Friday January 31st 2014, the last day of the first month of 2014 felt like an unconscious deadline for planning the rest of the year. The task was to decide on my goals, objectives, activities and dreams for the remaining 11 months of this year, via the totally valuable planning workbook of Leonie Dawson – Create Your Amazing Year.
In reality it is never too late to consider, plan, dream and act, but by doing it in January we have a map to help us find our way and time, a precious commodity to achieve all that we hope for.
During my physical hibernation this month I’ve been pondering how to create a structure to ensure I write everyday, not every week or every other day. I started reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and liked the idea of doing morning pages, but know that our family morning routine will and does take priority. My conclusion was to decide to write a page of writing everyday whenever I could during the day.
Writing this intention in my workbook was the first step but I needed an achievable goal, which will motivate and enthuse me to complete it. As I looked at my calendar, I realised that there were 50 weeks remaining in 2014, which is a nice round number of blogs to write this year. It feels both positive and challenging whilst being achievable. Maybe I’ll have to do some planning for holidays etc but giving my voice an audience feels like an opportunity and a structure to focus my goal around.
Most employees have work related goals and objectives set with managers at annual review meetings, to ensure people know where they are going with their work and what will be accomplished. Goals are like compass points; they chart our course and navigate the way forward. But what about having personal goals? How many of us consciously create goals in our personal lives? Or are we just too busy getting on with it? I can see the argument.
In 2013 I completed my personal goals and did so much more with my life, including small and big things, which I really wanted to do. Incorporating goals which look after ourselves isn’t always easy to do in our fast moving lives, making their inclusion even more essential if we are to develop, create and live the best life we can AND feel personally fulfilled. If not we trundle along……..who knows where.
I realised the importance and relevance of goals in our lives whilst walking 500 miles to Santiago de Compostellae. Obviously the main goal was to reach Santiago. In the beginning I let self-doubt create a flexible goal, based on how I might feel and whether my children were coping without me. This was my maternal instinct kicking in, whilst providing me with a convenient get out clause to not achieve my goal.
Simply walking all day, living a simple life and time to think for a few weeks are reasons why many people decide to undertake the walk. However, the destination, along with weekly, daily and even hourly goals become greater priorities for pilgrims than the other reasons. We need goals in order to live, complete and fulfill our sense of achievement. When a fellow walker reassuringly told me that I could do it and had enough time to Santiago I surrendered to the task ahead and made a commitment. All the worries, doubts and questions were left behind as I pursued and realised my dream.
It’s simple really but we make our lives more complicated by not goal setting or saying out loud our dreams and then taking action. All the rest are excuses! Do you have a convenient explanation lined up for not pursuing your dreams? I’m sure it sounds legitimate to you. It’s definitely not always the easiest path to take, nor the shortest and there will be hurdles to overcome but when you make a start on it and you get that feeling of ‘this feels right’, then you find the means, resources, time and energy to pursue it. Get up and walk!