It’s the midst of winter, but thankfully cold always gives way to a few sunny days spent in sunshine and play. As I pushed my littles on the swing on such a day, a grandma and young girl joined me, and she remarked on how high the swings were off the ground (and they oddly were).
“You’ll have to leap if you want to get off the swing, you’re not tall enough.” the Grandma said.
I’m not sure what my 7 year old response would have been, but it had to be either a yes (you’re right, I’m too short!) or no (watch me, I can do this all by myself!). But this girl said something different.
“But Grandma, can’t you see I’m growing?”
As the conversation continued, the young girl talked about how much taller she was than her last birthday (you know, the one with the vanilla cupcakes at the science center). This tender soul was marking progress in a way most of us avoid. She wasn’t down on herself for not being tall enough, and she didn’t rage about all the things she can do. She’s just…still growing.
And so am I, and so are you. In every single way. Hopefully.
Marking progress keeps us encouraged and helps us set better goals.
I want to become an expert at 10 new recipes, but I’ve not made a list of the foods I want to make.
I want to lose 5 lbs, but I’ve not taken before and during photos along with a food journal.
I want to learn to knit, but haven’t even defined the steps necessary to get there!
We might be good with goal setting. So why aren’t we good at goal achieving?
One problem is that we don’t write where we begin or chart any kind of progress. It makes us miss the growth. We miss the checkboxes. We miss the method.
I did learn 2 new recipes this week. *noted* It’s because I took time to plan and shop.
I did lose 2 lbs when I worked out each day and didn’t eat sugar. *noted* so I can do it again!
I did make progress toward learning to knit. I signed up for a class that starts next week. *noted* I made of list of things I want to learn and started crossing them off.
Turn your goals into a system.
This one has been great for me. I want to eat healthy. It’s so vague. And total honesty,
it’s impossible I don’t want to do it 100% of the time. But I do want to do it 85-90% of the time. So if I eat 6 healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks each week, I’m there. That’s gives me one giant (make your stomach ache) free day, or 3 meals and a snack throughout the week of brownies, brunches and errr…beer? bon-bons? Looking for another “b” word. I’m really good at tracking that. It’s become a system to me that I know makes my body feel great AND let’s me eat out with friends and gobble up giant cheese burgers.
More on goals vs. systems from the super talented James Clear here. Also, he says a whole lot of other amazing things about goals, it’s most definitely worth the read. I miiiight be obsessed. So many goal articles.
So set your goals this year, in all the planners, with all the methods, and all the books and podcasts and instagram photos. However you do it, be sure to chart your progress. So at the end of this year, you can echo our new friend…