Making goals and keeping them can be a tricky habit to create, and even if you can create them keeping yourself from slipping can be even harder. Sometimes they can look so big and scary from the outside that it seems like you might never be able to achieve them. Or maybe you write down some and promise that you'll start them and then can't quite follow through due to a lack of preparation or planning. I felt the same way about making my own milestones until a couple of years ago when I came across a technique I call “the 7x7”. Using this matrix, I was able to save up for a year long trip around the world and started writing; both of which were two of my biggest dreams in life.
This is tool you can begin using right away, all you need is a pen and some paper. I personally have a journal where I keep mine, but wherever you decide to keep it I think writing it down on paper is best. Something about actually forming the letters and words with your hand and pen makes it more real than typing it on a computer. Also, since you can carry a journal with you anywhere you go there's no hassle if you ever need to look over your goals and intentions while on the road.
Like any new habit, this will take a bit of work to get into in the beginning, but I promise that once you have it started it will become ingrained into you daily routine. It will help you stay motivated and help you keep a clear eye on your goals, dreams and intentions no matter what is going on in your life that day. Each and every day we wake up a new person due to what happened to us yesterday, changes in hormone levels and because our cells are constantly dying and rejuvenating. Having a goal tracker such as this can help you stay consistent and make sure that you are remaining accountable to yourself and your dreams.
Just remember, any goal is achievable as long as you give yourself a realistic time frame. If you say you want to conduct a symphony in one month but have no experience in the field then you are bound to set yourself up for failure. Make your goals specific, make them personal and remember that timing is everything. There are several areas you might want to set goals for yourself. These include physical self, sexual self, emotional self, spiritual self, intellectual self as well as how you express yourself and how you survive in the world. Remember that some goals can actually check off several of your "selves" and you need not be worried if you don't know how to set goals for all of these areas at once. Practice makes perfect.
In the sections below I will include my own personal 7x7 which was created a few days ago on my birthday. I redo mine each and every year as a practice on my birthday so I can remember to be consistent, but my first one several years ago started on a random day just like today.
Seven Life Principles
1.Happiness is number one goal in life
2. Leave the world a better place than I found it
3. Spread joy and laughter
4. Never stop learning
5. Chase my dreams
6. Live with gratitude
7. Treasure Moments
2) Now that you have your seven life principles, it's time to think of your “seven life goals.” These should align with principles you live your life according to. They should be the things you've always wished to accomplish but maybe never thought possible.
Seven Life Goals
1. Own my own business that allows me to travel
2. Know multiple languages
3. Write at least one book
4. Travel to every continent
5. Be healthy and mindful
6. Help others chase their happiness
7. Never stop dreaming
Seven Goals By Thirty
1. Have a working business plan, be looking for places to set it up
2. Know one more language well
3. Have at least (x) in savings
4. Begin preparations for another long term trip or be planning to spend time outside US
5. Get paid for writing
6. Maintain healthy practices (yoga certification, plant medicine course)
7. Take sailing lessons for fun
4) These following goals are goals you wish to finish this next year. You can decide that they should be accomplished a year from today, or maybe in time for your next birthday, so you can start with fresh goals each year as a birthday present to yourself. Whenever this date is, make sure you write it down, so you can keep track.
Seven Goals By 29
1. Have a firm idea of a business I want (rough business plan)
2. Take language courses
3. Don't let work become my life
4. Get back into yoga and rock climbing
5. Have at least (x) in bank account
6. Continue to get my work published
7. Keep lessons I've learned while traveling fresh in my mind, put them into my daily life
5) Now, we are going to get even smaller. What are seven goals this month that can work towards your year goal. These seven steps will help you work towards the big scary goals a couple of steps up.
Seven Goals for August
1. Get a article post published
2. Explore everyday (walking, hiking, biking)
3. Do things that scare me
4. Brainstorm with Joe over business goals
5. Write something everyday
6. See friends in Champagne and Wurzberg
7. Keep up exercising and be mindful of alcohol consumption
Seven Goals for Week of 8.11 to 8.17
1. Send out pitch for new article
2. Get train tickets to Munich
3. Exercise six days out of the week
4. FaceTime with Ashley and Amber (my best friends)
5. Write two "thoughts" posts in addition to starting Piedmont post, brainstorm new topics
6. Do week one of writing class (free writing class at www.lifewrite.com)
7. Sketch out business ideas discussed with Joe last week
7) This last set of goals is the hardest to maintain in the beginning. Each night before bed you need to write down your goals for the next day and review your completed goals from the day. Cross out ones you made and circle ones that you didn't have a chance to complete. You'll add the missed ones to tomorrow's goal list. Don't let this happen more than a day or two if possible. Read your goal list each morning upon rising to set it firmly in your mind before you get swept up into the activities of your day. I like to carry my journal with me to refresh my mind whenever I need a little extra motivation. Each day I also pick a quote that I like to maintain as a thought for the day, I'll out this underneath my daily goals.
Goals for Sunday 8.10 (the day I wrote this)
1. Write one post for my blog
2. No drinking day
3. Do 12 sun salutations and go for a long walk
4. Be mindful of what I eat
5. Practice gratitude actively
6. Meditate for 30 minutes
7. Take a nap to refresh
The best part about this system is that it continues to grow with you and you can create new goals and rewrite old ones as you mature and your perspectives and passions change. I love being able to keep myself accountable.
I hope that you decide to give this a try and please feel free to email me to let me know how it goes! email@example.com
And remember, this is all about helping you meet your goals and live your life according to the ideals and dreams you've always had. Good luck and happy Friday!
"The thoughts manifest as the word; The word manifests as the deed; The deed develops into habit; and the habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care, and let it spring from love born out of concern for all beings." ~ Buddha