July. Already half a year gone. Only January ago Adam and Jessica scribbled down lists of “Goals for 2015” on yellow notepad paper and stuck them on the fridge of their home – which they celebrated one year in during April. Six months later and a few things have been crossed off. Some were just a matter of penciling into the schedule; others took six months of sweat.
Dinner: Roasted salmon & root vegetables. Dairy Queen Dilly Bars for dessert.
Adam’s list as of July 5th:
· Better saving/allocating income from teaching music on the side
· Complete p90x exercise program
· Road trip to Boston, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
· Lunch dates with Jess every 2 weeks
· Pay off remaining student loan
· Go skiing · Run ½ marathon
· Run full marathon
· More tennis
· More golf
· Less work
· More yoga
· Repay ½ house down payment loan
· Reply to emails/texts faster
OK, so only a few things have been crossed off. But for most, the solid finish line won’t be reached until December, as planned (loan repayments, for example). Those that ARE crossed off, however, are pretty major achievements, including: 90 days of shape-whooping, followed by 3 months of run/cross training for a 21 km run. Six months of tired and sore. Worth every minute (finished a half marathon on June 27th in 2 hours and 11 minutes).
Paper out, we started reflecting on the key factors in achieving goals, like these:
· WRITE them down: place a list of goals where you’ll always glance at it. In this case, the fridge. For any involving dates, write them in your calendar right away: pick weekends for certain trips or events early in the year, before your time fills up. Auto-schedule payments
· Vary their TANGIBILITY: some goals won’t have an actual “finish line/date” (more tennis, less work), that’s cool. Just keep pushing the bar higher next year. Leave them on the list, and fill in the crossed-off spaces with new goals.
· Make them FEW and IMPORTANT: only aim for goals you want to shoot for in the timeframe, and only ones you’ll be willing to lean into. That African safari will happen one day, but don’t set yourself up for disappointment if it doesn’t fit into what’s already a jam-packed year of goal-reaching
· Start tackling the SIMPLE ones ASAP: the feeling of success will invigorate your “sense of winning” and perpetuate it. A few hours on a weeknight to head to a ski hill was a quick one to cross off early. Penciling in “May long weekend road trip to Boston” back in January (using money set aside from teaching music and keeping the trip modest and affordable)…another gimme. Goals are being met; list is getting shorter.
These principles – discovered by doing – have helped propel many successes in just the first half of the year. Still a number of items glaring at us every morning when we make lunch.
Turning to brother Ryan (still at home recovering from knee surgery), he’s applying these principles of goal achieving to a proposed new theatre business. Next week, he submits an application for small-business upstart funding.