It’s February, and setting goals seems so last month. But that’s totally not true! You can set goals at any time of the year. Whenever you find something you’re motivated to accomplish, you can write it down and set out to do it. The team at Artists Village has found three fun tips to help you do just that:
Take Your Emotional Temperature
If you don’t already have a goal in mind, or you have too many goals in mind, start by taking your emotional temperature. Vanessa Van Edwards, author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, suggests rating six areas of your life on a scale of one to five, with one being “extremely dissatisfied” and five being “extremely satisfied.” Here’s how she explains the categories:
- Business: How do you feel about your work, career or business effectiveness and success?
- Friends: How is your social life? Your friendships and support system?
- Family: How are your personal relationships? Your partner or spouse?
- Personal Passions: Do you have personal passion projects, hobbies, or fun activities that fulfill you?
- Spiritual: You can interpret this one any way you like. It could be your faith, mental health, personal journeys or mindset.
- Health: Are you happy with your physical health and wellness?
Write down your ratings, and you’ll see a quick glance at your emotional health. With that view, you can make an informed decision about what goal you’d like to work on first. Maybe you’d like to start with an easier goal and work on something you rated with a four or five. Or maybe you want to tackle something you rated with a two or three first. It’s up to you!
Embrace Your Fear of Success
Who doesn’t want success? Well, maybe there’s a part of all of us that’s afraid of it, which may keep us from setting goals in the first place. “If I get this job, I’ll have to work so much harder than I do now,” or “If she says yes to a first date, it will only hurt more when things don’t work out later.”
Jay Polish at Bustle suggests that we not shy away from these feelings: “Engaging with those fears of success—starting by acknowledging them and facing them for what they are—can give you a more mindful and productive relationship with your goals.”
Instead of pretending you’re 100 percent motivated to get that new job, you can acknowledge that you’re afraid of the hard work that will come with it and start developing good time management skills. And instead of pushing yourself to ask that special someone out, you can realize you’re worried about rejection and approach the relationship with more mindfulness and honesty.
Choose Your Minimum Enjoyable Action
There’s nothing wrong with reaching for the stars, but with some goals, it’s just not likely to happen. For example, let’s say you really don’t like reading, but you see the benefits and would love to be the type of person that can sit down and enjoy a book. Don’t make yourself read a chapter a day—start with your minimum enjoyable action (MEA).
An MEA is “so simple, so small, and just enjoyable enough, that you can see yourself doing it for the rest of your life,” according to Nir and Far. So if your goal is to be a reader, your MEA right now might be to choose a good book and simply read a paragraph a day—that’s it. Or if you want to floss your teeth every day, you might just start with a single tooth each day—that’s it!
As you make a habit of these tiny behaviors, you’re better able to grow these habits sustainably. Soon enough, you will have changed your life!
Ready to give setting goals a go? Start by taking your emotional temperature, and then embrace your fear of success and choose your MEA. You’ll be well on your way to the best version of yourself in no time.