An Illustrated Goal Guide: The Action
February 8, 2015
And here it is! The second (and final!) part of the Illustrated Goal Guide! It’s a biggie, I know. There is so darn much helpful stuff out there. I actually chopped out whole sections because they were basically just me, being like – “and, and, OH! This is really cool, useful, and interesting too, and this! And this! Let me just digress for 4 pages…” Lol.
I feel good about what I’ve put together now. I really tried to work in all the most important, practical, evidence-based things I’ve read, in the simplest way I could. I’ve been working through it myself with some of my goals.
For example, getting more exercise. I KNOW, most generic goal of all time. But seriously guys, I’m starting to worry about myself! Those who knew me at a certain time in my life may be shocked, but I’ve sort of become horribly inactive. I mean, I’m busy, and still do a fair amount of kid schlepping and sprinting for trains (which totally counts as working out), but with bike season kinda on hold, the amount of dedicated exercise I do is frankly frightening. My 20 year old running, fanatically rock-climbing self would DIE.
So. Very simply, I’m going to walk through this one goal, using part B of the guide. My apologies if it’s mundane! I’m just thinking, some people really appreciate an example.
GOAL IDEA: Get more exercise.
Is this going to be challenging?
Yes. I’ve looked at how adding dedicated exercise to my life will conflict with my current schedule and habits (see Part A). It’s going to be tricky. But truly, it’s starting to feel kinda silly to be hunting down paraben free lipstick for goodness sake if I don’t exercise. Know what I mean? I concede, it’s a priority. Sigh.
Is this specific enough?
No. “More exercise” is way too vague. I could add a tiny bit and tell myself I’m doing better. Specifically, I’m shooting to add 30 minutes a day, or 4 hours a week, to be a little more flexible.
Goal: Where am I going?
I exercise 4 hours/week, every week, for 1 month (February 9th – March 9th). I’ve specified 1 month because when a goal is ongoing in nature (like quitting or building a habit) it helps to set a shorter term goal. It feels good to have a set point to shoot for, and to celebrate when we reach it. After a month, I’ll reassess and set a new goal (that’s important!).
Starting Point: Where am I now?
This is embarrassing. Except for wildcard weeks where we go for a hike or something, I maybe get an hour of dedicated exercise (kid schlepping/household stuff that makes me break a sweat not included. I FEEL THE NEED TO SAY THAT!). Mostly, it’s brisk walking. My little sister, Steph (who happens to be a semi-pro cyclist), is probably choking right now.
I do like to walk along the Rhine, though. And I make an effort to hustle the scenic route instead of taking transit into the city when I can. Ok, when it’s convenient. And sunny.
Action: How am I going to get there?
Well, I’m not joining a gym. I’ve done that no less than twice, with best intentions. In the past, it’s worked for me to: 1) Make it social (multi-task! It’s a friend date and exercise!). 2) Make it functional (I need to go anyway). 3) Make it fun (feels like a break!). With this in mind, here are my mini-goals:
- Find and sign up for yoga (or another) class with a friend. (60 min/week)
- Walk to the city centre 2/week, once for lunch with Achim, once for a playdate/errands. I’d like to say I’ll walk back too, but I know myself. (30 min. 1 way, 2x/week)
- Walk to/from a coffee shop to work once a week. (40 min/week)
- This one may cause marital conflict on account of zero space in the apartment, so it’s on one month probation. I will buy a second hand stationary bike and use it thrice weekly. I’ve seen them all over the buy and sell websites here for a pittance (which perhaps I should heed as a warning…?). Armed with the right podcasts, it might work. (30 min/3x week)
Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes.
Progress: How will I know that I’m getting there?
I’ll make a calendar with my tick box-able mini goals each slotted in, and post it on my bulletin board (this includes the logistics of getting the bike, finding a class, etc). At the end of each week I’ll tally my hours. I’ll also write a short follow-up post at the half-way point, and at the end of the month.
Also, progress will be feeling more positive, alert, energetic and warm (when I’m inactive I get so cold!).
And that’s a plan!
So I hope that was helpful! It was for me! 🙂 I’ll be shamelessly leaning on you guys as my commitment device now. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything, just knowing I told you is enough!
I just want to point out one more thing. The goal above is one where I basically knew how to proceed, I just had to work through it and make a plan. That’s why I didn’t have to set any learning mini-goals. But I’ve got lots of goals where I really don’t know what I’m doing. Like, stuff with this blog. For example, I’m still not fully clear on how to hone in on a good community of followers. As a blog lover, I have some ideas, but at this point if I set a goal to, say, have 1000 unique viewers per week by July, and set a bunch of mini-goals based on what I already know, I’d probably end up frustrated. That’s a case where it makes a lot more sense to focus on learning. Figuring out how others build community, honing in on some good resources (experts, other bloggers), learning how to use certain social media tools more effectively, figuring out SEO, etc. Know what I mean?
And that’s that!
Guys, I’m seriously so curious to hear what you think of the guide, if you find it helpful (or not!), and how you’re doing with your own goals! Any successes? Running into any issues? Do you have any ideas to add? Or advice for me on my exercise quest (other than don’t get an exercise bike!)?
P.S. Again, sources used to create the guide are listed here, if you’re interested.