Photo: Joshua Earle/Unsplash

So, About Those Goals You Made…

Remember those goals we created at the beginning of the year? You know, the ones we scrawled across that starry-skied printable, told our friends about and then promptly forgot about?

Okay, maybe we didn’t promptly forget about them. But at some point or another, life gets in the way, and those photos you promised you’d take daily or that exercise routine you swore you’d stick to suddenly fade away. (About 54% of people will drop those resolutions like a bad boyfriend before hitting the six-month mark, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute.)

To ensure author Chris Guillebeau is always working toward his goals—or quests, as he calls them in his book, The Happiness of Pursuit—he sets aside a week every December to conduct an “annual review” of his life. It starts with two journal prompts:

  • What went well this year?
  • What did not go well this year?

He bases this on the idea that most people overestimate what they can do in a day but underestimate what they can do in a year. (Editor’s Note: Preach, Guillebeau!) He tries to write down 10-12 answers to each question, then starts planning out which projects he’d like to pursue in the year ahead, and what steps he can take to get there.

This got me thinking: Why not do a mini review at the four-month mark? We’re a third of the way through the year, so there’s plenty of time to recalibrate, cut out the things that aren’t working for us (maybe even adjust some goals that no longer fit the lives we want), and map out micro-steps toward what we do want.

Mid-year review? Let's do this. (Photo: Luis Llerena/Unsplash)
Mid-year review? Let’s do this. (Photo: Luis Llerena/Unsplash)

So today, I’m challenging myself and anyone reading this to ask yourself Guillebeau’s two questions, jotting down 3-4 things for each category, then taking 10 minutes to brainstorm what you can do to move closer to those goals over the next four months. That’s it. You don’t have to commit to crossing anything off by the end of August. You don’t have to draft new goals. It’s just a moment to chart your progress. Simple as that.

If you were all, “Candace, that’s cute that you have goals taped to your wall but that’s not for me,” can I challenge you to try it out? Here’s how you can get started, and here’s a little motivation to keep you going along the way. (Go ahead, roll your eyes, but then seriously, try it.)


2015-tues-takeaway-guillebeauThis post is part of Life Between Weekends’ Tuesday Takeaway series. Every Tuesday, we’ll share the most compelling insight we’ve gleaned from a book, movie, tour, documentary or article to inspire you during the workday. 

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