The Importance of Setting Small Goals

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It’s easy to come into a new year with ambitious goals like GET FIT™ or  CHANGE THE WORLD™. It’s also easy to fall short of those goals and into the PIT OF DISILLUSIONMENT® from whence there is no escape (until the next year, when the cry of “New Year, New Me!” gives you newfound buoyancy and raises you from perdition so you can start the whole dreadful business all over again).

I know, because I have been in that pit many times before. The problem with the pit is that it can get awfully comfortable down there. You tell yourself that everyone falls into the pit, that you shouldn’t feel too bad because falling into the pit is inevitable. You start carrying a travel cushion everywhere you go, so that when you do finally fall into the pit you have something nice to sit on. After a while the travel cushion becomes a couch cushion, and then just a couch, because the pit is now your home and why even bother setting goals when you can just live in the pit and be perfectly fine?

But a pit is still a pit, even if it does have a couch and a kitchenette and a flatscreen TV and one of those fancy talking toilets in the en suite. This year, I am determined to avoid the pit, and I am doing it by setting small, achievable goals. This blog is part of that; I promised myself that I would do one creative thing a day, whether it be writing a blog entry, working on my book, or doing a quick sketch. I’ve also started going to Yoga lessons whenever I can (this group runs a free outdoor Yoga program in parks around Auckland – pigeon pose with actual pigeons!). The thing is, I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to make huge differences right away. If I have a day when I do nothing but remember to take my pills and eat something, I’m counting it as a good day.

Here are some more of my small goals for this year:

  • Read 1 book a month
  • Try more vegan alternatives
  • Put a few dollars into my savings every week
  • Buy less & buy recycled/ethical wherever possible (as an aside, this company makes awesome clothes & jewellery AND uses the profits to save sea turtles!)

I’ve already given away a lot of my clothes, cutting my wardrobe down to a few high-quality basics. I have a small list of pieces that I need to complete a year-round capsule wardrobe, and I am challenging myself to only buy things from that list (unless things need to be replaced, of course). I’ve been a terrible impulse-buyer over the last couple of years and it is absolutely cringe-worthy how many clothes I bought that I only wore once or twice because they didn’t fit with anything else. But no more!

This year is about simplifying, about valuing quality over quantity, and about focusing on inner change rather than outward. That damn pit isn’t getting me this time.

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What are some of your small goals for this year? Share them in the comments below!

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