August's Rush: Personal Goals

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12:30:00 PM
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This past week, I had a couple of people ask me the question, "Is there anything you DON'T do?" My very quick response was, "Yes, there are hundreds of things I don't do!" And then one of the girl rephrased her question and said, "Is there anything you don't do that you set your mind out to do?" While generally my answer to the rephrased question would still, of course, be, yes, there are things that I set out to do and don't achieve, it did get me thinking about things I set to do. Otherwise known as personal goals.

I do want to share with you how I personally do the things I set out to do. At the end of each year, I reflect. I jot down thoughts about what was good about the year. What I would like to never remember again about the year. I celebrate the past. And then I look ahead and simply think about the 3-4 things I want to achieve upcoming year. What are my goals? I try really hard to follow the SMART model -- when setting goals they should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realisctic, and Timely. For me, the realistic and attainable are what gets me to achieve my goals.

For example, this year I had goal to have balance in my life. Minimal-to-no "working" on the weekends. Push myself to be more productive between 07.30 and 16.00 so I can go after my passion projects, put my family first, and create space for myself and other friends in my life. It requires me to get up earlier each morning. I pray about having balance. This goal is a work-in-progress but I can say that I definitely have achieved it thus far and it.is.awesome. The result? I am happier, a better daughter, a better friend, and frankly, a better final-year student.

What is my action plan for my goals? Well, not much to be honest. I write them down either on my phone or I send an email to myself. I don't create some massive strategy plan with specific timelines and deadlines. That stresses me out. I literally just bullet them out, like so:

     1. Balance in life
     2. Read Qur'an every day
     3. Do dhuha & sholat malam
     4.  Get bachelor degree before upcoming birthday
     5. Learn basic photography editting
     6.  Re-brand blog
     7. Etc.

That is all I do for me, it works -- Alhamdulilah. My deadline is December 31, 2016. I do check points in my head along the way. I keep it overly simple. For some people, more spesific deadlines and strategies are necessary. That's fine, there is no perfect way to do this It's just about doing it and doing what works for you.

Setting -- and achieving -- goals is critical to my personal happiness and if you don't do it, I would encourage you to think about it. There are still 4 months left of 2016... that is more than enough time to set a goal or two and go after it! Don't set 20 goals. Think about the couple of things in your life that need fine-tuning. Or that passion point you just haven't had time to pursue. Or that one person you need to forgive. Or that amazing beach or mountain you have been dying to explore to. Or the $$$ you want to save. Or the organization you want to volunteer at. Just do it. Do something. Even one thing. I promise, the small steps will amount to big joy.

And to answer the question of "Is there anything you don't do that you set your mind out to do?" For the most part I do most of the things I set out to do. But it's the setting out to do part that is critical. First, you have to have some sort of plan. That works for you. That's SMART. And you have to want it. Want it badly enough to be intentional each day, each week to move towards achieving your goals. Then, you have to act. Make adjustments in your life. Make room in your life to pursue your personal goals.

Have any goal-setting or goal-achieving stories you want to share?
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