February 9, 2018

Chasing Dreams

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook about this goal-oriented thing she was doing where she works on a mini-goal every day for 100 days. Ten days into working on that goal, she would start a second goal while still working on the first. Twenty days in, she'd start on the third goal and so on. Once she reaches 100 days for any goal, it's dropped from the rotation, so she'll only be working on all ten goals at once for ten days.

Days          Goals
Days 1-10     1
Days 11-20    2,1
Days 21-30    3,2,1
Days 31-40    4,3,2,1
Days 41-50    5,4,3,2,1
Days 51-60    6,5,4,3,2,1
Days 61-70    7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Days 71-80    8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Days 81-90    9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Days 91-100   10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Days 101-110  10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2
Days 111-120  10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3
Days 121-130  10,9,8,7,6,5,4
Days 131-140  10,9,8,7,6,5
Days 141-150  10,9,8,7,6
Days 151-160  10,9,8,7
Days 161-170  10,9,8
Days 171-180  10,9
Days 181-190  10

Her mini-goals included things like increasing her plank time, practicing/learning juggling, writing 100 words a day, etc.

After turning this idea around in my head for a while, I came up with my own goals. My friend limited herself to just ten mini-goals, but I can see how this could work on an ongoing basis, so I came up with twelve with a few more in reserve for later. They vary from daily habits I would like to develop to things I do for just the 100 days. Some take just a couple of minutes. Others are more time consuming. Some I can combine with others - multitasking to get them done.

My goals:
  1. Daily Planning - check my planner ever day and plan my day.
  2. Create - Monday-Thursday: Edit/write for 1-2 hours, Friday: Blog/social media, Saturday: Projects at home, Sunday: paint/projects for fun. 
  3. Prayer - pray morning and night.
  4. Daily Chores - I created a 30 minute cleaning routine that, in theory, would keep my house mostly clean if I did it daily.
  5. Declutter/Organize - Declutter or organize one area each day (shelf, drawer, surface, digital file, etc.)
  6. Podcasts & Talks - Listen to one or more podcast or talk each day. I can easily do this while doing my daily chores and/or decluttering.
  7. Journal with Purpose - Answer questions about who I am, record memories and stories, etc.
  8. Yoga - At least 10-15 minutes each morning. 
  9. Writing Prompts - Freewrite 15 minutes/day using prompts. My Pinterest board has enough to last me years at this point.
  10. Social Outreach - Connect with one or more friends/family each day.
  11. Music - Practice piano and/or ukulele for at least 15 minutes/day.
  12. Yard & Garden - Do something to improve our yard and/or garden each day. This includes weeding, planting, harvesting, creating fairy garden stuff, etc.

I'm sure I'll come up with more. But for now, these are pretty good. I'm actually looking forward to some of them. The best part is I feel no obligation to start them until their time comes, working on them only if I'm in the mood. At least, until it's time to start keeping track.

Now before anyone gets after me for overachieving and taking on too much, let me explain one of the absolute best things about this system. Experts claim that it takes 21 days to establish a habit, right? With this system, by the time you reach the third goal in line, the first goal should be just one day from being a habit and therefore should be relatively painless to maintain.

I'm already seeing this with goal #1. I've been checking my planner and planning my day every morning at breakfast for 19 days in a row. It now feels weird to sit at the table without my planner within arm's reach. Weird enough that I have to either go grab it or send one of my kids to retrieve it before I do anything else. I also carry my planner with me wherever I go so I can change plans on the fly, if needed. 

Goal #2 started on February 1st. Which is why last week's post magically appeared out of nowhere. Between this goal and the first one, I'm seeing a huge increase in my productivity. I finally feel on top of things rather than racing to catch up. I have blocks of time set aside for working on the writerly things as well as time to just play. And when my block of time is up, I can move on to other things guilt-free. As a result, my stress levels have dropped and I'm feeling much better about myself and life in general.

The most beautiful thing is this is helping me become the person I want to be. It's actively helping me along my chosen path to achieve my long-term goals in bite-sized chunks. 

It's dream-chasing at its finest.

And I can't wait to see where it takes me next.

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