How to Achieve Your Goals in One Simple Step

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Now that I’ve put it out there, I feel an obligation to write. I said I’d be writing more to anyone reading this and so I feel like I must make that happen. Just because I said I it was a goal of mine.

I’ve heard it said that you share your “do more” goals with friends and keep the “give up” goals to yourself. Or is it the other way around? I sort of think that regardless of the type of goals, we need to share them with someone if we really want to make them happen. For example, we have a goal-setting dinner as a family on New Year’s day. It’s part of our tradition with collards and black-eyed peas and driving to the beach to have a picnic in the freezing cold where we can feel the energy of a fresh start to the year. We each think about what we want to make happen for the year. We write it on a piece of paper and tuck it into these glittery boxes that make the ritual seem extra special. Even Catherine sets some goals.

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Usually, we keep the goals private. I’ve never pushed that point with the family as I respect each person’s privacy with their own goals and wishes and dreams. I even wish there were a way Catherine could write goals on her own so she could keep them private if she wants. A couple of times a year, we pull out the boxes at dinner and each look at what we wrote in order to make sure we’re on track to hit them by the end of the year. Sometimes they get discussed. Many times, the goals remain special and private.

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This year, we had set a goal to travel internationally, so we made that happen. We had shared that goal with each other and knew it was in our goal boxes. When I left my prior employer and had no income, Brian and I discussed whether to cancel the trip. Knowing it was a goal in our boxes, I thought about it a little differently. There was already an expectation we would make it happen within the family – and so we did. And wow am I so grateful we did!

I am coming to believe that it really is more powerful to share your goals with someone – all of them. People want to help when they hear them. People want to encourage you – hold you accountable – help you make it – all because it seems it’s human nature to want to see people do what they say they want to do. And sharing the goal seems to set an expectation in the mind that it will happen. I wonder if neuroscience can prove that yet?

I think this time, in January, we may do it differently and share our goals with each other. Because a goal shared is much more likely to find its way to accomplishment. Take a risk today. Share one of your goals with someone and see what happens. If it’s too scary to tell your spouse or best friend, then tell a stranger waiting in the grocery line while you’re chatting. Sometimes it’s easier to share the big stuff with someone who isn’t so intimate.

I find that the act of sharing my goals – as wild and “impossible” as some of them are – starts to build hope. And hope builds action. And action brings results. And that gets us past our own disabilities.

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