Setting a goal is easy. It’s so easy that I set at least 3 or 4 every single day thinking, ‘oh yeah, I got this.’ When really by about 2 p.m., if any one of those didn’t get done, the likelihood that they ever will is cut down drastically. I even wrote down in my planner that I wanted to sit down to write this post, intending to get to working on it before lunch, and now it’s 7 p.m….
However easy it may be to set these goals, and even set big, long term, exorbitant goals, the follow through is almost never easy. I could have sat down to write this this morning and had a version ready for editing by now, but nope, YouTube and a nap got me (thanks quarantine). Usually though, it’ll be much more than a nap and YouTube getting in the way. Usually it’s the job search, household chores, depression, spending time with others, and straight up lack of motivation that get in the way.
But I’ve learned a thing or two about how to self motivate on my goals over time (thank God), and while I’m not perfect at it, stuff still gets done. I recently finished a 100 workout challenge. I am only 100 pages away from having read the entire Bible. I have successfully cut my showers down to three minutes or less. I have hand-made all Christmas and birthday presents for the last two years. I have donated 6 bags of clothes and other goods locally in the last 6 months while decluttering before moves (I’ve moved 3 times). I graduated college. I started this blog.
All of these are goals I have set since 2020 started. Some have been completed. Some are on-going. At this point looking back I feel pretty good about it, but before any of these things began I felt like I was staring at an impossible mountain of to-do’s and really lacked any sort of motivation for a lot of it right off the bat.
Enough about me though, let’s talk about you. I’m sure you also have goals you’d like to accomplish, why else would you be reading this right now? I want to talk with you about how to self motivate, and where to find motivation externally as well. In order to actually, successfully take a good run at a goal, you need to know what that goal means to you.
Determining what your goal means to you:
Is it a personal goal?
This kind of goal is the one I find to the be hardest to accomplish. Often when it comes down to having to do something for myself I find it’s not pressing or won’t matter on a grand scale because it doesn’t actively also help someone else. However, the biggest thing to consider here if you’re someone like me is that, if you better yourself, you can eventually help someone else better themself.
Aside from that- let’s say you’re only going to look at your goal through the self focused lens, what do you do? There are plenty of individual reasons your personal goal might be something you’re working toward or at least want to work toward, and not any one of us is the same. Generally, it’ll be best to set a goal with a progressive point in mind. If you want to set a spiritual goal, start with a concrete step- mine was to read the Bible. If you want to set a fitness goal, begin working toward your first mile long run without stops or get a weight goal for how much you can deadlift. Or, if you want to set a career goal, look into some articles about your field and find a simple first step based on the experiences you read about. The biggest thing that will get you moving is setting concrete steps ahead of yourself to work on. If you don’t have these concrete steps, you can end up feeling lost in a sea of chances without a clue which to grab first.
Is it a goal to help others?
Love these goals! It’s so nice to set a goal simply for the sake of loving others. However, they’re a little harder to actually come by unless you are actively asked to help someone. Without outside opportunities, this requires you to be hyper-vigilant to help others when and where it’s needed in a moments notice.
But, there are also plenty of active goals you can set the can help you accomplish helping others. The best first step here is to determine how you want to help others. By starting with your personal experiences and expertise you can determine how you should be helping others. For myself I use my personal interests to help people here by sharing information on sustainability and self care, and I use my personal experiences to help lead support groups in my community. You might have a personal experience that you can utilize to reach out to others and help them get through similar things. Or, you might have a passion for cooking that’ll make you beneficial to have at the soup kitchen, or you have a knack for web design that’ll make you the perfect candidate to help a small non-profit build its presence. And if you’re working on your passion, the goal will be so much easier to accomplish. That’s beside the fact that you’ll be able to see other’s lives get better in the process.
Is it a multi-purpose goal?
This is the kind of goal that’s not going to take a lot of mental math to figure out where the benefits lie. This kind of goal will probably help you, help others, and might even help the world at large. Beyond person to person, or within the self, this kind of goal can impact the community or the environment over all. Now that might sound intimidating, but that’s hardly the case. I’m not asking you to pick a goal here like ‘solve world hunger’ or ‘close the hole in the ozone layer’ single handedly. All I’m asking is that you determine one large thing you care about and pick a small goal you can accomplish to help that thing get solved.
For this, let’s talk sustainability. When I started my skincare garden it was a multipurpose goal: help myself by working with non-toxic products I grew myself, help others by teaching them how to grow and use these products themselves, and for the planet by cutting down on my commercial consumption of those products and adding more healthy greenery to the world. When you start reaching for your sustainable goal, let’s say you pick that you want to help end childhood hunger in your community. To accomplish this you start a group in your community that comes together to regularly donate to your local food bank. This is a multipurpose goal because you will be helping yourself by learning how to organize others for a common goal, helping others by feeding people who need your donations, and helping the community by strengthening others in their endeavors to help in this area as well.
Whatever your goal may be, I hope reading this post has helped you find the motivation you needed to accomplish it.
Let me know: What are your goals? What has motivated you to accomplish your goals so far in 2020?