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Tips for setting goals: Making a THIS List

Being a human is hard. Why is it hard? Because we want to be better all the time… we want to achieve more, do more, learn more, get more, be more. And what makes that so hard you ask? Well, because we’re human.

Human beings are designed to achieve under stress. I’m no expert but it probably has something to do with our ancestry and having to catch our own food. You’re not going to bring down a buffalo dinner by taking it easy, right? Or keep yourself alive in a predator infested wilderness chillaxing under a tree, no sir.

Fast forward a few years and now we can buy our dinner and pepper spray, so what’s so hard about achieving anything these days? Well, our brains didn’t get the memo on it being 2018, and are still kicking into stress mode when we’re trying to get stuff done. And let’s be honest, we’re trying to get a lot more stuff done these days than we ever did back in the good old days. No club wielding cave woman had to worry about getting a good nights sleep so she’d have enough energy to wake up, make up, get the cubs up, dressed up, fed up and ready for cave school… all before arriving on time and raring for a busy day of berry picking.

We are constantly trying to do much at once, and this is sending our brains into “Where’s the lion?!” hyper drive on a minute to minute basis… although it’s more likely a scenario of “Where did I save that document I need for my deadline”, or “Where is the printer toner?”…same thing to your brain. Now again, I’m no expert, but I’m thinking that your brain being in constant fight or flight mode is going to lead to your body eventually finding itself in give up and go down mode. Being constantly stressed is obviously no good, and you don’t need to search for my PhD’s on the wall, they’re not there… you know it, the world tells us this, your mind and body are screaming it at you… And all of this stress and multi-juggling is helping you achieve what exactly? You got it, zip. So not only are we busier, stressier, and unhappier than ever before, we’re actually achieving less.

So what to do? How will you take back the steering wheel of your life from the over-caffeinated squirrel that’s driving your brain with the brake line cut and with the GPS set for Burn Out town? Personally, I’ve found that writing stuff down helps manage the brainado (brain tornado).

If you’re like me and have a million and ten things whizzing around in there, including the squirrel imagery now, you’re Helen Hunt in Twister hanging on for dear life to a pipe and staring into the eye of the beast. Minus the hero dude who helped strap you in, and minus the happy ending where the beast blows away eventually.

It’s not just about writing things down though, although brain dumping (as beautifully visual a term as that is), does helps tremendously. It’s more about committing yourself to achieving something through the systematic and less frenzied act of committing pen to paper and planning. It’s about setting goals.

So after scouring through some great articles on Entrepreneur, an idea began to form. Goal setting is essentially turning “that” into “this”. It’s bringing some seemingly far off thing you would like to have into your immediate reality, and making it real for you, everyday. Turning that thing you want into this thing I have. Goal setting becomes about establishing your “this”, how you’ll go about getting it, doing that, and tracking your success.

So let’s look at setting a THIS list:


This is yours

When setting your goals, it’s important to know that your “this” is really in line with what you want, deep down… all the way down, be honest now. Setting goals that are truly important to you will ensure you stick to them, kinda obvious. Also, your goals may include other people and this doesn’t fly. If it’s not for you alone, and doesn’t involve only you, you can’t fully control the outcome. Don’t include other people in your “this list”, they don’t care as much about your this as you do, they have their own bag of this’s to carry around. Once you’ve figured out what you want on your list, take some time to think about what your reality looks like with this goal achieved. How is life different, how would you feel? Spend some time really, really, getting into that story and exploring all aspects of how this would change your life, and hold on to that. Consider it done, and keep considering, and then consider it some more. Do whatever you can to enforce that story… if it means cutting a picture of yourself out and sticking it onto a picture of a Ferrari’s driver seat (or a tropical island), you do that, and look at it everyday. Sounds weird, but you will enjoy that picture regardless. Positive thinking and owning the reality when our brains have visual cues, is that much easier…so find someone with mad Photoshop skills or attack your magazines, and have a good time with it.

How you’ll get this

So your goal is the big shiny light at the end of the tunnel and all you need to do is walk through the dark towards it, simple right? Not quite. As any parent with children who own Lego will tell you, the night is dark and the floor is full of foot terrors. Also, well known fact that your pinky toe is biologically designed to find furniture in the dark. I digress, squirrel. My point is, you need to have a plan when it comes to getting to that goal. You can’t just head out into the darkness without considering all aspects of the terrain you may encounter, Lego-less or otherwise.

Map out your game plan, consider all the risks and/or problems you may encounter, and above all… find ways to get there and tell yourself you can no matter what. Also, give yourself time, Rome really wasn’t built in a day, which is probably the most factual thing in this article and completely researchable. Put your self critic in that way back there dusty cupboard in your brain when doing your planning, the one where your high school and clown thoughts live. Bring out Oprah instead, and check under your chair because when you’re planning to achieve something, you need a positive thought, and they need a positive thought, and everyone needs a positive thought!

Is this being rewarded?

Setting goals and sticking to them is hard. Let’s not even pretend that it isn’t…the world would be a much different place with less credit cards and McDonald’s outlets if that were the case. So reward yourself. When you hit a milestone on your map, be sure to include a reward for yourself for achieving that milestone. Don’t reward yourself for hitting potholes, we tend to reach out for all things sugary, chocolatey and bad for us when we do, it won’t help. You need to be good to yourself in the whole getting to “this” process. It’s hard what you’re doing, out of your comfort zone most likely, and you need to be your own BFF through this.

So, who’s got you in this?

Speaking of BFFs… Your support structure is everything. Yes, it’s your goal, and yes you’re doing it for you… but we all need a someone who will help keep us at the wheel when the squirrel has had an extra hazelnut double espresso. There are people in your life who can act as a mentor, to whom you will turn to for much needed advice and who knows something about your “this” and getting it. This could even be someone well known, like a motivational speaker you can follow and watch on You Tube. There could be people you might need to influence to achieve your goals, if you’re in sales for example. Getting to the heart of being a good influencer and doing your research would be key to getting their support. Other people will help introduce you to just the right people you need to interact with to get your “this”. Always be open to new people, they might just know or have exactly what you need to achieving your goals. Most importantly is your Jarvis. Where would Iron Man be without Jarvis? We all need someone who is going to be there with the facts, and possibly some thinly veiled sarcasm, to keep us on the straight and narrow. If you can’t get your hands on a super advanced artificial intelligence that can tap into most of the world agencies archives to provide you with answers, then turn to the next best someone in your life. Jarvis can’t hug Iron Man, and you may need one or two of those to cheer you up, so I’m sure your sidekick is probably better anyway, maybe.

So there you have it, my two cents worth on goal setting. I wish us the very best of luck in beating the squirrel and getting on track to getting our this, whatever that may be.

Happy listing,
Nicole@The Voetsy Blog Team


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