my soul on fire.
Thus my goal for the year was born. Shift my thinking and actions to work towards a life that sets my soul on fire. I am using my planner and other peoples brilliant thought invoking plans to change my daily actions to reach my long term and short term goals. This wont be a year long journey, more a life long journey, and I am okay with that. Instead of focusing yearly on small changes that don’t usually last past February, I am creating a strategy to design my life to be exactly what I want, not what is just laid at my feet.
This is an in depth personal journey that will take days to successfully capture. Your goals and dreams will change and will require reflection often and redesign as you grow, change, adapt, and push your goals to places you would never imagine.
Step one for me was an over view of the big picture and the following questions helped me zero in on my focus.
#1. Reflect on your social circle
Take stock on those who are in your life. Think about who you go to for advice, to vent, and run ideas past. These people are the influencers in your life. They feed your energy or drain it.
Make sure those who you spend your time with are there to support and nurture you. If those around you are negative and shoot down your ideas, then you will never strive. Surround yourself with those who will listen to your ideas and support them, support you when you fail, support you wen you succeed, support you when you need a shoulder to cry on, or a drinking partner to celebrate. Fill your life with those people, hold them close, and be sure to nurture them as well.
Have you ever heard this quote? I love it because its so true and really reflects the need for mentors and putting yourself in a position that the others around you support your goals, further you, and challenge you. Finding others who fill in the gaps that you lack or are where you want to be will help keep you focused and moving towards your goals. The major moguls of our world have groups of private advisors they would gather with and bounce ideas of off and grow their business and values around. Think about who you can surround yourself with or groups you can join to reach people who can help you achieve your long term life goals.
Take a look at your daily actions and decide if you are living a spiritually, physically, and mentally healthy life. We tend to compartmentalize these three aspects of our beings but the truth is they are intricately linked. When all three areas are being taken care of you body lives in a harmonious state. Find what nurtures each of these areas for you and make them a priority.
Have you ever noticed when you feel emotionally drained you tend to get sick? Or how mental exhaustion keeps you from having any desire to workout or push yourself physically? All the cells in you body are connected and help or hinder each other.
Taking the time to ensure proper nutrition and to release with physical activity will help clear you emotionally. When you body is properly fueled and not trying to sort through the toxins of fake food, it can process emotions and stress better as well.
Now it the time to think about what brings you inner peace and how you can achieve it. If you need to get a clean eating plan, workout plan, mediation plan, set time aside for just you, etc, now is the time to do it. Schedule these items into your planner just like you would any appointment. It makes it real and concrete and makes it harder to back out of when you change your mindset to these are priorities instead of nuisances or wish list items for your life.
My husband and I sit down every few months and assess the short term and long term finances. This may seem excessive for some, but for us it works. We like to know what vacations, events, and other big cost items we have in our future. Being prepared ahead of time and re-aligning our spending to make sure we will reach our goals is a key to our success.
Making a list of your long term goals that effect your finances help to focus your spending to allow those dreams to become a reality. If you goal is to buy a house, or create a safety net, it all starts in the same place, money. You can try to boost your income, or decrease your spending.
I love setting a timeline to my goals and the amount of money it will take each month, or pay period to achieve that goal. Lets say we are traveling in 6 months and need $2,000 for the trip. I get paid bi-weekly so I would need to put away $166.67 each pay check to achieve my goal. Since our paychecks are so tight with getting our own company up and running that extra money has to come from a new source. Planning ahead and seeing that amount helps us to make sure we find ways to stock it away twice a month. It also keeps us from going into debt over a vacation. Which is truly the backward option of everyone’s goal.
It’s amazing to me how each year seems to fly by. If you are not living intentionally and setting your goals with specific action plans to achieve them, you can wind up with you whole life having passed you by. I feel like I have that happen over the weekend with my to do list let alone with my life goals.
Its important to remember that life goals change, as they should. Different stage of our lives call for different goals and aspirations. Re-assessing where you are and where you want to be often will keep you growing.
You can set goals and dream of the life you want all you want. But unless you write it down, think through a plan to achieve it, and work at it every day, then you will not achieve it. It’s that simple.
I tie my career into this section. I evaluate where I am in my career, and if I have achieved what I want at this point. My goals are to be self employed and I have been finding different ways to make this dream a reality. This dream comes partially from the desire to be free to spend time with my family when I want, or stay home when my babies are sick and need their momma with out feeling the guilt of being away from work. And partially from working for so many different people and feeling like I could be the person reaping the full rewards of my hard core work ethic, instead of others.
Taking the time to re-evaluate often helps to keep you on a steady path to living a well designed life, that is your life. Not one that you live by happenstance.
Focusing on how I can design my life to be the one I want has been more on my mind these past few months then ever before. Maybe its because I am hitting 30 this year, maybe its because of some serious life changes, but never the less its a reality for me and constantly on my mind. I want to look back at my life when I am old and grey and think, wow look at what I achieved and made happen. Not, whoa look at what happened all those years.
Do you ever sit down and asses your life and goals? Comment below with the how you assess your life goals and refocus and when.