Setting and reviewing my goals.

12 weeks ago I sat down and wrote out my goals for what I wanted to have achieved by the end of June this year. Yesterday I sat down and reviewed those goals – sadly, I hadn’t achieved a single one. 

I am pretty disappointed in myself. I had such high hopes when I wrote the goals in the first place. It feels like I have wasted the time. In six months time, it is going to be 2020! I am not getting any younger (6th grandchild arrived safely a week ago, bless him), so if not now, when? 

So, yesterday, I wanted to work out why I hadn’t succeed with what I had set out to do. I wanted to have a better understanding in preparation for setting new goals for what I want to achieve before 2020.

Before I reviewed my goals I sat and wrote a list of questions. Then I went back over the hopeful list I had created 12 weeks ago and took the time to really think about the questions and write out the answers. The questions were:

  • What were my goals for the last 12 weeks?
  • How many of them did I achieve? (Short answer, none).
  • What were the habits I created that helped me to achieve each goal? (Another short answer, none).
  • Which goals did I not reach?
  • Were my goals SMART? Specific? Measurable? Achievable? Realistic, (and relevant?), Timely?
  • Why did I not reach each goal? I made a long bullet point list of all the reasons why it didn’t come to pass.

It was pretty confronting.  For some, I had just forgotten about them. I didn’t make them a priority. Actually, for all of them, I hadn’t made them a priority. 

Once I had finished dissecting my failure I thought about what I wanted to achieve by 2020. I wrote down a list of goals for the coming 6-months. This time, instead of just listing the desired outcomes, I also asked myself some questions and wrote out the answers for each of my new goals. 

Setting my future goals:

  • What are my goals for the next 6 months?
  • Are they SMART? Specific? Measurable? Achievable? Realistic, (and relevant?), Timely?
  • What will it take to achieve this goal? The 5 Ws – Who, what, where, when and why.
  • What habits do I need to put in place to realistically achieve this goal?
  • What do I need to achieve each month to meet my goals?
  • What do I need to achieve each week to meet my goals?
  • What tasks will I need to prioritise each month/week/day to meet my goals?

I then went out and bought myself a new notebook (I love new notebooks, they have such promise), and a nice pen. The intention is that I will make it a habit to track my progress and keep my goals front and centre so I don’t just forget again and end up drifting along. I will review my progress daily, weekly and monthly.

I have a long-standing habit of drifting along and making the best of any given situation. I used to believe that this was a good life skill and pride myself on my adaptability and coping skills. But now I realise that in doing so I am not living purposefully towards achieving my life’s goals. It’s actually a bit of a cop-out. I think it comes down to that old faithful, fear of failure. If I don’t try, I can’t fail. If I don’t announce my intentions, no-one will know if I have failed or not and ultimately, I won’t be disappointed. 

Well, that’s just rot. I am disappointed. But, I am also kind of happy with myself for actually having written goals this time. And, if I am honest, failing at them and working through why. By failing, and surviving the fail, only just mind you, and being honest with myself about why will hopefully give me more incentive and more self-knowledge. These I can use towards achieving the wins that I want.

I am looking forward to feeling a sense of pride for finally achieving some long standing goals that I have repeatedly failed at.

And, repeatedly failing in itself is a total mystery to me. Why, if I say I want something sooooo much, do I undermine myself and self-sabotage???

This is one mystery I intend to work on and work through as I work towards success this time.

Here’s to the start of living a more purposeful life and creating the 2020 that I want.

Megan Ruffino
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