Happy October! I can't believe that it's OCTOBER and we're only three months away from closing the chapter on 2020, perhaps one of the most consistently challenging years any of us has faced.
For whatever reason, this year especially, I approach each new month with a level of excitement and promise I haven't before. The first day of a new month is like a clean slate to me. It's another chance at chasing new (or perhaps old!) goals and intentions over the course of the next thirty or thirty-one days. The start of a new month is exciting! No matter what the month prior was like, it feels like you can close the page on that chapter and begin anew with a fresh, promising one.
Maybe that explains why everyone's so excited for 2021? Ya think?? Lol.
I mentioned this in my Instagram Stories (@almostfabme) but in case you didn't catch it, I've developed a bit of a ritual at the start of a new month. First, I read my monthly horoscope courtesy of The AstroTwins. Personally, I enjoy reading their horoscope in particular because it has an overall review of what to expect in the month ahead but it also breaks it up into weekly horoscopes. At the start of each week I can revisit that week's horoscope and make sense of whatever transpires (or doesn't) based on it. Maybe you're in to horoscopes, maybe not, and while I don't take mine too seriously, it's something fun to do to begin a new month.
The second part of my ritual involves goal-setting. Personally, I write down 5 goals that I want to get after for the month ahead. While I know that there's an art to goal-setting and it's perhaps not second nature for everyone out there, I truly believe in the power of holding yourself accountable to quantifiable achievements. Goal-setting helps me center myself and remain true to the items that I value most that month in particular.
Whether you practice goal-setting already, or perhaps you don't but want to learn more, I've listed 5 quick tips and tricks to help you establish your own goals, below.
1. Be Specific!
Perhaps most important when it comes to goal-setting is specificity. If you aren't specific when setting your goals, you give yourself "room to interpret" the goal and thus might be able to, dare I say, wiggle your way out of it. In addition, specificity will help you understand the moment of achievement (or lack thereof). Example: Instead of saying "I'm going to read every day," say "I'm going to read one book in the month of October."
2. Start Small
Whether you're a novice or an expert when it comes to goal-setting, this is a good reminder for all of us. Start small! I know I'm personally guilty of not following this one all the time. Sometimes I get so excited about all the things I want to achieve that I shoot for the moon. To clarify, shooting for the moon is never a bad thing but when it comes to your 5 monthly goals, let's start small and build our way up from there. Example: Instead of saying "I'm going to redecorate my bedroom this month," maybe say "I'm going to create a Pinterest board with inspiration for my room re-decoration project," or "I'm going to find an interior designer to help me redecorate my bedroom."
3. Write Them Down
Have you ever heard of the Reticular Activating System or RAS for short? No? How does this relate to writing down goals?! Well your RAS is essentially the "command center" in your brain and by physically writing down (sorry friends, typing doesn't count) notes, goals, etc. it alerts your "command center" that what you're writing is important and thus you're that much more likely to remember it or in this case, get after those goals! This is a big reason why I write down notes as I'm reading but also why it's so crucial to write down your goals.
4. Share With Someone
It's a lot easier to offer excuses to ourselves than someone else, right? Sharing your goals with someone helps establish an accountability buddy who can check in on you throughout the month and see how you're progressing toward achieving your goals. Just as there's power in writing goals down, I truly believe there's power in vocalizing them as well. So grab a trusted friend or family member and share your 5 monthly goals with each other!
5. Learn from the Wins/Losses
What good would we be if we didn't learn from our own goal-setting? I'll be the first to admit I did not achieve all 5 of the goals I set for myself last month. In looking back on the above checklist I think it's safe to say I aimed a little high with these particular goals. I did accomplish one BIG one though in launching my blog newsletter (don't forget to sign up if you haven't already!) and for that I am proud of myself. However, don't be afraid to adjust your goal-setting practice or technique. Maybe 5 is too many for you to accomplish in a month, maybe you like goal-setting every quarter, maybe you like creating a big poster board with that month's goals that you put on display in your room. Whatever it might be, play around, have fun with it and find the goal-setting practice that is best for YOU to achieve all your dreams and aspirations.
As I mentioned, the above tips and tricks are things that have helped me, personally, in my goal-setting practice. I am not perfect (hello I achieved 1 out of 5 goals I set in September) but I am focused on achievement and open to any and all adjustments I need to take to get there.
Feel free to share your goals with me either by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or dm-ing me on Instagram @almostfabme.