Goal Setting and Tracking – Getting Visual
Sometimes it feels like there are two voices in my head. One tells me that I’m amazing, that I can conquer anything that comes my way. The other voice, however, tells me that I’m full of sh– and that I’m not good enough at anything in life to ever make something of myself. And then there are times when the negative voice takes over completely, telling me that I’m a waste of oxygen and that I’ll never achieve anything worthwhile.
If that sounds familiar… I’m so sorry. It’s a crappy feeling and no one should ever feel that way.
It’s an uphill battle that we can win
There is no doubt in my mind that what we tell ourselves plays a big part on how we live, act, and feel. A lot of the negative thinking comes from words and actions from shadows of our past, telling us that we’re not good enough. It became our voice, but it wasn’t, not at the beginning.
I’m a pretty visual person, and I recently realized that my “demotivation”, if you will, comes mostly from not being able to see progress in what I do.
I could make an entire series of blog posts about why “motivation” is not as important as one would think it is, but it still very much plays a role… As I’ve come to see.
Enter the Vision Board, remade.
I’ve recently started using an “achievement board” to combat these negative thoughts. It’s a simple concept, just a poster-sized piece of cardstock on my wall. It’s kind of like these vision boards people make, but it starts out blank, and you fill it up with things you’ve done.
Every time I achieve something, like publishing a blog post or launching a new product, I write down the date and the name of what I launched on the board. And let me tell you, it’s been nice to see all of those achievements adding up.
I guarantee you that you can easily make something looking a little better than this, but I had no time or energy to spend on it so I put this up and told myself “GOOD ENOUGH” and moved on.
What makes this so good?
There is a key word for this to work is that you write down achievements. I’m not talking about big milestones or anything, but I keep a focus on completion – and launch, if applicable.
I don’t write down that I’ve worked 5 hours on finishing my e-Book today, but I’ll write down when I launch it. That big “PUBLISH” hit.
I won’t write down that I spent some time writing emails for my email list. I’ll write it down when the emails are setup and scheduled to be sent out.
This is very much not about habits.
It’s the very opposite of a habit tracker, in my humble opinion!
I don’t care how long I spent on doing the thing, I keep this poster to highlight each thing I have made, and more importantly, launched/published, so that I can tell my inner voice to shut up when it tries to make me feel like I haven’t been doing anything this year.
If you wonder why I put so much emphasis on the launch/publish part, it’s because I’ve had many a project all polished and ready to go… collecting dust in a folder on my PC, because I froze when the time came to put it out into the world.
Showing up, Writing Down
Lately, I’ve been working super hard to set up a couple of things, like new products, blog posts, and even an email list with sequences and all. But let’s be real, the frustrating feeling that nothing is actually getting done can be crippling. It’s easy to get stuck in a negative thought spiral and feel like you’re not making any progress.
It’s like I’m working on all these things but I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere at all!
That’s why I think it’s so important to celebrate the small wins, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Every little step forward is still a step in the right direction, and each achievement is a reminder that we’re capable of achieving our goals, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
So, do the thing, hit publish/send/launch/whatever, and write it down on your wall so that you can smile at it every time you see it.
And over time, your poster will fill up, and you will be able to see just how much you’ve actually done.
A yearly achievement board
In my case, I decided to name my achievement board “2023 Achievements” because I like the idea of seeing just how much will have been done in a (almost) full year. It takes me time to get things done, as you may have noticed in my previous image, April only had 4 different lines. May is shaping up to be a little more action-packed, since I wrote 4 things in 3 days already… but it will fluctuate a lot, depending on my health!
So if you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or just plain frustrated, try creating your own achievement board. Celebrate each accomplishment, each “aaaand…… done!” , and use it as a reminder that you’re making progress, even if it doesn’t feel like it some days – or most days.
And remember: you’ve got this!
And on that note, as I publish this blog post, I’m gonna get up and go write on my achievement board that I did just that!