Goals: What are your posts made of?

January is always hard work. The list of potential goals to have and resolutions to follow is endless. The new year expects a lot of us and sets us up to fail with its lofty expectations.

I’ve carried around several goals for years; dragging them year to year never really making much headway. Even if I ever did I would just move the goal posts.

I did this recently. I had finally solved a problem in some automation code I’ve been writing. A problem I had been trying to solve on and off for months. It was very much boom fixed and after the briefest celebration I just moved on to the next part which was even more complex. It felt good to finally make progress, but the overall goal was still incomplete and the full sense of achievement wasn’t in focus.

I should really question my long term, lingering goals and their influences. What are the reasons for these goals genuinely? What are they made out of and what is at their core?

It made me think of this picture (which I know is probably fake or whatever)

The more insidious goals feel like this sometimes. Goals that when if you think about it, you aren’t entirely sure why you are doing them and if you will even finally complete them, but they live on regardless. This year is inordinately difficult and even that doesn’t seem to keep them at bay. The posts move, adapt and evolve over the years potentially into something realistic, likely or even liveable.

Achieving these goals or any goal requires that you are motivated by them or at least the concept of the reward they bring. If your goal is too big or out of reach it can dampen your spirits. These type of goals need breaking down to appear more manageable and their final bounty needs to be in view.

This year I wanted to take some of my goals and split them out into smaller more attainable chunks. We do this all the time at work. We take a story/PBI/Item/BUG and if it is too big we break it down into smaller parts. I’ve started an automation board (Trello have a great template for this), a project board which will store my L&D tasks that aren’t automation related and I have a OneNote which have my overall goal with individual stages. I’m applying a Kanban rule to it as well where I can only have 3 parts of my goal in progress at anyone time to stop me getting overwhelmed.

I have only been doing this for a week or so now, but I feel like I am advancing. It has really increased my overall positivity which I didn’t expect. Something else that has helped me realise I am actually accomplishing things is Top3 emails. The company I now work for do this weekly; we all email a mail group 3 triumphs from the past week. It makes me consider my progress a bunch more and look on my progress during the week and in general more favourably.

With having a new job my impostor syndrome is rife, but these processes have helped massively particularly at right now and breaking goals down makes them feel less daunting. In the long run I think it will be beneficial to my wellbeing and ultimately keep me engaged with what I want to implement.

I encourage thinking about your goals, long term not short term and work out why you want to see them through then whack them into a shape that seems easy to stomach and feel good about.

Thanks for reading!



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