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What Goals? by Raette Meredith

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Reaching Your 2011 Goals
by Raette Meredith

Okay, so you are too busy to sit down and figure out your goals. After all, you are already working full time, taking care of your home and running from show to show, not to mention struggling to create in between. Am I right?

Simply surviving life as it comes at you is a feat in itself at times. Especially during times like these when the financial standing of our country let alone most of our industries is unpredictable.

Even though things are a little nuts all around us, setting simple goals from day to day will help us feel focused and accomplished. There are countless great websites, classes and seminars out there that talk about how to set realistic and attainable goals, so I won't beat that dead horse. Instead I will focus on the rituals surrounding goal setting.

First thing in the morning I stammer out of bed, wishing I was still in that dream land where anything is possible. But, I still have to get out of bed to get the kids ready for school and out the door on time, nudge my sleepy husband to do the same, feed the pets and start the laundry. Already overwhelmed I want to hit the snooze button, again.

I drag myself to the coffee pot where I usually find my kick in the pants. I sit at the counter and start brainstorming. Everything that I want to accomplish is written down, even if it is lofty or unattainable in the next 18 hours.

One by one I prioritize.

I find that each day I am pushing off the things that matter to me the most but are considered not as important for the moment. Hold everything. Stop here. This is where the 10 year, 5 year and 1 year goals come in.

I reach for the list of goals that I have set, needing help with my prioritizing.

So where are the 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year goals that I set? Oops, I didn't write them yet.

The importance of goal setting is profound. It keeps one on track as long as they are attainable and realistic.

My goal setting ritual:
warm coffee
set timer for 20 minutes. This is all that is required of this brainstorm session.
piano music in the background
my favorite pen and lined paper
write down where I want to be in 10 years - this can be lofty
write down where I want to be in 5 years -  this needs to be a little more realistic. 
what can I do this year that will establish good habits that will lead to the 5-year goal?
What can be accomplished in 6 months, realistically that lead to the 1-year goal?
Write down how will intend to reward yourself for your achievements? Will you go out to dinner, or treat yourself to a Dutch Brothers' Coffee? Get a massage or a manicure?

In 6 months, take another 20 minutes to evaluate your successes. Are you on track? Do you need to revise your 1-year goal? Does it still support your 5-year goal? Are you where you thought you would be?

2011 is a great year to begin your 10-year goal. We are at the cusp of a new decade and anything is possible.

Now, each morning, when you wake up to your morning routine, it will be more clear what items on the list will take precedence over others.

It's wonderful how little accomplishments each day will add up, and how much can be done in 10 years.

Sometimes it's good to get away from the grind for a day or two. If you can't get away for a day or two, a trip to the quiet local library can help clear your head of the daily chaos of life. This is not always possible but when it is, seize the opportunity!

- Raette

What are your goal setting rituals? Perhaps they can help someone who is for the first time starting to set goals.

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