Five ways to stick to (and love!) your spring goals
Our goals are meant to reflect where we are in our lives currently and help us get where we are going. And most important, to enjoy the journey.
If the first 3 months of the year have flown by without you making the progress you hoped to on your goals so far – give yourself a break! Or perhaps you have been on fire and you’re eager to keep the momentum going!
Either way, Springtime is a great time to harness your productive energy and take on opportunities for fun, play & inspiration to reinvigorate creative momentum.
I invite you to take this quarterly opportunity to start anew with fresh goals for the spring. Use these tips to help see your goals through to success!
1. Calendar time for productivity, not just for the deadline
Many of us make the mistake of thinking of a goal as only a measured outcome with a deadline.
But the actual achievement of most goals requires many steps along the way. These steps all require time, and it’s putting that time on your calendar that will allow you to successfully carry out your commitments, while enjoying the process.
Simply “hope” you’ll find the time to complete your goals without planning time to make them happen.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If your goal is a big project, schedule a weekly 1-3 hour work session (or more) that you will devote completely towards actions towards that goal. Make this time distraction-free. Reward yourself for your productivity with something you enjoy during or afterwards to incentivize yourself.
If the goal requires repeated actions, such as exercise or trips to a particular place, etc., make sure those times are scheduled on your calendar in advance as well.
2. Know what you’re willing to give up
Many of us tend to create goals for ourselves without considering what we are willing to give up to make space for them.
But our schedules already full, adding on new goals without giving anything up, sets us up for failure and stress.
Many of us are hesitant to use our evenings or family time for personal projects. But what would it look like if you took 1 night a week off of your routine – ordered out, asked your husband or someone else to take the reigns that evening – in order to make consistent strides towards your goal for 3 months?
Add on new goals to your already-busy life without taking something out of your schedule.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
For each new goal, consider what you are willing to give up to make room for the new energy, time & commitment your new activities will take. What you give up does not have to be permanently gone from your life, it just may need to go on pause for a little while while you work towards this new project that currently needs to take precedence.
3. Bring others in
“Tell everyone what you want to do and someone will want to help you do it” – W. Clement Stone
There are many reasons to share your goals. Consider:
- Sharing your goals gives you an opportunity to clarify them. There’s nothing like telling someone else about your ideas to help you clarify your intentions.
- When we tell people about our goals and passions, they are much more likely to find new ways to support us, help us, or be understanding about other commitments we may have to turn down.
- The more people you tell, the more cheerleaders you have in your corner. Having additional people asking us how we are doing and caring about our outcomes creates built-in accountability.
- People are more likely to respond positively to a project you are working on if they’ve been part of the process. Sharing early helps create a sense of ownership for all involved, so they are more likely to be part of the outcome as well – be it buying something you’ve created, or sharing your story with others.
Keep your goals quiet and secret from friends and family.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Share your goals, your projects, and what excites you about them early on. Don’t allow your fears about whether you are good enough, whether your goals are good enough or whether you are capable of perfect execution to keep you from being vulnerable about bringing others in.
4. If the deadline slips, don’t give up on the goal
Don’t be so hard on yourself! Most goals take longer than we expect them too.
Too often, when we make a goal and then find ourselves on the date of our deadline without completing it, we fail to circle back to the goal and reschedule the work. We get discouraged. We allow whatever distracted us to take precedence and somehow justify that we “can’t” achieve the goal or that we just don’t have time for it. Worse, we can get so far behind that we get entirely caught up in the fact that we are behind instead of remembering our excitement that helped us form our initial enthusiasm for the goal.
Lose sight of your vision or the reason you care about an active goal.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Give yourself a break! More times than not, our goals and their timelines are self-imposed. Ask yourself, is there any way you can move your timeline out? Consider how you can “start anew.”
Rather than fixate on what you haven’t gotten done, make a plan from today forward.
5. Prioritize the goals that truly matter
Have you ever experienced something like this: you are sitting at the computer, working away desperately, and looked up and seen your little toddler nearby, laughing away, and felt like your priorities might be mismatched?
Sometimes we have to let go and realize that in some cases, what truly matters is what’s right in front of us and has nothing to do with our ‘on-paper’ goals. And that’s ok too. Don’t disregard the possibility that the right goal for you might include “being able to enjoy the present moment.”
Create your spring goals based on past goals or external pressures, without considering what really lights you up right now.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If your goals have slipped, or you aren’t feeling overenthusiastic about your goals, consider reevaluating the point of your goals in the first place. If you aren’t feeling enthusiastic about them, is the problem that you don’t believe you actually can reach them, so you’ve lost motivation? If your problem is that you don’t feel like you have enough time, have you perhaps ignored that you have other priorities that truly are more important? Or are you just prioritizing the wrong things? Be honest with yourself. Sometimes, we can be overambitious with our planning and have to really take a step back and look at where our energy is best spent and make sure we are doing the work that most closely reflects where we are feeling least fulfilled.
TOOLS & RESOURCES FOR CREATIVES & WORKING MOMS
The balance chart in the Inspired Year Planner (which can be found in the calendar, as a goal setting workbook or available as a free download) can help you evaluate all areas of your life – including time for self-care, a supportive foundation and quality time that provides joy & inspiration – to help you reflect on the right goals to bring lots of joy and purpose into your spring.