Did January get away from you? With day care and school closures, quarantines, stomach viruses, and snow, it got away from this CEEKer. So, this month you get two challenges.
First Challenge: Set Goals
If you’ve been following along, you know that CEEK typically reserves January for our Goal Setting Challenge. Rather than skip it, we’re playing catch up because we believe goal setting is critical to personal and professional success.
“But why bother when the world is falling apart? My goal for the day was shower and that didn’t happen!” Glad you asked. Goal setting helps us focus and keep moving forward, even if it’s a little at a time. Positive Psychology tells us, “In the end, you can’t manage what you don’t measure and you can’t improve upon something that you don’t properly manage. Setting goals can help you do all of that and more.”
Goal setting should start with an evaluation or a vision for your life and what you want to do. Write your goals down. State them in the positive and be detailed about what you want to accomplish and how. To make your goals clear and attainable, they should be SMART:
- Specific: Think about a defined area for improvement in terms of what, why, who, and where.
- Measurable: Set beginning, middle, and end targets for your goal.
- Achievable/Attainable: Is your goal something that can be reasonably achieved with the resources you have available?
- Relevant: Is the goal relevant to you and the person you desire to be?
- Time-based: Set a timeframe (one month, six months, one year) around your goal so you can measure progress and success.
SMART goals can help you plan and generate the motivation you need to keep moving. Share your goals with people who will help you and keep you accountable. Once your goals are set, refer back to them to stay on track or change them if you need to.
Second Challenge: Cultivate Compassion and Forgiveness for Yourself and Others
That shower you missed? Cut yourself a break. This isn’t the same as forgetting about it. You need to honor your commitment, but you don’t need to beat yourself up over it.
At CEEK, we call this giving ourselves and others grace. Google “grace” and you will find a range of explanations and definitions that circle around compassion and forgiveness. Compassion is the ability to show yourself and others empathy, love, and concern. Forgiveness is a process of letting go of resentment, bitterness, and anger aimed at someone wronged you (even if that person is yourself). When we forgive ourselves, we’re not shirking responsibility. Rather, we’re taking responsibility for our actions, while moving toward self-compassion. This keeps us motivated to chip away on those goals we set in the first challenge. Maybe you didn’t finish everything you planned for your goals in January. That’s okay. Forgiveness and compassion let us deal with our feelings so we can make adjustments and keep moving forward one step at a time.
Set your goals, practice compassion and forgiveness as a way to meet them, and CEEK a better way!