On Setting Goals

growth mindset

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Before I start, I need to tell you something. The last year in my life has been hard – really, REALLY, very hard. Being torn between what is right, what is right for me and finding my way on the path I know I have been called for, made me feel spaced out and anxious 97% of the time. Well, that and also because I set (un)realistic goals for myself. I’m still deciding if they are or if they aren’t, because I know my own capabilities and I have my own opinions.

My reason for telling you this is just so you know, that while you decide to set & work hard towards your goal(s), life will happen. Children will get sick, you will fall tired, you will run into financial trouble, relationships you thought would last forever, will be gone. Don’t let these obstacles/ setbacks alter your heart. Don’t let mistakes or being talked/ speculated about, change your mind about yourself or who you know you are. When you feel alone and even depressed, look up (God is ALWAYS there) and look forward (He knows what He has destined you for; He gave you the ability to think and to dream). And even though it is really hard, focus on your goal(s). No one in this entire world knows what is good for you, more than you.

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Now let’s get to goal setting.

Up until recently, I lacked severe skills with setting fixed & defined goals for my life. I also steered clear of formal planning due to my fear of “boring routines”: famous last words being- “winging it”. They only thing that kept me sane, effective & efficient in my years, were my lists. Since I’ve started focussing on conditioning my mind around goals and planning, things have really started to look different. From my point of view at least.

Good planning & setting goals actually go hand-in-hand and can hardly be separated. But for the purpose of this post, I want to focus on the old school approach to setting (attainable) goals for yourself.  You should have clear and defined goals for every aspect of your life: religion, as a wife & as a woman, as a mother, as an entrepreneur or for your career. Everything you deem important enough to have in your life, should have certain goals set around it and a plan to achieve it.

In theory, your goals should look like this

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Realistic
  5. Timely

In reality, your goals should be

  1. Written down. Put them on paper and in a place where you will see them regularly. I’ve written mine in my daily planner, which I keep with me every day. I’ve also put them in my Notes on my phone, so whenever I need a reminder of why I do what I do, I read through them in the que at Woollies.
  2. Detailed. The more detail you put into the setting of your goals, the easier it will be to plan your steps in getting there. For example, don’t just say, “I want to lose weight!” or “I want to be financially independent” as these goals are simply too vague and there is no good way to measure them. Be specific about how much weight you would like to lose and how you would like to pay for your own medical aid, car and phone by a certain age.
  3. Balanced. Set goals for different aspects of your life. Balance is important and that’s why you should set financial, business, social, physical and intellectual goals, for example. Some of these areas’ goals come easier or more naturally to achieve as you may be inclined to spend more time on them. But try devote some time every day, week or month on achieving the goals you set for all the aspects of your life.
  4. Quantitive. Work values & time frames into your goal statements. By being quantitive about your goals, you can more easily envision and then achieve them. If one of your goals is to lose weight, say: “I would like to lose 10kgs over the next 6 months by getting a personal trainer for once a week and training by myself for 3 more days per week”.
  5. For YOU. Set your goals for you and your hearts deepest desires. Don’t set them for someone else. Don’t set them because of social pressure or by what is expected of you. Set them because you want them more than anything else for you.

Anything you can dream, you CAN do. Set the goal and work towards it!

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