It’s so easy to get caught up in a routine and forget the why behind everything. I find it’s important to set time aside every once in a while to take a step back and notice where I’ve come from and where I’m headed. Reflecting on this while also reevaluating what it I actually want to achieve is so helpful to feeling like I am living mindfully, authentically and with purpose. That’s why I like to sit down each month and write down a few monthly goals and sort of build a theme around it.
Here’s a few journal prompts and questions to ask yourself that will help to guide you and hold yourself accountable for how you work.
What’s the number one thing I want to complete this month?
If you’re anything like me, you might find yourself writing down a million things we want to accomplish every month. It can be easy to mistake a monthly goal with a to-do list. But they’re different. I like to think of monthly goals as seeing the bigger picture. A to-do list is something I create or update regularly with tasks that need to be completed in order to keep everything running on a day to day basis. A monthly goal is what I hope to achieve by completing all of those to-do list items. If you were to take everything that you do this month and boil it down into one single thing, what would it be? What do you hope to accomplish by doing all of those things?
What’s the number one thing I want to begin this month?
So much of the time our goals are focused on completing tasks. To me, it’s just as important to be thinking ahead and diving into new projects and explorations. That might mean jotting down ideas whenever they come into your head or picking up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Perhaps it means writing a business plan for a new venture you’ve been manifesting or breaking a bad habit by starting a new ritual.
My new thing this month has been to write down my dreams every morning(whatever I can remember). I’ve always loved the idea of keeping a dream journal and have kept one very sporadically over the years. My book club recently read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, in which he mentions his practice of writing down his dreams. “Dreams and intuitions come from the Self. The archetypes of the unconscious dwell there. It is, Jung believed, the sphere of the soul.”(Pressfield, 134) I was inspired by this passage, as I’m constantly striving to live with more authenticity and to strengthen the relationship with my own intuition.
Ask yourself this month what it is that you want to search for, learn more about or begin. It doesn’t have to be big and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Now is the time to finally get around to starting something that you’ve been putting off. Even if you take one small action, it’s bringing you a little closer to something you’ve been wanting or searching for.
How do I want to feel while I’m working?
Setting goals is not just about starting and completing tasks. It’s about creating the life that we want – every single day – in each moment. Launching a new website always brings me a great feeling of success and closure for a project. But it’s almost more important to me to feel great during the hours, days and weeks that I actually work on that project.
That’s why I think it’s important to set goals and guidelines for ourselves in terms of how we work (our process), when we work, why we work, where we work, who we work with, etc. It’s not enough to set a goal to get 2 new clients every month. In order to create the life we want every day, we have to be honest with ourselves about what we need in order to feel empowered, happy, energized, etc.
Maybe your working space needs some re-imagining. Maybe you need to get really clear about the kinds of clients you want to work with. Maybe you need to set limits so that you don’t get overwhelmed and stressed out. Spend some time thinking about what things you need in order to feel the way you want to feel.
How do I want others to feel when they engage with my work?
While I’m all about authenticity and the pursuit of following one’s own intuition, I still think considering the other is an important part of the creative process, especially when it’s related to your business. I create things based on my own experiences, how I feel or want to feel and what I want to share with the world. At the same time, I like to have intentions behind the creations that I produce.
For example, when I write a blog post, I sit down with the intention of helping other creatives by providing tips and knowledge or making connections by sharing my story. My hope is to empower and inspire others. When I set my monthly goals, I try to keep this in mind. Outside of myself and creating an ideal life, I want that energy to expand to everyone I meet. This idea is so powerful because it informs everything that I do.
By asking yourself how you want others to feel, you are opening yourself to an entirely new level of creativity, getting a little bit outside of your own head and creating space for something truly awesome to manifest itself through your action.
Next time you write down your goals, ask yourself these questions. Feel free to get in touch and let me know what you’re working on. I’d love to hear from you!