After reading about Erin Condren Life Planners on my friend Taralynn’s blog, I absolutely had to try one. They’re colorful, customizable, and inspirational. It came on Thursday and I absolutely couldn’t wait to unbox it. I felt like I was becoming a part of a secret club of motivated, planning individuals.
I’ve never been a huge fan of using my Smartphone as a planner and date book; I find the simple act of writing something down makes the thought and the action more intentional. Personally, when I write my goals down I hold myself more accountable. Even if it’s something as small as “walk the dog,” or “exercise.”
Now, I not only write my daily “to-dos” in my planner, but my short and long-term goals.
Why should you write down your goals?
- By writing it down, you set the intention. You’ve given yourself a bar to rise to. We are our own toughest critics, and once we set down an expectation for ourselves, it can help launch us into action.
- You become clear about what you want. The hardest part about writing down your goals is giving clear, concrete examples of what we want. In doing this, some of us may realize we have a rather muddy idea of what we’re striving for; no wonder happiness seems unattainable! “Get more sleep,’ is a good goal but “Get 8 hours of sleep each night” is a better one. Just as “Pay off debts” sounds nice, but “Pay off student loan by June 2015” is better, more concrete, tangible.
- When you have clear goals, you can celebrate your progress. A vague goal like “Be happy,” is hard to track and celebrate. When I set a clear goal like “Go back to the gym,” or “Read 2 books a month,” it is much easier see and enjoy my success. And isn’t that what goals are about? Striving to make us better?
- Setting goals may bring new vitality and energy to your life. When I set the goal of trying to blog daily, it motivated me to get up earlier each day. Instead of rushing off to work in the morning, I have over an hour of writing time where I sip my coffee lackadaisically, dream, and set goals. This has changed the entire rhythm of my morning: I go to work more calm, peaceful, and motivated, having already done something ‘just for me’ that day. Starting with one small goal has spilled over into other areas of my life. It’s a ripple effect that has me eating healthier, working out, and setting goals like a madwoman. Success is addicting.
What’s the next step? Write it down! What’s your ultimate? Is it fitness, wellness, money, a book deal? A family, new job, or travel perhaps? Be concrete about what you want and how long is a realistic timeline for you to attain it. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet your exact timelines; the important part is having a goal and going for it. Keep your goals on your fridge, taped to your headboard, in your planner, or as a background on your computer: somewhere where you will have to look at it everyday and keep yourself accountable!
As corny as it sounds, the only one holding you back from your ultimate success… is you! 🙂