How to set goals that you’ll actually accomplish

How to set goals that you’ll actually accomplish from Dear Handmade Life

I was cleaning out our spare bedroom last week and found a super dusty vision board that I’d made three years ago… behind the dresser! (I wrote about making that vision board here). If you’re not familiar with how vision boards work ­­–– the first thing to know is that you’re NOT supposed to hide them behind furniture!

A vision board is a place for you to write, paint or collage your goals and ideally, it should hang somewhere where you see it daily. That way, you’re frequently reminded to go after those goals. Of course I knew this, but I also couldn’t bear to mar my perfectly decorated bedroom with a junior-high-style poster board collage of dollar bills, babies, tropical islands and women exercising.

So, when I came upon mine during a fast and furious Sunday cleaning bender, I was shocked to see how many of my “hidden” goals that I’d actually achieved. 

Tropical vacation – check!

Explore meditation/yoga – check!

Get my finances in order – check! 

Like many of us, I’m guilty of feeling like I’m not achieving my goals as quickly or completely as I planned. So it was pretty cool to see how much I’d actually accomplished (even though my vision board was hidden in a rarely-used room).  

As I stood there with the Swiffer, I realized that I got all that stuff done despite my less-than-perfect vision board placement, because I took strategic action to turn those visions into realistic, actionable goals. Vision boards don’t have magic powers. The ‘magic’ of vision boards only happens when you take action.

Spreading myself thin by trying to accomplish tons of huge goals in an unrealistic time frame is the worst way to get things done. If I want to accomplish big things, I not only need to carefully choose which goals to go after and make them as specific as possible but I also need to break those goals down into small, manageable tasks. 

For example my vision board goal of ‘get my finances in order’ became a series of smaller goals, one of which was: raise my credit score to 700. Then I took that specific goal, and broke it down into tiny tasks that felt way less overwhelming (ie: make an appointment with a credit counselor etc.). Then I spread those tasks out on my monthly, weekly and daily to-do lists. 

This is how big things happen. Slowly and in increments. One step at a time. You get things done by chipping away steadily and doing ALL the dirty work. Dreaming (or vision-boarding) is the easy and fun part.

So truth be told, was getting credit counseling as fun as ripping images from a magazine and going to town with a glue stick? NO. But did getting my credit approved to buy my first-ever non-hand-me-down mattress feel darn good? YES!

Take that BIG goal whether it’s work-related or personal, make it as specific as possible and break it down into tiny actionable steps that feel accomplishable. And if you do feel inspired to make a vision board, go ahead and put it behind a dresser (if and only if you turn those dreams into actionable goals). It worked for me!  

-Nicole S.

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