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5 Things I've learnt about achieving my goals this month

As a life coach and long-time goal setter, December/January is when I review the goals I made over the year and make new ones for the next. This January was no different. My goals last year were markedly derailed by my health issues - I suffer from crippling migraines since I got COVID back in 2022, and they seemed to increase last year. However, towards the latter part of 2023, I managed to claw back some momentum and made progress with my writing goals, and wrote over 20K words during National Novel Writing Month in November #NanoWriMo I'm over halfway into writing a crime novel and want to finish my first draft by March 31st. So that has become my top goal for 2024.


The rest are:

  • Watch 52 films (either at home or at the cinema)

  • Read 24 books from my 'To Be Read' pile and don't buy any more books until my birthday in September

  • Declutter my flat - particularly the furniture that doesn't work in my small one-bed-flat


So here's what I've learned from this month:


Set Achievable Goals


It's an oldie but a goodie if you know about #SMART Goals - but it's key. I've kept my targets doable, for example, watching one film a week sounds simple to most people, but if you're busy (or ill), sitting down to watch a film is quite a chunk of time in your day. I've treated myself to a cinema membership so I go in person at least once a month and don't just watch them on my TV.

I've also bought myself a film journal from Amazon to write a review of each film I watch - I've learned that adds to the whole enjoyment of the goal.

Here's the link to the film journal


This brings me to the next tip:


Make the goal enjoyable and give it a WHY?


If you're not enjoying the goal, you won't continue to do it. So as well as the film journal, I've also started using the Book Journal my sister got me for my birthday last year: http://tinyurl.com/m8kzf9fz


It has helped me to finish 3 books this month - which for me is impressive! I've also learned that I have to see this goal as a challenge and make it quite strategic to get the reading done. To do this, I work out how many pages the book is, and divide that by how many days I want to read it by. So say I have a 365-page book and I want to read it in 10 days, then I need to read 35 pages a day. It gives me a clear daily target.

I've already learnt that I need to either read them in chunks throughout the day, or in one chunk in the afternoon - and not leave them all to bedtime otherwise I fall asleep and the book goes unread. My 'why' is because I keep buying books and not reading the ones I have, so the pile is looming over me on my bedside table and I'm running out of space - which then adds to more clutter.


Here's my film and book review journals:





Figure out your energy levels and adjust your goals accordingly


I started on some new migraine meds this month which has played havoc with my energy levels and made me very fuzzy-headed in the mornings, therefore my goal of writing between 8-9am hasn't always worked out. I've realised I have to take myself to a cafe, or coffee shop and write there, or join London Writer's Salon's https://writershour.com/ where you can write with other people from all over the world at different time slots throughout the day 8am, 1pm, or 4pm (See the link for more info.) This has taken the pressure off me a bit, and I still stick to my plan.


Get Support or Accountability


One of my bigger goals is to declutter my flat by the end of July - as I know that come the summer I'll want to be outside and take time off, then autumn will happen and before you know it Christmas has arrived and the 'stuff' is still in my flat. That's what happened last year...

So I've committed my plan to my 'accountability partner' Sue, plus I've looked up charity shops in my area which collect unwanted items and furniture. Next month I'm going to call them and arrange a collection. I know that I have to do that first before I start decluttering as it then has a deadline and I don't just move it down my to-do list!


Don't Beat Yourself Up


Probably the most important one on the list! Like most of us, my default setting is to beat myself up for the things I haven't done, but I've realised that giving myself praise and focusing on the things I have achieved that day/week/month, actually helps to keep me going. It's key to all of my goals- and it's commitment and consistency that gets me to finish them in the end. I've taken three lots of 'stuff' to the charity shop this month and I aim to make my flat look 10% better each week. NOT 100%. Perfection is out, consistent progress is in for #2024.


So my challenge to you is to aim for 10% better in February. What do you want to achieve next month and why? Do any of these tips resonate with you and are you going to try them?


See you next month.

Jo



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