Imagine how would it feel to be in control of your life, even if not completely, but in good measure. Imagine being able to progress on activities you ‘want’ to pursue, while still attending to a plethora of tasks you ‘need’ to do to pay the bills. Did you imagine that it feels amazing to be able to pay attention to yourself, your hobbies, your bucket list and to your family and friends? You are damn right! It does feel amazing and I can vouch for that. For over 1400 days now, more or less everyday, I have been taking a shot at this ‘amazing’.
2017 was the fourth year of my journey in conscious self development. That simply means: Set goals at the beginning of the year, pursue these goals and monitor progress. 2017 was also the first year of my five year plan. The idea of the five year plan is to have long term goals where each year’s efforts serve as a building block for the upcoming years. Like learning French is a long term goal as it needs continued time and effort investment and there is no defined end point. After the first year, DuoLingo says I am 40% fluent! (Numbers can lie & still make you happy). Among the short term yearly goals is reading a certain number of books (I flunked it this year). Similarly, I pursue several goals i.e. financial, professional, health, family etc. It allows me to pay attention to all those activities & people, that I ‘want’ to and being able to do that is just ‘amazing’.
Overall, 2017 was a good year. From a large list of goals I worked to achieve, I was able to achieve some very important ones. Nearly completed/narrowly missed a few others and of course, made a mess of quite a few others. Yes, I have a bulging tummy, no excuses!
This post is not a scorecard though. The purpose is to share my learning from this developmental journey. For a long time I used to think that this sort of discipline is difficult for me (I am lazy, mildly put) to ever achieve. I couldn’t have been more wrong. ‘Arranging’ my time in pursuit of goals has come to define my lifestyle now. May be even you are used to thinking, ‘ah, i want to do this too, but it is very difficult to maintain this consistency’. Well yes, it is difficult! Oh wait, did you buy it? Absolute rubbish. Actually, it’s very simple, trust me! Once I started with a little bit of determination, it just kept rolling from there. This year on year process of setting, pursuing and monitoring goals is a deeply engaging and fulfilling. You just have to start somewhere, and of course, muster that willingness first up.
I cannot over emphasise the importance of pursuing goals. The results are truly satisfying. More importantly, I want to send out a message, that if I can, you definitely can. It’s easy. Before I started my journey, I read many people’s experience and wondered ‘how’ they do it? If you too are doing that right now, you are on track. Thinking ‘goals’ is the first step. The next three steps to keep in mind are:
1) If you are ever going to start leading a goal oriented life, know that NOW is the time to do it. Not next month. Not next year. But Now!
2) You don’t have to end up on top every damn time. Keep monitoring progress monthly/quarterly. It’s absolutely okay to progress very little, just keep moving.
3) Most importantly, share your goals with your close friends, take their help and advice. May be nudge them towards their goals and get nudged in return. I have a set of friends who keep me afloat. Their contribution is invaluable.
2018 is yet another opportunity to start. I have my goals ready and damn, I am as excited as the first year, may be a little more. Thousands of other people too are taking a shot at feeling ‘amazing’ this year, may be you are too. Best of luck to you and me. Cheers!
PS: Last year i wrote in detail about how it all started for me and gradually improved from there on. You can read it here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/my-2016-step-forward-karan-shorey/