It’s not a new revelation that writing down your goals is extremely beneficial, yet only 1% of us are doing it. Of that 1%, 90% of goals are achieved which to me is enough motivation to set aside 20 minutes this week to put some purpose into my life.
In this life it’s very easy to determine what we don’t like. We take a bite of an anchovy and immediately realize it’s not for us. We are approached by a guy in the most classless way and don’t imagine for a minute that he might be “the one”. But how do we decipher between mediocrity or something bearable to something you truly desire and deserve? Figuring out what we want in life is much more of a struggle than figuring out what we don’t want. How many of your friends do you see in jobs that pay the bills and have some perks, but you know they are overworked and under-stimulated? What about a friend who is with a great guy, but you know she isn’t truly in love? It’s important for us to figure out what it is we really want, because then we can tell if the direction we are going or the decisions we are making are taking us to the life we have chosen.
The thought of drifting through life to a destination I haven’t chosen scares me silly… it’s time to take the bull by the horns and write it down!
Grab yourself a cup of chai and put your pen to paper. Write down goals you find attainable for this calendar year: career advancements, side projects you want to take on, volunteer work you’ve been putting off, fitness goals, healthy eating, travel plans, etc. Then also build yourself a bucket list. The bucket list is a fun one because the sky truly is the limit. Where do you want to go? Do you want to learn a new language? Do you want to attend the World Cup in four different countries? What kind of people do you want to meet? Let your imagination run wild!
My suggestion is to map out more than just your goals…
Map out your lifestyle: How do you see your weekends being spent in your ideal life? How much down time with a book in a bubble bath do you want? What’s your perfect balance of work, love, friendship, exercise and family? When we clearly see these desires in black and white, it becomes much easier to turn off that third “Friends” rerun on a Tuesday night, draw yourself a hot bath and indulge in something that enriches your life.
Map out your man: I find this one hilarious… but it actually works. In spring 2011, I was at a crossroads in my dating life. After being with some great men, but just feeling a lack of that spark, I wrote out a list of exactly what I wanted from the most superficial to the common interests and bond I wanted to share. Turns out, he was right in front of me. Although, now I wish I would have written something about my distaste for toilet humour on that list…
Map out your friends: Yes, I’m serious. I am all for loyalty, some of my best friends have been around for twenty years, and will be for at least twenty more. But we need to become conscious of who we spend our time with. Your mother was right; your friends are a reflection of yourself. Take some time to write down how you see friend time being spent. Is it an escape from your work and your boyfriend? Are your friends there to support you and share ideas? Is this time being spent in a lifestyle that is propelling your forward or dragging you backwards?
The bottom line in all of this is: Give your life some intention.
It’s not a way to put pressure on yourself to constantly be driving forward; it’s about finding balance and a rhythm to your life, and living each day with some purpose. It’s so easy for us to fall into pattern of coming home from work, sprawling out on the couch, and then starting the process again the next day. It’s a way of ensuring you aren’t one of those people who wakes up at retirement going, “hmm, where did those years of my life go?”
For me, myself and I… we would much rather achieve only a portion of the goals we set, than set none and be successful at achieving that.