Goal setting

Reevaluating goals: monthly “boot camp”

With fall  beckoning to me with the promise of cozy sweater weather, it was worth it for me to reevaluate my goals. August brought an update to my 30 by 30 list. However, looking at my agenda, I realized that the cover I’d created with visual representations of my 2017 goals was lacking something. It no longer inspired.

I was feeling lackluster, unmotivated. I needed to reevaluate my year-long goals. With only three months left in the year, it seemed a perfect time to hone in on the goals that are manageable to complete before I create my 2018 goals and also…try something new?

Beginning October 1 what do I want to achieve in the next 92 days? I believe in setting SMART goals–specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. With that in mind, I was inspired to focus on one activity for each month (while also keeping my 2017 goals top of mind).

This is not a new idea, Gretchen Rubin (of the Happier podcast I’ve referenced before) refers to this strategy as “boot camp,” though boot camps don’t necessarily have to last a month. It’s a period of high intensity focus on a new hobby or activity that leads to positive change.

The idea of doing something every day for thirty days works on so many levels. For creative goals, the pressure to meet this goal prevents the creative block that the pressure to produce something good can create. Take NaNoWriMo. When I participated in NaNo, my goal wasn’t to write a novel or become an author. However, the pressure to get words on paper took away the luxury of sitting, staring at my word processor. I had to write.

For habit creation, the idea of 30 days makes something more approachable than knowing it’s a habit for the rest of your life. Working out every day for 30 days is manageable in a way “I’m going to become the sort of person who works out every day forever” isn’t. And if, after those 30 days, you’re still working out. That’s bonus.

For October, I’m posting a blog a day.

My tentative goal for November is to have a dry November. This may be rough during family get-togethers.

I’m open to suggestions for December, though! I found an interesting list on the Laws of Attraction blog, but I haven’t yet committed to a December adventure.

Have you tried a 30-day boot camp approach to new habits and healthier living? How did it work for you?

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