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Focus on what Works- Do More of That

Permission For Goals to be Incomplete

What if all of our goals are not all meant to be achieved? And, what if we gave students that same permission? 

I Used to Think 

Stress and anxiety can begin when we believe we have to accomplish every goal we set. I used to have a really hard time setting goals, and then realizing at the end of the year, that I did not complete them. Often, I would set so many goals and not revisit them throughout the year. It was not until I listened to a podcast by Jon Acuff recently that changed my perspective about goal setting. Simply put, I need to focus on what works for me and do more of that. It is okay not to complete all of our goals. 

Jon Acuff's Podcast

Now I realize

Jon Acuff’s post truly captured how I was feeling about goals before the start of 2022. He went through a number of the goals he set in different categories from the year 2021, and it was fascinating to hear him talk through which ones he completed, which ones were partially done, and which ones he had completely abandoned.There was something different about Acuff’s vulnerability. I continue to hear people say it is okay not to achieve all of your goals, or it is about the journey of who you are becoming, rather than meeting a final destination. As I listened to Acuff, discussing what had happened over the year without negative emotion, I realized that it is okay to go through the year being honest about what worked and what did not.I am also realizing that I need to combine the best of several different practices when it comes to goal setting.  

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. - Zig Ziglar

Not all Goals need to be SMART Goals

From the time that we are little and into our jobs we are advised to create SMART goals.  Goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. While many of these things are really good things, and it is important for several of our aspirations to include these features, it is okay and freeing for every goal to include all five of these features. Some of my goals are incredibly specific and meet this acronym. However, a few of my goals are reading, using the Peloton app for strength and core, tracking movies I watch, snowshoeing, listening to more jazz music, and learning about Turtles. I know that if I make these goals too rigid, I may or may not do them. What works for me, is several SMART goals and a few goals that allow me the freedom to accomplish how I see fit. On the other hand, maybe it is the way I am auditing my goals after three months that makes them reflect the smart acronym. What I do know is that an audit and check-in after three months will force me to be accountable. I also love that taking things three months at a time feels more manageable and gives me the freedom to make changes as needed.  One thing that has sort of worked for me is using one word to capture the year. However, by allowing myself the freedom to make changes, I do not have to get rid of the benefits that come from choosing a word. 

One Word

For the last five years, I have selected a word with the intent that it would frame the year. #oneword is a common practice among many people. In the past. I have pondered over what my word might be, tried a few on and, ultimately selected a theme for the year. Several of my friends are very good at choosing a word and sticking with it.  I have found that the pressure to choose one word that has to make it all of the way from January to December is near impossible. It is really tough to know what will happen during the year, and I want to make sure I have left space for the unknown. Today, while talking to a friend about her word for the year, I realized that I could set my own rules and choose a word for the first three months of the year.  If the word was working, I could keep it. If the word did not seem relevant to me any longer, It could be replaced with something else. For now, the word, “Focus” seems perfect for me.  There is a lot of freedom knowing that I can change the word on March 31, 2022, if it is not working. 

I Start Before January

Freedom also comes from choosing a start date. Instead of waiting until January 1st, for me, launching new goals happens at the end of December. Rather than waiting to turn the calendar and be magically motivated to begin working towards the goals I have set, I realized that I am incredibly ready and motivated the week after Christmas to start something new. This works for me, and gives me the boost that I need- so why not? 

Find your Drum and Play It

In a brief podcast, Dave Burgess, host of the #DaveBurgessShow podcast, keynote speaker, publisher, president of @dbc_inc shares a podcast that reminds listeners that we need to find what works for us, lights us on fire, and do that! 

Dave Burgess Show Podcast

2022 Is About Embracing What Works and Using it to Create Success

Maybe it is the  #oneword concept, maybe it is starting on a specific date, maybe it is creating specific goals, giving yourself the freedom to make changes to goals, and even realizing it is normal not to accomplish everything you set out to do. It is important to discover what works for you, what excites you, and do more of that. As I will do with my students this week, you are given permission to have incomplete goals because it is more about who you become as you are chasing goals rather than the goals that are checked off your list next December. 

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