I’m learning not to be too hard on myself so I’ve started telling myself that everyday is a fresh start. If I have, or want, to try something I’ll try it. If I fail, I fail. I try not to beat myself up about it and I try again tomorrow.
Some fresh starts are big and some are small but even starting a new day is an opportunity to try everything that didn’t work yesterday.
When I failed to achieve a target that I set myself I used to beat myself up. I was spreading myself too thin trying to achieve goals or not even giving myself enough time to achieve them. Then, when I struggled to succeed I’d call myself names in my head and wallow in self-pity. But, if I look back I realise that it didn’t serve me any good. How can I get up when I’m my own adversary, screaming at myself to stay down?
My desire to succeed saw me get up and try again. As a result of that I had to rethink the goals I was setting for myself. I have a looong list of things I want to achieve in life and my previous attempts at goal setting were basically: “Everything as quickly as possible”. Not gonna happen.
An effective way of goal setting for actualisation is by setting SMART targets. I’m sure you’ve heard of SMART targets. You learn about them in school, they bang on about them at college, they reeducate you at uni and even when you leave formal education they’re STILL talking about them at work! This tells me that it must be an effective way of setting goals.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, agreed and time-bound. I’m pretty sure that I don’t have to break these down for you. They’re self-explanatory. However, don’t underestimate the simplicity of it. These five words will play a big role in getting where you need to be. Let’s have a look at what setting SMART targets looks like in action, here’s one of mine:
I want to train myself to run long distances
I’ll run Luton Half Marathon
I’m okay this and it is something that I want to do, no one is forcing me
I’m blessed with life and health so there’s no reason it can’t be done
I’ll run it in October to give me time to prepare for it
You don’t have to write your goals down and it doesn’t have to be a formal process like at work or school where you are graded against your performance on the goals you set BUT don’t forget to plan. It’s all well and good having realistic goals but if you don’t plan the right steps to get there then you never will (that’s a whole other story). I know it’s not always easy to stick to a plan, but if you don’t do so great following your plan one day you can have a fresh start on it the next.
Fresh starts can be scary sometimes; it’s hard going out into the unknown, it’s difficult pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Unfortunately or fortunately, comfort, success and happiness are not synonymous and in life you have to work hard to get where you need to be (yes, I think you have to work at being happy).
So If you feel like a fresh start why don’t start tomorrow, actually, why don’t you start today and if it doesn’t go so well you’ve got the next day and the next and the next day to give it another go (see where I’m going with this?).
Speaking of fresh starts, I’m moving house this weekend!
What fresh starts are you looking forward to?