Yesterday was my 37th birthday and in my world, the day after your birthday is like January 1st. It’s a new year…a time to make plans and set goals. In the book, Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, Brian Tracey says “Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.”
Last year, I set 36 goals for my 36th birthday. They encompassed a variety of areas of life I wanted to improve in. When I set my goals, I didn’t plan on adding 2 more kids to my family. It derailed some of my goals and while I didn’t accomplish all 36 of my goals, but I did make some serious progress and I wouldn’t have made nearly as many strides without having these goals in place.
If you have a birthday coming up, I highly recommend that you set birthday goals. Take a few hours by yourself and write down what you wish was different about your life. This is the time to write down everything you’d like to change or improve. Maybe you wish you cooked for your kids more. Maybe you have always wanted to learn a new skill. Whatever it is, be very specific. Don’t just say you wish you were thinner or in better shape. Write down that you want to lose 30 pounds or you want to be able to run 5 miles without stopping.
After you’ve made your list, go down through your list and write 2-5 things you could do to make this happen. For instance, if you want to run 5 miles without stopping and you don’t exercise at all, you might want to write down Walk 15 minutes 10 days in a row, then Couch to 5k, then Couch to 10k as things you could do to make this happen. Now take your list of the items that you could use to reach your ultimate goals and use them as your goals list.
It helps to post your list in a visible place and each week (or each day depending on how your goals are structured), update your list and chart your progress. If you have a blog, share your goals and your progress on your blog. (I’ll be posting my list later this week). If you don’t have a blog, share your goals and progress on Facebook, Twitter, or with your family and friends! Accountability and support are hugely helpful! And if you don’t have anyone else to cheer you on, leave a comment here or connect with me on Twitter! I’d be happy to cheer you on as you go after your goals!