As a Type A person I thrive on organization and planning. I have never been able to do things spontaneously and that’s why I’m a big fan of goal planning. Whenever I think of something I’d like to achieve I’ll jot it down in my iPhone or in my planner. At the end of each month I’ll look over what I’ve written down and I’ll create a list of goals that I would like to achieve for the month ahead and when I want to accomplish them by. These are the goal planning tools I use:
- The SMART acronym: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
- Write them down because I’m much more likely to fulfill them if they’re on paper.
- Break them into categories: daily, weekly, and monthly.
- Label them: big goals and mini-goals.
Read ahead to find out how I go about achieving goals for different aspects of life.
I work in fashion design so my goal is to continue gaining new skills and knowledge to land a higher executive role. I also have many mini goals that change based on what stage of the design development I’m in. There are numerous projects I work on at once so I try to prioritize based on deadlines. Sometimes they overlap so I concentrate on the project that will take me the least amount of time and then I‘ll jump to the more complex tasks. I stay organized at work by referring to my Outlook calendar and desk planner. I also take notes and keep copies of every line sheet so I can reference all the changes. If I get to the point where I do not feel comfortable in my ability to finish a project, I ask for help. Last week, I had a huge deadline due in China. I was running behind and needed graphic revisions. Typically, I do these myself but the revisions were more extent, so I reached out for assistance and the project was completed hours before the deadline.
- Create goals that pertain to your job, but also create personal goals like working on your portfolio, or resume.
- Review and update your list since projects and deadlines can change frequently.
- Learn how to set boundaries with coworkers.
- Turn off your phone and email after work.
- Don’t be reluctant to leave a job that is holding you back or creating too much stress in your life.
- If you think you deserve a raise, ask for one.
Self-care is something I am trying to perfect. I’m used to putting others’ needs ahead of my own and I end up exhausting myself. Lately, I have been practicing self-care by doing more things on my own because I was always depending on my friends and family. I’ve taken a day off to go to Malibu, treated myself to a spa day, ate a cheat meal I had been craving, and stayed in binge-watching Netflix. Each month I’ll jot down my goals that I’ll look forward to fulfilling. This month I plan on getting my hair done and revamping my wardrobe. I prioritize them by identifying what my body or mind needs at that moment. October was a busy month, I didn’t get a single night with 8 hours of sleep because I was always on the go. At the end of the month, I took a personal day to catch up on sleep and be lazy. I used to think if I wasn’t doing something productive; I was being useless. I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to sleep all day if I want because I make my own adult decisions.
- Try to do at least one self-care goal per week.
- Develop a regular sleep schedule. Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach your desired time.
- Take 30 minute naps when you can.
- Don’t be afraid to take a vacation day to do absolutely nothing.
- Keep a journal.
- Mediate for 20 minutes when you wake up or before you go to bed.
- Create a vision board to encourage you to achieve and follow through with your goals.
- Declutter your space and donate old clothing.
- Learn to say “no” more often.
Health and Fitness
Hot yoga and running are how I stay in shape and alleviate stress. My goal for this month is to complete the 30 day hot yoga challenge I’m participating in. I am doing the challenge for myself to test my discipline. At the end of the challenge I would like to be more flexible, have a stronger core, and be able to hold a handstand for longer than I currently can. I usually take my yoga classes after work. There are days when I can’t attend so I double up and take back-to-back classes. I’m managing my attendance by planning ahead and booking my classes via the yoga studios app. If something comes up, I look at my calendar and see what other day I can fit it in. It has been hard on my body, but I am trying to train so I can handle this type of discipline.
- Write down your health/fitness goals each month. They can be anything from losing weight, to cooking at home more often, or trying a new physical activity.
- Plan your workouts a week ahead. This will insure they fit into your schedule and you won’t have to cancel.
- Aim to eat healthy.
- Step away from your desk by going for a walk during your lunch break.
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
- Buy a cookbook and learn how to create simple and delicious meals.
I was in a three year relationship that didn’t end as I hoped. As the relationship deteriorated, I made goals to try and make it better. I stopped hanging out with my friends in order to make time for my boyfriend. I would write down what I needed to work on about myself to make the relationship work. These goals, however, did not work out because I wasn’t the problem. I blamed myself for the longest time, but learned to accept the situation and that it doesn’t mean my goals were bad.
- Work on ways to improve yourself but don’t try to change your significant other.
- Don’t be reluctant to leave a toxic relationship.
- Discuss with your partner date ideas and pencil them into your schedule.
- Do nice things for your partner. It can be something small like buying their favorite candy.
- Think in terms of “we” rather than “me.”
- If you don’t live together connect daily with a quick phone call asking about their day.
- Learn to be interdependent, not codependent.
- Be supportive of your partner’s goals.
I had to cut out many friends this year due to their lack of support and differences. The goals I made for myself were, to not be so trusting of others, listen before speaking, be the friend I would want someone to be to me, and reach out to distant friends. The universe works in mysterious ways and I ended up meeting a new group of people that have quickly become my close group of friends. One of the most significant things I’ve learned is that if you feel someone being distance, reach out to them because they could be feeling the same way towards you. Rekindling friendships is one of the most special things you can do.
- Make time for your friends by planning fun things you can do together.
- Don’t take your friends for granted and don’t abuse their trust.
- Let them know you are there for them and make time for them when they need it.
- Develop healthy friendships and don’t be reluctant to cut out any negative ones.
- Talk to friends about how you’re feeling.
My family goals can be a little difficult to accomplish since my family is over 2,000 miles away. In the coming year, I want to be able to visit my parents more often. Right now, I only go home for Christmas break and I would like to see my family more than once a year. My weekly goals are to call my parents at least every other day. As for my siblings, we stay in touch via group chat and send each other funny memes.
- Plan for time when you can call or video chat with your family and siblings.
- Schedule vacation time and plan a visit home, or invite them to visit you.
- If you live near your family plan a Sunday evening dinner each week, or even once a month.
Every year I tell myself I will plan a huge vacation and never do. As the year winds down, I’ve started brainstorming where I would like to plan a trip. I would like to go to Europe in 2019 so I have been searching for discounted flights. I stay on top of flight prices by using the Google flight tracker. Next year I’ll be going to Coachella again and I‘ve already began looking for places to stay. To end this year off, I booked a trip to San Diego for New Years and booked my Airbnb by checking for price fluctuations. In December, I plan to solidify what vacations I want to take in 2019. Getting time off from work is sometimes difficult so I put my vacation time in months in advance. My objective is to have all vacation flights and accommodations booked by the beginning of January.
- Save up your vacation time.
- Plan your budget and start saving now. Take a small amount of money out of your paycheck each week and put it into a vacation fund.
- Use price tracking tools to get discounts and deals.
- If you can’t afford to take a vacation plan a staycation. It can be as simple as a day of exploring new places, or an overnight trip to the next city over.
How do you go about achieving goals each month?