Do you set weekly goals for yourself? I do, and I thought I might share some of my weekly goals here on the blog. Perhaps you might want to join in some of the challenges from time to time or maybe you’ll get something out of the actual process of setting goals. Perhaps no one will read these, but hey, at least I’ll benefit. ;)
First off, why set goals? Well, as the saying goes, if you aren’t aiming for anything, you’ll hit the mark every time. I find that when I integrate goals into my to-do lists for the week, it keeps me in a more positive mood and being more productive. It gives a sense of order to my week. I don’t know about you, but there are times when I look at all that I have on my plate to accomplish and I wonder, “How on earth am I going to get all of this done? Lord please help me!” When I sort it out and set measurable goals to meet, timelines for my action plan, and consider what resources I have to help me accomplish those goals, all of the sudden I have a better handle on the situation. Goals help vision come to fruit. They are the nuts and bolts that give us a sense of direction.
When I teach people about goal setting, I first talk to them about operationalizing goals. To operationalize is just a fancy way of answering the question, “What would it look like if I accomplished this goal?” So, if my goal is to be happier, what would that look like? How would I act and feel? What would I be doing? If my goal is to lose 5 pounds, what do I need to be doing to accomplish that goal?
Once you have a more concrete idea in your head about your goal, put it into action words. This involves keeping it simple enough to be something that you could check off a list. Can you answer the question of whether or not it was accomplished with a simple yes or no answer? If so, you have a goal that is simple. Next, you need to make it doable. If I say that I want to lose 30 pounds in a month, well not only is that just crazy, but it is also undoable for me. Maybe if I were on a TV show and had an arsenal of fitness experts and healthcare teams to help me, but that isn’t my reality. Sure, you want to reach high enough to make your goal worth doing and a bit challenging, but not so far that you are setting yourself up for failure. Then you want to make sure your goal is measurable. Does it have a time limit? How will I know if I accomplish it? Remember the part where you are asking yourself what would it look like and feel like if I accomplished this goal? Return to that part if you are stumped on how to measure it. Finally, make sure you write it down. There is something magical about writing down a goal. No longer is it something floating around in the atmosphere. It is concrete and you are set to a purpose. Does that mean you can’t revise your goal? Of course not, but by writing it down, you’ll then have a better idea of how to revise it if changes are needed.
So, on to the challenge I’ve made for myself this week-- I’ve been reading Dave Ramsey’s book Entreleadership, and I’ve been listening to the podcasts that his team have put out on various aspects of leadership. Because I listened to some of the podcasts with Hubby, I’m hearing them a little out of order. Today, I listened to podcast 5 on recognition. The speakers were talking about how important it is to recognize and show appreciation for those around you. They encouraged you to make an intentional effort to recognize and commend times that those around you are doing something right.
As I listened I thought of how easy it is to point out the negative. At a restaurant if a server waits until your glass is completely empty before refilling it, that might be the thing that is noticed rather than all of the other things that he or she has done right during your dining experience. Your child goes through an entire church service with good behavior but then starts to act up towards the end. Do you commend how well he or she acted the majority of the time or express your disappointment at the end? I know myself and I know what the answers are for me. I really do try to look for what others do right and commend people publicly when I experience good customer service or are blessed by another’s actions. I don’t tend to be a negative person by nature, yet, it is still easy for me to see the negative and grumble and complain about those things.
I decided to challenge myself to intentionally recognize and show appreciation when I see others doing something well or right. How will I measure this? What will this look like? First off, I want to write a note to my Hubby as part of his Christmas gift thanking him for the many ways that he provides for us and gives to us each and every day. Next, I want to make a point at least one time a day to talk to our daughter about something she did that I appreciated or something that I noticed she did that I thought was awesome. Since we eat suppers together as a family almost every night together, I thought that I might do so in front of her Daddy (and whatever other family members or friends are there). Last, I want to make a point to write at least 3 letters of appreciation to others this week. I might write more, but given that it is a week until Christmas, I’m thinking that 3 is more doable.
The reason I’m setting this goal is so that I will become more intentional when looking for times to praise others. Does that mean that I don’t already give our daughter kudos, send thank you notes or tell my Hubby how lucky I am? Of course not—it means that I’m working on doing those things in a more purposeful way. I look forward to seeing how it goes.
What about you? What goals do you have for yourself this week? How do you use goal work in your everyday life?