Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.
I love the number three; I think it’s magical. When I plan my goals, I always do it in threes, so instead of one word for my 2021, I’ve identified three!
I plan and revise my goals regularly, at least every three months, sometimes every month, but I’ve never chosen a word, or three words for the year. This year I’m linking my goals to my three words of the year.
You’re probably wondering why now? Well, two things happened.
I first read about his in Claire Diaz Ortiz’s book, I’ll be telling you about it shortly, called Design Your Day. In the first chapter, she proposes we start by choosing our word for the year based on what you want to achieve. This word will give us a sense of direction for all our goals for the year ahead.
Secondly, I was intrigued by the idea, so I did some investigating online and found plenty of videos and webpages, including Everyday Gyaan, where you can find a link-up so you can read other words of the year and share your own.
The idea sounded powerful and practical. Focussing on a word, or three, to bring together and permeate all my goals convinced me and I thought, if it works for so many other people, surely I can benefit too, so here’s what I did.
Step One, following Michael Hyatt’s advice in his book Your Best Year Ever, which I featured in my blog last week, was to identify which aspects/areas/domains of my life are most important to me. Hyatt identifies ten, but I’ve narrowed it down to five aspects where I have specific goals I want to achieve: Mind, Body, Soul, Career and Hobbies.
Step Two was to identify specific goals for each aspect of my life.
I’ve identified 3 goals, for each aspect.
It helps me to add the reason, why it’s important to me, so that I remember the motivation behind the goal, to keep the momentum going.
I also add a basic strategy, what steps am I going to take to achieve the goal. This can be specific, general, or just the first step. This will help me focus and work toward my goal, because we all know that a goal without a plan is just a wish!
Here’s an example of my goal-planning for my ‘Mind’ goals.
|Goal 1||Study neuroscience and neurolinguistics|
|Why||I’m interested in learning more about how the mind works and how languages are learnt.|
|Strategy||Register for a free three part online course at Harvard. https://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/fundamentals-neuroscience-part-1-electrical-properties-neuron?delta=0 There are plenty of these free and reasonably priced courses online on hundreds of topics.|
|Goal 2||Learn German|
|Why||My daughter, her partner and son live in Germany|
|Strategy||Read short stories, study vocab, practice with app, watch easy german videos on youtube.
I’ve bought the books, downloaded the app and identified the youtube channel ‘Easy German’ which has regular learning videos.
|Goal 3||Read 2 books a week|
|Why||To keep my mind active and improve my writing skills.|
|Strategy||I make a TBR lists with various headings such as personal growth, romance, thrillers, psychology and learning, etc.
I’m on audible, Scribd and Amazon. I usually take notes as I read and share my opinions on the books I read my blog.
I’m doing the same process with every aspect and goal. It’s vital y to write it all down in an orderly manner. That doesn’t mean it’s written in stone, in fact it should be regularly reread, revised and updated.
I have set all my goals and I have my ‘whys’, but I haven’t finished completing the strategies part yet for all of them. It’s exhausting and time-consuming, but worthwhile.
If you’d like to see the rest of my goals, let me know in the comments. I wouldn’t want to bore you with a breakdown of all my goals and projects.
Step Three: Introspection.
There’s just one question which will help me find the answers I need:
- What do I need more of to move on in my life?
First, I’d like to look at the things I already have.
I have Time. I am retired, so I have so much time that I must organise it.
I also have plenty of intrinsic and extrinsic Motivation for each goal. They are all things I’m passionate about doing because they are meaningful in my life and bring me joy.
So, what do I need to achieve my goals, that I currently lack, or don’t have enough of?
1- I need to organise my time effectively with daily morning and evening Routines, because I know from experience that if I don’t create habits and schedules, I’ll never have enough time to do it all.
2- I also need to Believe that I can do it, because sometimes it all gets too daunting. Life gets in the way and I don’t think I can do it all, because I’m not clever enough, or talented enough, or simply good enough, so I need to believe in myself.
3- Finally I want to add a third word, which is Gratitude, especially after this tough year we’ve all experienced. Gratitude for the love, support, health and happiness, creativity, I have received and given because I want it in my life this year and every other year, too.
Now that I have my three words, what to I do with them?
Firstly, I need to take these words as seriously as my goals.
That means 1- organising and adhering to a routine that works for me, 2- Investigating strategies, such as affirmations, to build self-confidence and belief in myself, 3- remembering to be thankful by keeping and rereading my gratitude journal.
It also means repeating them every day and applying them to each of my goals.
I write them in big, bold letters, on the first page of my journal and make sure I’m invoking them every time I revise my Goals Journal, where I carefully write all this down and add notes to keep me on track.
I’m also doing something else which is new this year, I’m creating a Goal Book. I got the basic idea, which I’ve adapted to my own style, which works for me, from Marissa Peer, who tells us all about making a Vision Book or folder, instead of a Vision Board. But more about my Goal Book in another post.
I hope to have it all sorted out by the end of January (although I’ve already started with some of my goals, such as learning German). Next year I’ll have to start in December!
What’s your word or words of the year for 2021?
Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth