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On Goal Setting

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Someone I follow on Instagram recently talked about a goal setting trick she’d learned via Rachel Hollis. Rachel Hollis is apparently some kind of influencer regarding business, relationships, and marriage. I don’t normally go for what these influencer types say, but what she has to say about goal setting is kind of life changing.

Write down your goals as if you’re already doing it.

That means: write them down in the present tense!

I’m not going to get personal about my goals here because I don’t want to, but I started using this method a few days ago and I’m a fan. I can attest to things not changing overnight as I have not magically acquired a tiny home in the mountains (#wishfulthinking), but my mindset has definitely changed.

Changing your mindset is key. The world is basically a garbage fire, so staying positive however you can is super important. If you talk about what you want to do as if you’re already doing it, then it’s more likely to occur because you’re invested in this thing you want.

Example: I walk for 45 minutes every single day. You write this down and then you do it. Every day.

You write down the why of this goal, too.

Example: I walk for 45 minutes every single day because it boosts my energy, allows me to listen to my favorite podcast, and helps me feel healthier.

That’s one of my real life examples. It doesn’t happen every day, but I’d say that six out of seven days, I can haul myself out of bed before 6 a.m. to get a walk in. Of course the plan is to do it seven days a week for a full hour, but I’m working up to that, just in time for winter. Sometimes I reward myself with a frappuccino from Starbucks, although that’s defeating the purpose of the walk and is a habit I need to quit.

I put journaling on my to do list every single day, also, so I return to my goals regularly. My goals change each day. I mean, they are roughly the same, but sometimes I remove one that isn’t working or add in a habit I want to change, like not sleeping with the television on. Writing them down also gives me space to figure out what I need to do to accomplish those goals.

I have short term and long term goals. Owning a tiny house is a long term goal. Walking every day is a short term goal that will eventually become a long term goal because I’ll do it every day.

Consistency is key with this kind of goal setting, though. You can’t just do it once and call it done. It might seem repetitive to write down the exact same goals over and over again, but that’s how they become habits, which is kind of the point here. Writing them down repeatedly can also be helpful in figuring out how you want to achieve those goals.

I’ll admit I’ve recently skipped a couple of days with my goal setting journaling, but I’m aiming to get back on track today. I was much more motivated to get stuff done when I was holding myself accountable for what I want out of life.

There is no right or wrong way to add this strategy to your life. You can choose as many or as few goals as you want. You can buy a new journal (that’s what I did — a three pack of nice Moleskine dupes for $16.99 at Costco). You can use a Word doc or a Google doc so you always have it with you. I’m visual, tactile, so I prefer the process of physically writing vs. typing. This goal setting is also an excellent form of free self-care. At most, it will be the cost of a new journal, if that’s the route you go.

Like I said, I don’t know much about Rachel Hollis, but there’s a good post here with more information. I’m just doing what works for me. And with that, I’m off to do my daily goal setting exercise.

Do you set goals of any kind? Will you try this method? I’d love to hear how it works for you.