Goal Setting

Goal Setting

I started this year with a fresh mind and healthier attitude than ever before. I am determined to make every day great (but to also not be too hard on myself if I don’t quite manage it). Goal setting is something I’ve actually learned through my job, and it applies to your work and your personal life.

I’ve always found setting myself goals easy. I do it all the time. But actually managing, evaluating, and measuring these goals is another thing entirely. It’s all very well setting yourself a goal, anyone can do that. But how do you know when you’ve reached your goal? Or what if you’re falling behind? Is your goal actually realistic and achievable?

 

Getting Started

Sit down with a notebook and pen. Pick a goal (or several) and write it down. Then, get specific. Why have you set yourself this goal? What does this goal involve? Who does this goal involve? Ask yourself in-depth questions, and really pull apart exactly what this goal of yours is.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll have an even clearer idea about where you want to get to and why. You can then set yourself a time limit, evaluate the achievability of the goal, and decide how you are going to measure your progress.

Don’t just stop with one goal either. Keep going! Every time you think of something you’d like to achieve, write it down. Even if you don’t do the evaluation malarkey straight away, at least it’s there in black and white for you to come back to. I would definitely forget most of my goals if I didn’t write them down. They come and go in waves, and sometimes you have a random urge to achieve something that’s completely unrelated to your current life and ventures. Ask yourself why you had that sudden urge to achieve that certain thing. It is amazing how much more you can learn about yourself from just taking the time to think.

 

Measuring the goal

Set yourself benchmarks for checking in on your progress. The benchmarks will be different for each goal. I’ve set myself some goals which require daily and weekly checks, and others which are a matter of months (and even years!). Setting yourself these time frames means you are constantly keeping on top of what you want to achieve. If something needs to be evaluated weekly, but you don’t look back over it for 4 months, then you may not have progressed at all and simply wasted 4 months!

This section will make the most sense when you’ve finished the first. So get cracking mate-y!

 

Making a change, one step at a time

I’ve found that a lot of people coast through life without a great deal of direction. This is especially apparent with people in their 20’s who aren’t really sure what they want to do with their lives. That’s normal, and the whole point of being young is discovering stuff. But you also want all your years (whether you’ve got 80 left or 10 left) to count. These goals don’t have to be drastic life-changing things. They can be the smallest and most insignificant of things. But they are still important. For example, one of my goals is to drink 2 litres of water a day. I still went through the motions of evaluating this goal, even though it seemed stupid at first. And it was so helpful.

Use these goal setting techniques to better yourself and your life. The only person getting in the way of what you want to achieve is you. And the more you tell yourself that isn’t the case then the more you’ll end up going nowhere. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen with minimal effort.

Keep focused. Stay motivated. You’ll get there.

 


Whilst we’re on these motivational and personal lines, have a read of my happiness blog post (if you missed it).

Happiness

Happiness

Yesterday I had a lot of response from something I posted on Instagram (if you missed it, click here). I had a couple of lovely ladies message me about the post, seeking inspiration from my situation. So, I thought I’d do a blog post. Just in case there are any others of you out there who might find value in my experiences.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of what – now – seems like a previous life. But I’ll outline a few facts. There aren’t any pretty pictures to go with this post (my apologies), but it’s true and real and I hope you can benefit from my words.

 

 

Happiness

 

What is happiness? Is it a state of mind? An emotion? A destination? A journey? Before my current situation, I believed happiness was an emotion. And an infrequent one at that. I don’t know whether I have always felt like that, or whether it was just over those particular couple of years. I can’t remember. But I do think that the presence of unhappiness provokes the question of happiness.

If you’ve never been unhappy, then you don’t seek happiness, because you are happy. If you are unhappy, you will be constantly trying to define and find happiness. And if you have been unhappy, and now aren’t, then you’ve probably got a pretty defined version of what you perceive happiness to be. Does that make sense?

Everyone will have a different opinion on this infamous ‘happiness’ we all seek, and that’s okay. Our experiences define our perception of the world, and that’s okay too. My experiences have certainly defined the way I see the world, and the way I perceive my version of happiness, and (despite what I felt at the time) I am grateful for all of those experiences. They have shaped me and, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I’m kinda fond of me.

 

 

Let’s get real for a second

 

I’m not going to bore you with details of my experiences, and how they shaped who I am. Those are things I hold close to me. But I am going to tell you about how I know what my version of happiness is.

In short, I’m pretty sure I was born an adult. So when I hit the adult world I was in my element. But it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. At the age of 19 I got myself what, at the time, I thought was a dream job. It was in the wedding industry, working with wedding dresses which was such a passion of mine. But the reality of the job, or more-so the establishment, was far from the dream. I’m not here to trash talk, so I’ll be concise. It was unimaginably dreadful. And I was completely miserable, to the point where I couldn’t get through an evening without crying. Not even crying about anything, just crying and I didn’t know why.

I had moments of happiness, which is why I began to see happiness as an emotion that you felt sometimes when things were better. I was kind of just coasting through my life at that time, almost numb. In January of last year I found what I genuinely can define as a dream job. We had just bought our flat, I was on a healthy salary and therefore a steady income. I worked 5 days a week, commuting around 3-4 hours a day, and did not enjoy my life one bit. My new position was a leap of faith. It was a part time position (to begin with), so financially times might be tough. But, do you know what? There is so much more to life than money. Happiness, for example.

I came home from my interview almost in tears. I couldn’t believe how lucky I felt. Inaudible squeals would be an accurate way to describe my conversation with Euan following the interview. Did I care that I’d be missing out on the money I’d become used to earning? Nope. I can’t describe the euphoria I felt that day, matched with the euphoria I felt when I handed my notice in. My notice period brought darker days, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel and I knew I could get through it.

Happiness is something I know I now have, I guess like some kind of Phoenix rising out of the ashes. It took the darkest parts of my life, both recently and years ago during my teenage struggles, for me to know what it feels like to be happy. I’m not talking about being happy like on the morning of your birthday, or when you get a PB on a 5K run. I’m talking about genuine all-consuming happiness. A separate feeling to the emotion of happy. And, something I didn’t believe in until now.

Will I be in this happiness bubble from now until forever? Probably not. Not like in Sims 2 when a sim fulfilling their lifetime want means happiness for the rest of their lives. I wish. But (real) life doesn’t work like that. What I can take away from my current situation is knowing what it feels like to experience happiness, knowing that it’s always the aim, and knowing that even in the darkest of places there is always hope to come out the other side, happier than ever.

 

 

Advice to you

If you are in a job which makes you miserable, or a relationship which is toxic or holds you back. Get. Out. Life is too short to remain miserable. There is so much out there. So many opportunities, so many places to see, so much to experience. If you are not the best version of yourself, then you need to make that change. Of course it’s terrifying, and is always going to be out of your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Think of all the amazing people who have achieved unimaginable things. None of them would have been anything less than terrified. Imagine if they had given up because they didn’t think they could do it, or they were scared of taking that leap. The world would be a very different place indeed.

If I can do it, then you can do it too. Make 2018 your year!

 

For something a little lighter, have a look at my previous two blog posts!