Goals! How we nail ours and tips for achieving your own
Sarah and I share a lot of common goals, everything from owning a house (tick!), to having family (nope, not yet friends!) and traveling the world (that’s the bit you’ve probably come to see). To help us achieve that last goal, we had to do something with the first. As you’ll see in our other posts, we’ve rented out our little cottage.
So, when we decided owning a home was something we wanted to do, we wrote a plan – everything we were going to need to do to actually make this goal a reality. I think the process for finding a house is pretty well known, and I’m probably not an expert, but like every other homeowner, I’ve got my own perspective. I’ll write a bit more about the house buying process some other time.
For this post, I’d like to chat a bit more about how we got to a position of quitting our jobs, and traveling for a year.
Every three to six months, Sarah and I sit down at a table with some cake, a pot of coffee and some big sheets of brown paper. We start throwing ideas down, it might be something really simple like – complete a charity run, go to Wellington Cup day, see the All Blacks live, maybe buy new stereo speakers.
Other things can be more ambitious; build a new deck, earn a new qualification, change jobs/career, take a year off work or buy a house.
And then there’s those in between; see Fleetwood Mac live, go to the Melbourne Cup, compete in a triathlon.
Once we’ve thrown them down on paper, we break them out into time frames we could achieve them in. Running “Round The Bays” or seeing the All Blacks live, have some pretty specific dates tied to them, whereas some of our other goals, are more long term e.g. build a brand new house.
Once we’ve got the time frames, we pick out what is most important to us right now – life changes quickly sometimes, so do priorities! From there, we pick off a few that we’re going to achieve short term, and those that we want to start achieving but know will take more time.
We decided some time ago, that living overseas for an extended period of time was something we wanted to do together.
Initially we thought about looking for jobs in the UK (we both have British Passports and Sarah had worked in the UK previously), and then doing a series of long weekends across Europe. We compared that to how we live in New Zealand, and thought it was unlikely that we’d end up making the most of it.
You get to the end of a hard week at work, and you just want to relax, have a drink and hang out with friends. The prospect of packing a bag and heading to the airport, just isn’t high on the list, especially when you’re going to be full on for 3 or 4 days, only to go straight back to work.
We wanted to experience cultures different from our own and see a huge number of places before we started a family. We decided, a whole year traveling was the goal we actually wanted to achieve. So how the hell were we going to do that? These are a few things that sprung to mind in the first five minutes!
- Save enough to not work for a year – and travel!
- Rent our house out – what was a two bedroom place in the ‘burbs going to get us, would it even come close to covering the mortgage?
- Re-home our little cat (don’t worry, his cat Grandparents love and care for him).
- Create a list of destinations – make some tough calls.
- Try and not kill each other being together 24/7 for a year.
Any of these “problems” would be enough to put a stop to this “let’s travel and not work for a year” nonsense but experience has taught us we can achieve some pretty big goals, if we’ve got a plan, if we break it down.
So, in a nutshell – what’s key to good goal setting?
- Write it down – use a bit of brainstorming to help your ideas evolve.
- Prioritise – work out which things are most important to you right now? You can’t do everything at once, so maybe stick to four or five at a time, one long term, one or two medium term and a couple of short term goals.
- Write a plan – breaking a goal into a series of smaller tasks will give you a real sense of achievement as you move towards the outcome you want.
- Stick it on the bedroom wall – you don’t need motivational posters, what’s more motivating than checking in our your reasons for getting out of bed in the morning?
- Reward yourself – if you meet a significant milestone, give yourself a pat on the back, maybe a nice meal, or a bottle of wine. A sense of achievement helps keep you focused and motivated.
So what are your goals? Any tricks you have for ticking them off and keeping motivated? Let us know in the comments. If you enjoyed the read, share this article on your social media and don’t forget to tag Welly to the World.