Monday, January 19, 2015

goal-setting part 4: reward yourself

goal-setting part 4: reward yourself
(Printable calendar from Chantel Pettydaily tracker from Elise Cripe2015 planner from Sugar Paper LA for Target)

I started this goal-setting series by discussing overarching goals/projects/resolutions. I discussed how I set general goals for the year as a starting point by looking at the big picture and deciding what I want to do- things that I wouldn't normally do, but know will enrich my life if I do (i.e. lose weight, read more, travel, start school, change jobs, make new friends, etc.). That was part 1 of the series. Read it here.

Part 2 discussed getting specific with your goals. I get specific with my overarching goals by breaking them down into actionable tasks for the month (seasonally/quarterly goals would work, as well). In that post I gave examples. I want to lose weight, so this month I decided to begin incorporating healthy desserts into my meals (in fact, I started a whole blog series dedicated to eating healthy desserts: Greek Yogurt 52 Ways). I also set a goal to do a Jillian Michaels' workout on DVD a few times this month to get my body moving and expend some stinkin' calories. I've lost 3 lbs so far this month. Woot! Anyway, read all of part 2 here.

In part 3 of this series I discussed breaking down your goals one more time- first into weekly goals, then into daily goals. I got the idea to do this from a 4 week challenge to organize my home, which I completed (more or less) a few weeks ago. Part of the challenge involved setting weekly goals at the beginning of the week, then daily goals based on those weekly goals. Genius. Inspired by that series, I also established a morning routine, which has truly revolutionized my mornings, hence, my days. One of the takeaways is that I find myself accomplishing my goals more fluidly on a daily basis. Read all of part 3 here.

Today (after a crazy long intro) I want to discuss a significant part of goal-setting for me: the reward. I've done what I set out to do, and that's an accomplishment and gratifying in itself. I feel good about what I've done, but the feeling is often too short-lived for me. It's definitely because I quickly dismiss my accomplishment and ask, "What's next?" Rewarding myself after an accomplishment is more of an exercise in good, mental health for me. I almost never complete a project for the reward. I force myself to stop and realize what I've done, and that it's worth a reward.

Moving on to the next thing too quickly can be overwhelming and exhausting especially if it becomes habitual. My tendency is to move on too quickly. For example, I helped clean my daughters' room yesterday. (Do you have young kids? It was a disaster in there). We didn't just tidy up. We seriously cleaned. There's still the closet left to do, but the room itself is looking 100 times better. That's the thing with me. I'm always ready to move on to the next thing. The room itself deserves a pat on the back. There will always be more to do.

This thing (whatever it may be) deserves a pause and acknowledgement. I have to remember that I am also modeling behavior for these little people. Life can't always be go, go, go, and I don't want to model that behavior and thinking. There has to a be time to stop and enjoy the moment and the accomplishments.

As far as how to reward yourself, that's really a matter of preference. I try to make the reward relatable to the goal accomplished (I cleaned my craft workspace? I get an hour of free time to craft, for example). I liked this post by Sarah Rhodes for A Beautiful Mess: How To Stay Motivated And Achieve Your Goals (Part 2: Rewards!). She offers a list of reward ideas if you need some. As for me, I'm motivated by free, craft time as I've already said. I'm motivated by alone time, in general- time to have a cup of coffee, time to read, time to take a nap. I'm an introvert; can you tell? In the past, I've rewarded myself with new workout clothes for sticking to an exercise routine, coffee dates with a friend for cleaning my house when I didn't want to (ha), etc. Currently, I am reading on a daily basis, which is both a goal and a reward as I love to read. Reading after getting through the day is stress-relieving.

Well, to put this into practice, I helped clean my daughters' room. There's still the closet left to do today. We could just move on and clean the closet, right? But no. I think I am going to treat them and myself to a pedicure in their room before we continue to clean the closet.

I'm done talking about goal-setting for the time being. If I think of something to share, I will definitely talk your ear off about it. ;)

Happy Monday!