Now we get into the fun bit! Yes, we are about to put these fun life goals and tasks into our calendar!
Once you have added your current work and things like childcare to your diary, you must add in self-care. This doesn’t have to be baths or spa trips as the adverts would have us believe!
You might consider a walk in nature, meditation, gardening, or exercise as self-care. Perhaps a facial is an essential for you or reading every day. For me, regular travel is an essential part of life. Whatever your self-care looks like, put this in your diary and make it a priority.
This sounds counterintuitive, I know! However, any time I have pushed myself to achieve and neglected my own rest and relaxation, I have burnt out and achieved less than if I had made self-care a priority. Think of this as going slow now in order to go fast down the line.
Now you have your current major obligations and your self-care scheduled. Before you get to any of the committees or stuff that seems important but really makes up the sand in your jar, you are going to add in your dream life goals and supporting goal tasks.
Pick your top 3 mini-goals for the year for both your supporting and main goal. This might be: plot your book, writing every weekday, and finding an agent for your writing career. For financial stability: get a pay rise at work, increase your monthly savings by £50, and reduce spending by £50 a month.
We can break these down into the tiniest of goals if this serves you. Write 50 words a day. Put £1.60 in a jar every day. Wake up 20 minutes early to write, so you know it’s done before anything else.
Whatever you decide works for you, add these to your diary. If you use a digital calendar, add reminders! In creating a new diary, you are likely to forget items you scheduled because they are out of the ordinary habitual behaviour that runs our lives.
No shame here- if you forget or miss something, forgive yourself and move on.
Let’s talk about showing up for your diary. The hardest part for me, and probably most of us!
It’s easy to schedule things into your calendar, make it look pretty or spend hours on your bullet journal with decorations and pretty pictures- and if that makes you feel good, absolutely do it!
But, if you don’t show up for what you have scheduled, guess what happens? Usually, we feel bad. And the reason is very simple. It’s because we feel that we have let ourselves down. We get disappointed in ourselves and disillusioned by the whole process.
Imagine you have a friend who books you in for lunch or a coffee every week, and every week she doesn’t show up, but is full of excuses and pleadings for another chance to do better next week. You don’t give that person a lot of chances before you stop making plans with them, because you don’t want to be treated that way.
Yet a huge swathe of us, particularly women, in my experience, does this to ourselves daily. It’s probably because life trained us to please other people from a young age. Looking after ourselves becomes something we fit in around other obligations, which often leave us too tired to do much else.
The great news is, you don’t have to carry on people-pleasing. Start by scheduling the tiniest of things on your calendar for yourself, if you need to start small. Practice saying no to things that don’t serve you.
Definitely prioritise your own self-care and goal tasks, and before you know it, your diary will reflect that vision of your life goals.
What many people find is that by starting with clear goals and small actions, they can practice trying out their new behaviours. By writing 50 words a day or for ten minutes, you grow the writing muscle. Planning and diarising every little aspect of a life goal – scheduling an hour a week to search for an agent, for example, will be far less daunting and overwhelming than thinking ‘I’ve got to find a literary agent before I get anywhere with my writing career’.
Small, manageable steps seem like they won’t get anyone anywhere. In reality, no one achieves their life goals and dreams overnight. Even lottery winners take a step to go out and buy a ticket. And prior to that, they had to find a way to make the money to spend on the ticket. When it looks like someone has become an overnight success at anything, it’s only because we didn’t notice the little steps they took.
We don’t see the person doing the daily yoga classes, we see the flexibility. We aren’t there for the 5 am training runs, we just see the runner breasting the tape.
It’s there for all of us if only we take it slow and steady. Good luck!
With special thanks for this post to Alex www.alexandratozercoaching.com