Tuesday, January 16, 2018

5 WAYS TO STAY ACCOUNTABLE WITH YOUR GOALS


January is the perfect time to talk about our goals.  Last year was my first year to use my Inkwell Press Flex Planner to track my goals, and I was so happy with it.  I achieved almost all of my goals, and I owe it all to these five tips below.

I know  this month has been goal overload, but I sincerely hope this will help someone along the way. It can be so discouraging to make goals year after year and accomplish (what feels like) nothing.  I have been there and done that, so if these tips help you please let me know!


WRITE IT DOWN

You do not need a fancy planner to make goals.  Just pick up a $1 notebook at the store and get started!  Although my goals are divided into categories, you can always start out with three simple goals that don't have categories.  The point is that writing your goals down helps you remember them.  I would also suggest keeping your notebook where you see it everyday.  I keep mine in my bag and carry it with me every single day.  Every once in a while, I look over my goals to remind myself of what I want to accomplish during the year.


SPLURGE ON JUST A LITTLE SOMETHING

This might sound counter intuitive, but splurge on just a little something.  For me, it's my planner and pens.  You already know my love for my planner, but I also love pens and stickers.  It's different for everyone.  If you bought a $1 notebook, maybe buy one really nice pen to go along with it.  Or, you could splurge on an app to keep yourself accountable on your phone.  Making the process of goal setting fun will make it enjoyable!


BE REALISTIC

Over the years, I've been known to make 10 goals in all the categories and then be completely surprised that I rarely accomplish them.  Overloading yourself on goals just sets yourself up for failure.  Plus, your fantasy self probably wants to accomplish that laundry list of goals, but you need to make goals for your real self.  For example, my fantasy self would love to read 100 books, knit all the things, learn how to spin yarn, and keep a spotless house.  All the same time.  It's taken me years to realize that focusing on just a few goals really makes me happier.


TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

I said before that I look over my goals from time to time.  Honestly, I do it every couple of weeks because I enjoy it.  It's a lot of fun to plan for the future and look back on what I wanted to accomplish at the beginning of the year.  But, it's also important to track my progress.  My Inkwell Press planner has a goal tracking page built in.  It's divided into quarters, which is a really helpful way to jot down how I'm doing.  If you're tracking your goals in a notebook, set aside one page to reevaluate your goals in whatever time increment you think it's appropriate.  I love doing quarterly check-ins, but you might want to do it monthly or even twice a year!


DON'T BREAK THE CHAIN

This is a new activity for me.  There are three things that I track every single day.  Two of them are not related to goals.  Instead, they are just lifestyle changes I want to make every day.  I track my water intake and my knitting progress.  I think the water intake is obvious.  If I don't hold myself accountable, I will drink coffee all day long.  :)

For anyone who doesn't know, I am a knitter and strive to knit something every single day.  I used to track my projects, but I got so hung up on the numbers that I was overwhelmed and rarely knit.  This year, I want to knit just a little bit every day, so I can finish projects this year.  So far, so good!  I've only missed a couple days, and I've already finished one project.

The third activity I track is reading.  Now, that is related to my goal of reading 15 books this year.  And just like the knitting, reading just a little bit every day gets me closer to my goal.  Just like the knitting, I was hung up on reading a certain number and became overwhelmed.

Every day, I color in a hexagon if I'm accomplished that day's habit.  So far, so good!

What are your tips for accomplishing goals?  I'd love to hear them!

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