Setting Goals: How to Succeed | The Rogue Genealogist

Goal-Setting: How to Succeed

At the beginning of the year, we get quite excited about goal-setting and decide this will be the year we succeed! We tell ourselves we are going to accomplish X, Y and Z at last.

And then our goals stare at us from our phone or spreadsheet or posterboard – wherever we’ve placed them – and mock us a little bit more everyday, until we narrow our list down further and further to the most attainable. “Convert oxygen to carbon dioxide” is a pretty attractive goal by March.

Why do we charge into a new year (or new week, month, quarter, etc.) with so much steam, only to falter quickly? In most cases, it’s because goal-setting isn’t enough. You need to have much more than a list of things you hope to accomplish. You need to:

Have a Plan

It’s easy enough to ask ourselves what our goals are for a certain time frame. But how often do we ask ourselves how we will achieve them? What factors do we have to take into consideration?

Do you need a particular tool, app or software? Is travel necessary? Do you need help from another person?

Don’t just set the goals, but have a plan for how you will go about fulfilling them.

Make Time

I think all of us have said, “I wish I had more hours in the day,” or some variation on that theme. Unfortunately, we get what we get in terms of time and time management (reference prior post?) is a skill we each have to cultivate in our own way.

If a goal matters to you, it is important to block out the time you need in order to pursue it. What do you need to do this? Do you need to treat your goals like a job or a task on your to-do list? Do you need to write it out by hand to really reinforce it? What about writing out, not just your goals, but your plan and the amount of time you will set aside for them? Would adding them to a calendar, datebook or bullet journal help?

Just Do It

That’s right. It’s as simple as that. Some days I look at what has to get done and decide I need to leave the house or tell my husband he’s completely in charge of kids and housework. Sometimes, I decide this will be the night I create that spreadsheet, double-check certain sources in my tree, or write a blog post.

Of course, we’re only human, and I admit that I find myself moving tasks forward from one day to the next in my bullet journal. But I’m the kind of person who gets sick of that at some point and finally tackles them.

So whatever it takes, make this the year you don’t just write out an impressive list of goals. You sit down, make a plan, make time, and succeed!

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