It’s obviously not the new year, but let’s talk about how to achieve goals. I recently learned a fascinating way to approach goals and living intentionally, and it will change your life!
I recently became familiar with Rachel Hollis, the author of the #1 New York Times’ best seller, “Girl, Wash Your Face.” I’m sure you’ve heard about it — it’s been all over my social media lately.
I’ve also been listening to her podcast, and the podcast she and her husband do together. I highly recommend both!
In one of the episodes, she briefly mentioned a daily practice she does to help her achieve goals and life dreams, and it was something that really struck me.
Every day she writes down her top life goals or dreams, in present tense, as if she’s already achieved them.
She didn’t go into much depth about how it worked, so I took the idea and ran with it in a way that seemed right for me, and today I want to share more about this way of working to achieve your goals because it is LIFE CHANGING.
First of all, why write down the same goals every day?
I’m trying really hard to live very intentionally, in the way that I take care of my body, the way that I parent, the person I’m trying to become, the relationships I have and keep and nurture, and so much more.
My top ten life goals have everything to do with that list above, so having a daily reminder of my ideal self helps me live more intentionally each day.
I don’t want to send my kids off to college one day and realize I wasn’t the kind of parent I hoped to be. Or I don’t want to be on my death bed one day and realize I wanted to be more kind and just never pushed myself to be more kind. Or wish that I was happier. Or wish that I’d accomplished that big goal I dreamed of. And on and on.
So I chose 10 goals, and I’m writing them every single day to remind me every single day of the things I want to do and the person I want to become.
As Rachel always says…
“..HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY.”
Why do you write the goals in the present?
Writing them in the present is so powerful. Many people do this with affirmations. “I am beautiful. I am strong. I am enough. I am successful.”
I follow that same pattern by writing, “I am an exceptional mother.” “I am an intentionally kind person.”
By writing them in the present, it forces your mind to believe that it’s possible. And the more that you say it to yourself, the more your brain believes it and becomes it.
Do you just write the goals and that’s it?
I write the goal, and then I write a short paragraph with more context and details. Here’s an example from one of my entries last week:
“I am an exceptional mother. I pray for my children by name, every day. I pray for their well being. I pray for their successes and for them to learn from their failures. I serve them and love them no matter what. I teach them every day, and spend meaningful quality time with them. I am intentional.”
I start with the exact same goal, and then the paragraph changes from day to day depending on how I parented the day before, something I read or heard, or just my feelings in the moment.
On this particular day when I wrote the above entry, I had read in my scriptures about a father who had a very disobedient and wicked son. The father was faithful and pleaded with God for his son, and through a series of events, his son becomes very aware of his sins, repents, and becomes a successful and wonderful missionary. The scriptures basically said, “The Lord hears the prayers of the faithful.”
This hit me particularly hard, and I realized that I want to be more intentional about how I’m praying for each of my children. So my paragraph for that day revolved a lot around praying for my children.
Does that makes sense?
Do I have to write a paragraph with my goal?
For me, the more detail, the better. And I think that adding those extra details that are specific to the day, make it more personal and less of a mindless practice.
It makes me really think about the goals and how they’re affecting my life.
I think if I just wrote my goals in a list, it would become mindless and wouldn’t have the same effect and impact for me.
Where do you write these goals?
I write my goals in Google Drive. I created a folder called “Daily Journaling” and I make a new document for each day. It’s an easy place for me to store where I can access it on my computer or my phone, and I don’t have to hang on to a notebook or use a million sheets of paper.
I also like that I can type them out, instead of write them out. I’m faster at typing, and I like that I can go back and edit each paragraph if I make a mistake or want to change something after I’ve written it.
But a notebook or journal is a great option too! Do whatever works for your personality and lifestyle.
What kind of goals are these? And will they change over time?
I chose goals that are for my entire lifetime, so I don’t plan for them to change. They might evolve a bit over time, but I didn’t want them to be a short term goal.
Here’s an example of a short term goal: “Lose the rest of my baby weight.”
(this is just an example – I’m not trying to lose weight)
Here’s an example of the kind of long term goal I’m talking about, and written as if I’m already there: “I am healthy and strong. I take care of my body so it takes care of me. I put in fuel that will serve me, make me feel amazing, and have the energy to work, be a great mom, and accomplish the things I want to. I run 15-20 miles per week. I feel grateful for the body I have, and I don’t take it for granted.”
See the difference?
Can you give me some examples of some other goals, or tell us your goals?
Your goals can be literally anything.
My number one goal is “I am Merrick.” I have this goal because I want to always be me, and not try to be anyone else.
I have a goal about being a happy person.
I have a goal about how much money I have in my bank account.
I have a goal about my career, and where I want my business to be one day.
I have a goal about my relationship with my husband.
I have a goal about the kind of disciple of Jesus Christ I want to be.
Every day when I write these down, it reminds me to be myself. To work hard to be happy. To work hard at work so I can accomplish my business goals. To spend less and save more. To be intentional about time with my kids everyday. To exercise.
It helps me keep my smaller goals and habits so I get closer to reaching my life dreams.
Writing these down every day helps me be more intentional about my entire day.
Again, “hope is not a strategy.”
I hope to become all these things, but they will not happen unless I work toward them every day.
That’s the power in this practice.
If you have any other questions about this practice to help you achieve your goals, leave a comment. I’m always happy to answer questions!
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