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How to stick to your goals

How to stick to your goals

Goals…. I think I’ll just get straight to it. Some of the reasons why we fail to sick to them are that we set unrealistic goals, we overwhelm ourselves with too many goals, we get busy that some other things take priority. We heavily focus on the what and forget to put emphasis on the WHY.

Here are some tips on how you can stick to the goals that you set so that you can make progress in life.

  • Build trust with yourself

You are only as good as the word you keep to yourself. To build trust make sure your are consistent with following through with the goals/tasks that you set to achieve.

  • Prioritize and focus down

Sustainable change comes from being realistic as opposed to being idealistic with how much you can take on. Don’t take on too much too fast as you will be setting yourself up for potential failure.

  • Make it extremely easy to take action

Instead of saying you will work out daily be honest with yourself and realistic with how much you can do e.g. Twice a week

  • Be specific and breakdown your goals

Your goals should not be too vague in that you are left wondering how on earth you’ll achieve them. Break them down to the nitty-gritties so that you are clear on the direction you’ll take and on how you’ll get there.

  • Take action

Sounds easier said than done but the point is not to have well written down goals but to actually implement them.

The law of diminishing intent states that The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you’ll never actually do it.

  • Identify your points of resistance

Ask yourself what might be blocking you from taking action on the goal and find ways on how to work on it.

  • Mindset shift

You have to be resilient and keep picking yourself up once you hit a stumbling block.

  • Reevaluate

Reevaluate and let go of what goals no longer realign.

Being your Own Cheerleader

Being your Own Cheerleader

With the dawn of the new decade I couldn’t help but notice the level of hope that it carried. You know how year in, year out you have a feeling that this is it. This is going to be my year. Almost every post that I came across on social media during the new year had that vibe. There is something to this year, it represents a new dawn of some sort. With that said it might be early on in the year but I feel like everyone is laser focused on their goals. It feels selfish to some extent to expect people to show up for you because we are all dealing with our own shit and on top of that trying to go after our dream lives.

Life is a series of hills and valleys. One moment you feel like you can take on the whole world, and before you even know it you feel like you are carrying the weight of the whole world on your shoulders. This got me thinking about how to be your own cheerleader during those times when you feel like you are on your own. I thought about all the things that have served as a pick me up when I have felt down and I thought that I’d share my list and maybe it can help you come up with yours.

    • The quickest way for me is to listen to a sermon. I have learnt that sermons serve as a reminder as to why I do what I do which is I answered the call and moved when God asked me to.
    • Emotions are meant to be felt be it good or bad ones and at times when I feel like crying I’ll watch a really emotional movie or listen to deep moving songs.
    • If I feel like something is triggering my anxiety I’ll take a break from the task and resume when I feel relaxed.
    • There are few people that I open up to but it really helps to share what you are going through.
    • I think about all the good things that I have going on and that helps you see that one bad thing is not going to be the end of the world.
    • I saved the best for last but boy do I love a good nap. I usually wake up with renewed energy and ready to take on whatever was weighing me down in the first place.

With that said my challenge to you is to think hard and deep about the things that will encourage you. Learn to be your own cheerleader because at times that is all that you will ever have.

Saying Yes to Saying No

Saying Yes to Saying No

proxemics

/prɒkˈsiːmɪks/

noun

the branch of knowledge that deals with the amount of space that people feel it necessary to set between themselves and others.

~Oxford

This is one of the terms that I learnt in my first year of University but it wasn’t until recently that I got to learn the true meaning let alone use it. Here goes the backstory of what brought this all on. I’ve been attending some classes for the last two weeks and one of the perks is that we get to have lunch together. So early this week as we are queuing for  food this guy from my class keep touching my shoulders. I brush it off for as long as I can and then tell him that there is something known as “proxemics” a.k.a personal space. He stops for a while and then he is back at it. My friends who are right in front of me notice it and ask me why the guy keeps putting his hands on me. I tell them that I’ve asked him to stop but am a bit scared he’d create a scene because “he is a recovering drug addict”. The quotes were necessary because I feel like he is still using. One of my friends tells him off and it does the trick.

