KylaRoma.com, and I'm a web designer, puppy mama, wife, and a partner in Freckled Nest, a boutique web design company. I live in the middle of the Canadian prairies and love thrifting, making things with my hands (crafts, food & baking!), analog photography, dreaming and turning those dreams into plans.
Today I'm excited to share five things I've learned about one of my favorite things -- setting & accomplishing goals!
Once I've decided on what part of my big dreams I want to focus on, it's important to do a litmus test. Examine your feelings and trust your instincts! I love Marie Forleo's video post about recognizing time wasters vs. opportunities where she talks about asking yourself if your goals make you feel expansive or limited. Once you've moved past the dreaming stage, it's really important to ground the dreams that you're going to move forward on. If your dream or goal makes you feel trapped and worried that could be a sign that you're taking on too much at once. If your dream makes you feel nervous butterflies, like you're 20 feet tall, and that you can't wait to make it a reality, that's a great sign that you're on the right track. Keep going!
2. Break it Down -- Then Break it Down Again. ---> Big dreams mean lots of little steps to follow along the way, so be sure to break each of those steps down to the last detail. It will look like a lot at first -- don't freak out, lady! You've got this! Making sure that you account for all of the little steps along the way will make sure you can move steadily from stepping stone to stepping stone towards your bigger goal.
Do you need to do a photoshoot for a blog post? That's a big topic- break it down again! Do you need to borrow a friend's camera equipment? Do you have a location in mind or do you need to scout one? Do you know how many different kinds of shots you need to have the post you want, and did you count photo editing as a separate task? It might take a while to achieve the bigger dreams on your list, but breaking your plan into bite sized To Do items will help you know as much of the path in front of you as possible. That's powerful!
3. The Trick is the Timing. ---> Now that you have an idea of what you'll be doing, think about when you'll be doing it and how long your steps will take. I can't tell you how many times I do one of these things but not the other- I'm great at planning when I'll get things done, but unless I force myself to estimate how long each task will take, I leave that part out and will be left scrambling when time runs out at the end of the day.
The reality is that some things take no time and a little effort to get done and some things take a lot of time and all your effort! Knowing yourself and how you work best will help you make a successful plan. If you work best under pressure, don't give yourself all day for a big task. For some personalities, limiting your time will get you working fast and furiously and keep you from procrastinating. If you love planning in advance and taking your time (hello, that's me!) then start a week earlier than you need to so you can feel great about being ahead. Make sure to vary what you're working on too- if you have too many difficult tasks back to back, you could burn yourself out and come to a standstill, but planning could have navigated you through it.
4. Talk About it & Help your Support System Understand. ---> Enough of the internal work and goal setting -- once you have a plan and you know how you're going to get there, tell people! Share your project with your friends & family, post about your progress on Facebook, or blog about what you're learning along the way. Talking about your hopes and dreams breathes life into them and makes them more real -- both to you and your support system. If the people around you know what's important to you and what you're working on, they can better support and understand you while you're on your journey.
While your friends and family might not get the whole picture of what you're doing, or might not be as comfortable with blogs and social media as you are, when you speak passionately about what's in your heart they will see that it's important to you. If you know that some people who are important that you share with won't get what you're doing, explain it in terms that they will. When I explain my blog and working on client web designs to my grandmother, I focus on the similarities to print branding that she's familiar with, and compare it to making a wedding invitation design or magazine design. Once we get past the terms that she's not familiar with, she understands exactly what I'm doing -- I'm telling stories, being creative, and loving what I do. A perfect understanding of what you're doing isn't necessary for the members of your support system to support why you're doing it.
5. Make a Regular Date with Yourself for Check Ins & Rewards! ---> Working on long term projects can wear even the most motivated person out, so a trick I use is to check in on my progress every week or month, and tie an immediate reward to how I do. It's a simple way to add perks along the way to the big reward of getting your dreams made into a reality! Maybe if you finish that photoshoot on time, you can treat yourself to daily Starbucks for a week? Or you could set up a video call with one of your best far away friends for the day after a project launches! (Maybe two days after, so you can catch up on sleep!).
Your rewards don't have to be things and even if they are, they don't have to be expensive -- this is about knowing who you are and what makes you tick. If you can reward yourself for little pieces of hard work along the way, you'll be more likely to stay on track for the long term. The best part? That staying on track means realizing your dream, which is a reward in itself!
Find Kyla Here: Blog | Freckled Nest Design | Twitter | Pinterest
Kyla, I get super pumped about this topic too! This was a great way to really break down the process of goal setting and doing!! I loved your thoughts on tip #2 about breaking it down. I read an extremely helpful book called, Getting Things Done by David Allen that touches on breaking down your to-do's, setting up easy systems, and understanding your action items. Great read! Thank you for taking the time to contribute your advice (and passion!) to my readers!