Reaching Your Bucket List Goals.
Early January seems like a good time to talk about goals. Six days ago most people pledge to spend the next 365 days doing something anticipated to make their lives better. I can't find any statistics but since we're about a week in, I would guess a majority of people have already lost steam. Self-motivation is hard. Change is hard. Growth is hard. Giving up is easy. Comfort is easy. To procrastinate is to be human. The good news is, every day is a new day, and a new opportunity to start reaching your goals. The road to every dream starts with a "day one" and nowhere in the rule book does it say you can only start on January 1st or the 1st of a new month. Start today.
For myself, I'm working on some bigger goals, longer than a year out. This is a new headspace for me as I'm usually a day to day or week to week planner. But I've tackled the low-hanging fruit on my bucket list and am now facing some hefty goals that require more time and energy to achieve. For example - I'm working on writing my first book and planning to hike across Spain. Other hanger-ons on my life list are to live in another country, produce my own documentary, visit all 50 states, and to own a bookshop. Of my high-school-created "100 things to do before I kick the bucket" list, I've completed about 70% of my goals. Because I'm a total geek when it comes to productivity tools and planning - below are my go-to tips for planning and reaching your goals, whatever size they might be.
1.) Write it down.
No seriously. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write it down. Manifest that goal in print or cursive, whichever way, let your brain release that goal into a tangible place, in your handwriting. For me, I have a notebook where all my goals (lofty and otherwise) are written. Each one gets a small empty square box next to it. Because someday I'm going to proudly fill in that box.
2.) Tell someone who will hold you accountable.
We all have that friend, family member, co-worker, or special someone who will hold our feet to fire. I tell this person first, and usually, it's someone who has a similar goal or the same goal. We become reciprocal accountability pals.
3) Break big goals down into smaller goals.
I'd love to just buy a oneway ticket to Spain, grab my backpack and hit the Camino. But real life (for normal humans and myself) doesn't work that way. I have a job with limited vacation, a dog to feed that isn't coming with, a route to plan, a budget to make and save for and hundreds of other related tasks. Since I need that gratifying satisfaction of checking off boxes, I make mini-goals that lead to big goals. For my hike across Spain in the future, right now I'm reading about different route options, I've joined a Camino Hiker grouper to learn from and connect with others who have reached this goal, and am learning conversational Spanish through Duolingo. Whatever your big dreams are, there are steps you can take today to move the needle forward.
4.) Add it to your calendar and set reminders.
Sometimes my calendar pops up a reminder I set months ago and it's just the kick in the pants that I need to stay on track. If you've done step three, add deadlines (even if they're arbitrary) to your calendar. Nothing motivates action like a looming deadline.
5). Keep at it.
Life happens! Don't get discouraged if you have to delay or change something. You can always come back to a goal if you need a break. Just don't wait forever. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow.
What bucketlist goals do you have? What's your favorite you've done so far?
Good luck friends!