Same day another incident occurs. The most important classes are the practical ones and for some reason every group is trying to outdo the other. We are all in a hurry to get things done and one of the other groups asks for assistance with a tool. Everyone else in the group is adamant on why we can’t help them. It happens severally and during one of the altercation one of the guys from the other group just doesn’t give a fuck and helps himself to it. All along in my mind am thinking to myself how I wouldn’t have the guts to say No. 

Later that evening as I wind down, my mind plays back to the events of that day and I start to think about all of the times I’ve been scared of going against someone else’s opinion. I’d rather have my opinions go unsaid and make the other person feel comfortable which is so wrong. It takes me back to something my aunt once told me. If you see someone doing something wrong and you don’t  say a word you are as much as in the wrong as they are.

I decided to give it a shot and boy did it suck. I hate confrontation and I hate hurting someone else’s feelings even more. I guess that has been one of my unconscious values and giving up a value that you have known and gotten used to for so long can feel wrong and disorienting. Failing to say NO is one of the reasons that leads to indecisiveness. We are scared of people getting angry or the fact that friendships might end, that we forget that the act of saying NO reveals people’s true motives.

Saying what you think and wading into the deep end doesn’t always have a happy ending. Difficult conversations are something of a gamble and you have to be okay with the outcome. And you have to know, going in, where you draw the line.You have to know when in the conversation you are going to say no. ~ Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

As cliché as it may sound. No is a complete sentence, so say it clearly, strongly and with enough frequency.

How to Set SMART Goals

How to Set SMART Goals

One of the skills that I think should be taught earlier on in life is goal setting. I feel like setting goals helps you move further along in life faster because it gives you a sense of direction. It’s about looking at where you are right now and deciding where you want to go. I was going through my notebooks the other day and I realized that I started doing it as early as 2015. It was so surreal seeing the growth that has happened over the years. I’ve moved away from one liners such as to get my own place to more concrete goals but that can be accredited to the fact that I know myself better and with that I know what I want to accomplish. The Bible in Habakkuk 2:2 says that Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. I guess that’s the genesis of it all and that’s why pen and paper will never get old as far as I am concerned.

You’ve probably heard of setting SMART goals and it took awhile for me to really get the hang of it and I’d like to share my understanding of it. We’ll use the example given earlier of moving into your own place.

1. SPECIFIC: Clarity is key when you are setting your goals. Use the five W’s to make it well defined.

What do you want to accomplish?

Why is it important?

Where will it happen?

Who is involved in helping you achieve it?

Which resources do you need?

Example

I want to rent a one bedroom apartment in Ruaka so as to reduce time spent on my commute to and from work. I will need one month’s rent and deposit and the basic essentials i.e. bed, mattress. Go a step further to list down all the things needed and a budget for the same to see what you are working with.

2. MEASURABLE: It’s important to have the ability to measure success and completion to avoid running in circles. You have to be able to track progress of whether you have achieved your goal and if you need to make any changes if things are not working out. 

Example

In our example you’ll know if you’ve accomplished your goal when you actually move in to your place.

3. ACHIEVABLE: Your goal needs to be attainable. It’s good to dream big so that you can stretch yourself but stay grounded and be realistic with what you can actually achieve.

Example

Assuming you are an on an intern salary would it be realistic to rent a one bedroom if it doesn’t fit in your budget. Explore your options and see whether a bedsitter would be the right place to start.

4. RELEVANT: It should be based on the current conditions and realities of where you are at in life and should be aligned with your other goals.

Example

Assuming you want to clear off a student loan by the end of the year would it be wise to move out then or would it be better to use that money to first clear off that and then concentrate on moving out.

5. TIME BOUND: Every goal needs a timeline to keep you in check. Putting a deadline to it gives you the push that you need to get to work because you have something that you need to focus on and complete. It helps you get good at completion and you can close on one goal and move on to the next. 

Example

Write down the exact date and month that you plan on moving out.

