Thursday, May 10, 2012

Goal Setting and Goal Getting With Sarah

I am so very happy to have one of my sponsor swappers guest posting today! I introduced Sarah on Monday, and she's taking over my little space today to share some of her tips on setting and achieving your goals. Her blog is fabulous, and if you aren't following already, you definitely should be!


Hey there people – I hope today is treating you as well as can be expected. My name is Sarah and I blog over at A Cat-Like Curiosity. Feel free to head on over and check it out!!

J has been kind enough to give me a guest post slot on her lovely blog and I thought it might be good to talk about goals. They can be tricky things – often alternating between the best kind of motivators and the ultimate stick to beat ourselves with. It can be difficult to narrow down your goals and figure out what is important to you. It can then be extremely hard to keep working towards those goals – especially alongside a full time job/ a family. It’s easy to become discouraged.

There are ways to make this process easier and more accessible and ultimately successful. I hope I can share some of my tips and ideas with you today so that you can perhaps use them to work towards your own goals and ideals.

On finding your ultimate goals.

How do you know what to aim for? How can you tell from where you are right now what would suit you better in the future? Time for some visualisation.

I picked up this tip via the lovely Sarah Von at Yes and Yes. Imagine your perfect day. What would that look like? What things would remain in it that you have now? What things would no longer be there? If it helps, write out a “Day in Your Ideal Life” hour by hour.

Once you have stripped away the things you don’t want it can make it easier to fill those gaps with things that will make you truly happy. It gets your mind pointed in the right direction.

On setting your goals.

Now, you may find that you have many more things in mind than you can realistically tackle all at once. That’s OK. Prioritising might need to be done. Chunk things into different categories if that helps – money, work, hobbies, lifestyle would be good headings to start with.

Then decide what you can start working towards now. What things from that list can you start doing something about right. this. minute. They will be your major goals and priorities. The others may need to wait in line.

On planning to achieve your goals.

My goals (as I mentioned in my introductory post) are as follows:
  • Keep training and get to my goal weight.
  • Continue to work on and make a success of my blog and Etsy store.
  • Make a success of my Debt-Free ASAP plan.
  • Complete my novel “Snapshots of  Sophie” and submit it to agents.
  • Crochet blankets for my house.
  • Learn to produce better digital art work on my new android tablet.
I could have many more goals in here I suppose, but these are my main ones for now. These are the ones I focus on.

In order to achieve goal number one I have planned a training schedule. I look for fitness inspiration via Pinterest  and anywhere else I can find it. I blog about my fitness monthly. I have lost over 2 stone so far.
I work on my blog every day. I reach out to other bloggers offering guest posts/giveaways, I comment on other people’s blogs, I use the communities at BlogFrog. I put in the hours. Of course, on top of that I spend time writing good, interesting posts. My blog has gone from having only 5 followers and maybe 15 reads per day to having 31 followers (and counting) and over 100 reads per day.

I try to add at least one new item to my Etsy store each month. Sometimes I manage more. I also make time to plan for new items. Time to brainstorm and bounce ideas around in my brain. That is an essential part of the creative process but one which can suffer if we just get too busy.

For my Debt-Free ASAP plan I take so much inspiration from Anna at And Then She Saved. If you haven’t ever heard of her getting out of debt story you should head over there. It is truly inspirational. I have taken the debt free pledge there and have already paid back more than £3000 worth of debt. I find the accountability of posting about my journey out of debt keeps me going and focuses me.

For my novel I fit in writing at least three days per week. Often more than that. Some days I write 1000 words. Some days I can only manage 200 (I do have a full time job after all). But I make the time. Even if it is only in small chunks and a little bit at a time. As the advert slogan says, “Every Little Helps.” I have written over 28,000 words so far.

The crocheting is easy to fit in – I do it whilst watching TV at home. Even my downtime is productive it seems. And that is such a good feeling I can tell you.

Ditto the digital sketching.

On keeping Inspired and on track.

Here are some of my favourite goal setting and getting sources of inspiration:

And Then She Saved – for all things money and saving related.
Stratejoy – for a wonderful guide to success.
A Beautiful Ripple Effect – for inspiration and tips and links to the best of the best.
The When I Grow Up Coach – for her Effective Escape Plan alone. Amazing.
Ted Talks – inspirational people speaking of true inspiration.
The Cat’s Eye Writer – blogging tips and inspiration.

On relaxation after a busy day of goal chasing.

You might be forgiven for thinking that I would be totally stressed with all of these goals and projects knocking about and wouldn’t be able to switch off at all. That when it comes to bedtime my brain is all whirry and I can’t possibly sleep. Here are my top tips for making the transition from work to relaxation (and of how to make your out of work activities into your relaxation):

  1. Buy two different perfumes. I got mine from Next – lovely but not too expensive. Use one for work, and one for at home. When you first get them only spray your home perfume on when you are just about to get into bed. Do this for about a week. Then, when you have associated that smell in your brain with relaxation, spray some of your home perfume on as soon as you get in from work. You’ll be amazed at the feeling of relaxation this creates. After this point, everything I do seems relaxing. My brain is in relaxed mode.
  1. Pick activities you love. I really wouldn’t do all of this if I didn’t enjoy it – if it was a chore. Look forward to doing them. See them as your reward. I also find having a nice cup of Earl Grey Tea on the go whilst I work on my blog/writing/crafting works wonders for my relaxation.
  1. If you are having trouble sleeping at all – try these tips:
Many thanks again to J for letting me guest post here – it has been an honour and a pleasure. If you liked what you read then please let me know in the comments section here or over at my blog.
Have a great day people!!




LWLH said...

Wow, now that is some organized goal planning. :)

Nikskie said...

the hardest thing for me is to stick to the plan of goal achievement :(

Sarah said...

Thanks for the compliments on the organisation - it is one of my favourite things!!

I must admit I was never much of one for sticking to goals before but I have made huge leaps lately in the right direction. Check out some of the links for inspiration Nikskie - hope it helps.


Gina Gao said...

I enjoy organized planning. Planning gives me a sense of order.

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