About three years ago I got really into writing down personal goals after I read an article that said you are more likely to accomplish them if you write them down. I’ve also read about a million books that advised me you can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you are going. Now as someone who gets lost a lot I can assure you that you can get all kinds of places if you don’t know where you’re going, but I see where they are coming from on that one. The first time I wrote goals I wrote maybe 5-10 for the year, then 5 year goals, 10 year goals and 20 year goals. At first I was diligently tracking my yearly goals writing updates, marking things down etc. Then it went by the wayside a bit. Regardless the next year I wrote down 5-10 one year goals. Then I promptly ignored them. So imagine my sheer and utter surprise that I actually accomplished about 75% of them and made some real progress on the rest.

What have I learned from this? Well most importantly do Yoga at least once a month will always be a goal and many times I don’t even hit it, but lack of a work schedule to allow it and a great studio to motivate make it a challenge. That being said I do find that even when I can’t make a solid yoga class I do make more time to get in at least a couple poses or at the very least to stretch more often. I’ve learned that by sitting down every several years and forcing myself to think about where I want to see myself 5, 10, 20 years down the road and then writing it down helps to hold me accountable for my destiny. And as for all those one year goals I never read again? It definitely seems to keep them in the back of my consciousness and I tend to reach them all on my own.

Now you might be saying if you reach them without relying on the goals you wrote as a guide why write them down at all. Well I’ve come to realize that I can be very hard on myself. Being upset that I didn’t get that project done on the house I wanted to, or didn’t reach my savings goal and I tend to forget all that I have accomplished. For example I have chronically bad teeth no amount of preventative care can save me. A goal I had was to invest in the dental work I needed, to make it more of a financial priority. So at the end of the year I’m looking at being no where near my savings goal and beating myself up over it. Then I see the dental goal below it. The amount I spent on my teeth was more than the amount I wanted to save. So to help me stay balanced and see where to work harder and when to take a breath and give my self a break being bad at goals is a great way to do just that.

Do you write goals? Have they helped?

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