It is mid-January: do you know where your goals are?
A bit over a week ago many of us boldly spoke proclamations about what we aimed to achieve in this momentous first year of a brand new decade!
You may be one of those people who rolled your eyes at others enthusiasm and lamented “What’s the point?”
It may be because I nearly died in October, but I took a different approach this year and it is working brilliantly. I created three goals for the New Year that aren’t grand and glorious, they aren’t outrageous or audacious. These goals and projects are tiny goals I approach daily as if they were brand new.
Let’s look at one of those goals and see how you may use it to craft a small, daily goal for yourself.
Daily Goal: Write a haiku in the morning to post on social media based on a morning photo I take.
Here’s how I have been creating this daily for the past twenty days.
- Be ready to take a photo daily, whether or not there is something inspiring or even pretty to take a photo. It may not be at all interesting. Take a photo anyway.
- Throw words and syllables (I call them units of sound) together without worrying about whether or not they are any good – at this point this is more about creating a ‘word pool” to choose words from to sculpt your short poem. Play around with different variations to discover what thoughts might make sense and also fit into the famous 5-7-5 haiku guidelines. By the way, haikus are very short poems. They are of Japanese origin and in English are commonly seen as three lined poems with the first and third lines having five syllables and the middle line having seven syllables.
- Become more comfortable thinking there is nothing to say.
- Some days you will take lots of photos to find one I find remotely good enough. Other days you will take only one. A fringe benefit to the daily nature of this goal is it is naturally a great healer of perfectionism. It teaches you to say “Yes. This will do.” I have been pleasantly surprised by photos and poems that did nothing for me yet somehow magically spoke to someone who found it on my social media feed.
- Don’t worry if people “see” you out and about taking photos of unusual or not often photographed things. Today I bumped into a gentleman who was headed into a museum to do volunteer work. He asked if I was also a volunteer, because he didn’t seem to understand why I would be taking a photo of a wall. I asked about his volunteer gig. I like to think I brightened his day. He didn’t ask about my photo and I didn’t share, I focused on him. People love being seen and heard. Brightening other people’s days is a bonus from this goal on many levels.
- Offer myself grace if I don’t post my photos and poems in the morning.
- Do a happy dance when I write a haiku and/or take a photo I really like.
- Embrace revision as a part of the process. Note to self: Share that process! It gives others permission to “not get it right the first time.”
- Give yourself milestones along the way to bigger milestones. Celebrate EACH day for the success you have created that day.
- This is my recipe for small goal leading to remarkable life success. You may choose to follow it, modify it, ignore it or even laugh at it. As Louisa May Alcott said, “Let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth’s sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won.”
- Be prepared to be satisfied and surprised with what comes as a result. You’re allowed and encouraged to brag but as with everything else, there are no requirements – simply lots of love.
Final food for thought: New Years is not the only time to create new goals and vision for yourself. I actually start my own new year on my birthday. This year I am doing my weekly goal checks and planning on Wednesdays because Mondays tend to be hectic plus people complain about Mondays. When they talk about Wednesdays, they’re usually talking about happy activities.
What will your first or next small, do-able, fresh new goal be?
I love the idea of a happy dance when you finish your haiku. It is so important to celebrate the small things. If we only mark the big ones, they seem to fly by – don’t they? Also love the idea of being comfortable with nothing to say. I know and you know – the words eventually come.
Jennifer L says
Excellent, insightful list. I will remember no. 9: small milestones. Obviously you’re walking the talk of a well-lived creative life.
I like #8 sharing the process of non perfection