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PRACTICE: Aligning Goals & Tasks - Ardent Market

PRACTICE: Aligning Goals & Tasks

Setting goals can evoke a range of emotions and cause confusion. It's easy to set lofty intentions, but without consistent action, our motivation for those goals can quickly fizzle out. Overwhelm and confusion are common obstacles on the path toward our dreams. However, breaking down our goals into simple daily actions can bring joy and purpose to the process, not just to the end result.

Here's a practice for you to try as you set your intentions and plans for spring (or rekindle them from January). This is the same practice I used to launch the rebrand of Ardent Market (and many other things).

Whenever I feel overwhelmed by projects, dreams, or schemes, I write them down.

Writing Your Goals

To start, open a journal or notebook and fold a page vertically to create equal columns. In the right column, brainstorm all of your goals as if they are already happening in the present moment.

EXAMPLES

  • I own _______
  • I have _______
  • I make _______
  • I feel _______

After completing your list, take a few minutes to check in with how you feel. Let any doubtful thoughts pass by and continue with this practice. With presence and body awareness, identify the one goal that will bring the biggest positive change to your life and circle it. This highlighted intention is now your focus goal.

If you're having trouble deciding, lean into the goal that makes you feel lighter and more excited.

Making a List of Tasks

Now that you have your focus goal, move to the left-hand column and write down absolutely every possible step that is a part of that goal, and get very granular with the steps. You want everything you write down to be a specific actionable step.

EXAMPLES

  • Make a file on the computer
  • