Memory Keeping, Work/Professional

On Setting and Tracking 365-Goals

setting and tracking 365-goals

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of conversation about goal-setting already this year, but bear with me because I love talking about this stuff and this post includes interesting links to interesting people.

Curious? Read on.

It’s 12 days into the new year and I’m still thinking a lot about goal-setting. It’s a great time of year for it. Yes, part of it is that there is a lot of energy put into resolutions. But it’s more than that. January is a quiet month in the cold-weather climates (like mine). We’re all nestled indoors, catching up on our reading lists and television series, and waiting for the weather to warm. Life quiets down. There is more space in each day. And I like to fill that extra space with lots of exercise and list-making.

Last week I talked about my one little word for the year: cultivate. Each day it seems like I’m discovering something else I want to cultivate. It’s giving me inspiration to do more of the things that I love. And that is awesome.

But there are little things that I have in my life right now that I already truly enjoy. And I want to allow enough space in my days and weeks and months for those things as well. Like my daily walks with the dogs, even when the weather is really cold. Blogging. Exercising. And taking photographs. And that’s where this post is going.

I recently listened to an interview (Episode 39) with Crystal Moody, the artist behind #ayearofcreativehabits. In 2014, she completed 365 drawings – a goal inspired by her interest in developing habits, art, and Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like an Artist. In just 5-10minutes a day, she made beautiful art. A lot of beautiful art. And she did that with a little bit of practice each day.

Her instagram is a lot of fun. So is her website/blog.

I love the idea of a 365-project. I love watching the process unfold. I love the triumphs, the struggle, and the blah. And to have it distilled down to a daily blog and instagram post makes the entire process incredibly accessible.

It’s inspiring.

I love developing new skills, but it’s fascinating to see someone else develop (and cultivate) theirs as well and watch how it transforms over time. And so, after listening to this podcast interview with Crystal, what was once a small back-of-my-mind maybe idea throughout December quickly became a firm goal.

Step 1: Establish the goal.

As I was perusing Elise Blaha Cripe’s website after listening to the podcast, I discovered this amazing calendar, available for download for only $4. I immediately downloaded it, printed one copy on kraft paper, wrote a goal, filled in a bubble, and pasted it on my office wall. And then I thought of 3 other goals that deserved the same, printed them, and pasted them on the wall. And a week later, I added one more. And today, I’m thinking of adding another one.

Step 2: Track the goal.

Let me be clear: I’m not by any means setting out to accomplish all of these goals each and every day. That’s not the point of the exercise. The point is to become aware of the habits I have, to track them, and to find inspiration in the process of attaining those goals. That’s how I see it anyway.

Step 3: Develop the habits necessary to achieve the goal

So now I’m working on developing the habits. And that’s why I’m not sharing the goals here today. But I’m working on them. And I’m sincerely enjoying the process.

There is never a right or wrong time to start something new. It’s January. It’s the start of the year. And if you want to try something different, maybe even do your own 365-project, start it. Try it out. See if it’s right for you. And if it’s not, then you can say that you tried. And there is certainly something to that.