Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekly Goals #1

Say you have a long-term goal, such as, "In 5 years, I'll be debt-free". The success or failure of this and other big goals is built on smaller, every day decisions. For example, to be debt-free, you need the funds to pay off your existing debt. and this requires you to both make and save money. This requires choices to be made...every day, mundane, frequent and maybe seemingly insignificant choices that add up for not-so-little results.

Being debt-free doesn't happen because you made a grandiose announcement of your intentions. It happens because you make choices every day that are consistent with your goal. It's choosing to get up on time to get to work instead of sleeping in an extra five minutes and risking being late. It's buying a plain coffee instead of a grande latte, because those few dollars will bring you a little bit closer to your goal.

The same goes for health and fitness-you don't make improvements by saying that in six months you will have _________(run a marathon, lost 20 lbs, lowered your cholesterol by 10%, etc). Setting the goal is important, but it is only the start of the road to the accomplishment.  You get there because you get up early to go to that 5:30 am spinning class. You choose yogurt over ice cream, or a salad instead of fries. You push yourself to finish the last few sit-ups even though all you want to is relax and look at the ceiling. It's all these 'little' choices that add up, and become something meaningful.

Daily choices matter. Which is why I want to start making some shorter-term weekly goals for myself. It's mostly 'small' stuff that is seemingly mundane. But they are important, and I want to reach the end of the week having accomplished them.

If I could add another 'A' to the S.M.A.R.T. goals acronym that most of us have heard of (if not, see this post), it would be for Accountability. One of the most important things you can do to progress toward your goals is to ensure you are accountable for them. To help myself do this, I'm going to "report-out" on how I did this past week.

#1: Transfer retirement fund from previous employer's 401k to new account. I tend to procrastinate when it comes to financial stuff like this, and I need to get it done soon. So, this is the week.

Result: I did as much as I could. Called the investment company and they are mailing me the paperwork to sign and have notarized before they can mail me the check. Once they mail the check, I will forward it to the company with whom I have my new IRA fund.

#2:  Work out 6 days of the week. Spinning, Calorie Crusher, Turbo Kick, and PIYO are looking pretty good (I have been addicted to group classes lately!)  

Result: Done! The details:
  •        Monday-spinning (45min)
  •        Tuesday-elliptical (50 min)
  •        Wednesday-Calorie Crusher! (60 min)
  •        Thursday-Turbo Kick (60 min)
  •        Friday-3 mile walk (40 min)
  •        Saturday-Calorie Crusher! (60 min) + 1 mile walk (~15 min)
  •        Sunday-rest (all day!). 
I feel especially pleased that I stuck with it despite almost bailing out on Tuesday and Friday
nights due to, well, laziness! But I didn't and it feels good.

#3: Read Bible/meditate in morning for five minutes (starting small.) Done 1/7 so far, and was surprised at how quickly those five minutes went by. 

Result: Done, although I ended up shifting it from the morning to the evening. I used an app called YouVersion and selected several short reading plans (Wisdom, Diligence, What is Love? and Addictions). Just a few minutes proved valuable and helped to remind me of my main goal in life: loving my God.

#4: Take care of getting prescription refilled. I can be really lazy about staying on top of this, especially since I have new insurance. It's important for my health.  

Result: Done!  And despite the hassle of new insurance info.

#5: Have lunch with coworkers at least 3/5 days of the week. I tend to be very introverted, and it is good to get to know some of my coworkers better this way.   

Result: Done! I am very glad I did this and hope to continue. I was feeling lonely at the beginning of the week, but by the end I was feeling much friendlier. Lunch is a great time to get to know and spend time with people, and it sure beats sitting at my desk.

#6: Learn at least five new Catia software tricks at work. I tend to get stuck in a rut doing the same things the same way because that is what I'm comfortable with.   

Result: Only 1/5 tricks learned (how to add layers). Part of this was because I had a hard time finding the Catia help files on my secure workstation. I did eventually find some and learned about the layers in the last 10 minutes of work on Friday. I'll work on this again next week.

#7: Find a project to do around the house when my mom comes. I really like doing projects with her, and it gives us something to do together.  

Result: Did not do, but that's OK, as we had several other things to do together, and that gave us the opportunity to spend time together. The main objective of the specific goal (spending time with her) was accomplished, so I think it was a success.

Creating goals to work toward this week was an excellent way to both get some necessary things done and to challenge myself. I will definitely be doing this again.

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