Tis the season where stationery is flying off of shelves and brand new outfits are purchased for the first day. People spend time running around getting themselves and their loved ones prepped for a new school year. There’s a sense of excitement for a fresh start and all the possibilities that a new school year brings. Those of us out in the working world may long for the days of those “back to school” feelings. But who’s to say we can’t have that experience? We should use back to school as a catalyst to revisit our personal and professional goals. While you’re in the midst of getting the kids ready for their first day, don’t forget about you.
Sounds good, right? Now … how to do it:
Remind and Refresh
Most of us have some version of a list in our lives. A journal of dreams. A to-do list. Annual workplace goals living in a system somewhere. It’s time to break those bad boys out and reflect. Does it all feel right to you? Should some plans morph into something else? Has your focus intentionally changed and do your goals now need to reflect it? Make some time to think about it. If you don’t, who will?
Break It Down
Part of why folks don’t achieve their goals is going too far, too fast. They want to be all in or else they tend to do nothing at all. “I will write and publish a novel” seems pretty daunting. How about jotting down a few thoughts for ten minutes each week. That can eventually lead to a chapter and so on and so forth. Life isn’t really an all or nothing scenario anyway. Be smart and ease yourself in to challenges. You’re better off starting slowly and sticking to it rather than jumping all in and giving up early on.
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Progress Is Your Friend
Don’t be disappointed if you haven’t achieved everything on your list. Making progress towards something should be just as exciting as the end game. A few steps closer to your goal is still amazing and you should give yourself credit for getting that far!
Chasing your goals and dreams is work, that’s why it’s so damn rewarding when you achieve them. Don’t do something, just to cross it off a list or simply because you feel like you should. Because that approach won’t last long. Remind yourself why that particular achievement is important to you. Losing sight of the “why” often causes us to lose focus. Keep the why in mind. Create a daily mantra or a note on your phone. Do whatever works for you, as long as you stay true to the why you started in the first place.
This time of year feels all about opportunity and possibility. Why does that need to only be for students? We’re all students of life who ultimately want to be better. We won’t get there without looking in the mirror every once and a while. Helping you first allows you to be the best you to help others. Now go pack some lunches.