Tips

      • Don’t just think it and leave it to chance, write it down so that you can have a reference.
      • Set time aside to set your goals.
      • It’s okay if you don’t accomplish all your goals at once you can move them on to the next week or month.

The whole point of the exercise is to  is to think it through and you might find that you might drop some goals and replace them with others.

Letting Go

Letting Go

What I lack in execution I make up for in planning and organization. I love being in situations where I have control over things. It might seem boring to some but to be honest I love predictability. But the last couple of months have put me in situations that have taught me the importance of being comfortable with the unknown.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that no matter how much we plan nothing ever turns out as you thought. In one way or another you’ll hear people say that growth happens when you are out of your comfort zone. And what does this look like you might ask. Being out of your comfort zone means letting go of hesitation so as to stay in tandem with the rhythm. It means acting on your ideas as soon as you get them. It means pushing yourself in unfamiliar places and doing things that you would normally not do. But most importantly it means knowing that things don’t always turn out as planned and being absolutely fine with it.

God always has our backs and I guess that’s the whole idea behind faith. I don’t know if this applies to you but the more I try to control and take things into my own hands the more things get out of hand. I am not yet there but I am learning how to let God take the wheel. So long as you play your part and put in the work trust that God will handle the rest.

Here are a few pointers that I’ve found useful when it comes to letting go and embracing discomfort;

Use planning as a tool for growth but not as a measure of success because more often than not things will not go as planned.

Learn to let go of control and be open to diversions and changes.

Learn how to embrace fear and failure.

When you get knocked down which will definitely happen just get up, dust yourself, learn from it and keep moving.

Toxic Friendships: How to Identify and deal with them

Toxic Friendships: How to Identify and deal with them

It goes without saying that relationships are very important in our lives. I don’t think it’s possible to go at life on your own. It’s a lot easier when you know that you are not alone and have someone by your side. Let’s be real we are all human and we are bound to make mistakes meaning relationships are not meant to be smooth sailing all along and if it is something must be wrong somewhere. With that said, it doesn’t mean that all people that come into your life are meant to stay. Never assume that the length of your friendship automatically means that the relationship is meant to last.

If you start to feel like your relationship is causing anxiety, stress or sadness, high chances are you are in a toxic relationship. Toxic relationships emotionally harm you as opposed to helping you be who you are and who you want to be. If you are not sure as to whether you are in one, the signs below will help point you to the answer.

  • The scale is tipping 

This means that there is an imbalance in the relationship in that you are giving more than you get. If you find yourself giving more of your help and time chances are you in a toxic relationship. Conversations are always monopolized and you are always talking about them and never about you. If by any chance they are listening it’s for them to sound smart or competent and not for your benefit. The key word here is ALWAYS. It is always about them and your whole relationship revolves around them.

  • You feel drained when you are around them

Have you ever been filled with bursts of energy but that diminishes when you are around someone? Toxic relationships have a tendency of draining your energy both emotionally and physically because you are giving too much of yourself and you have to take time to recharge.

  • You no longer want to be around them

If you don’t enjoy spending time with them anymore and to an extent you are delighted when they cancel plans then that’s no longer a healthy relationship. You also feel a dread when they call or text you and you are tempted to ignore or avoid their calls and texts all together. Toxic relationships tend to increase your anxiety levels and that’s why you have the urge to avoid them.

  • You don’t trust them

You are not comfortable sharing about your life and are always sharing ground level things that you would share with a stranger. You don’t feel safe around them to be vulnerable with your feelings and with what you are going through.

  • They are always defensive

They never own up to their mistakes and will always try to look for and come up with a justification for everything and turn the situation around back to you.

So you are in a toxic relationship; Now, what?

Hold on don’t take the shortcut and end the relationship immediately. First have a conversation and open up about how you are feeling. It is possible that the other person doesn’t know that what they are doing and how they act has an effect on your relationship. Secondly set boundaries outlining what you are and aren’t comfortable with. Thirdly, if that doesn’t work now you can end the friendship. At times the best way to add to your life is to subtract.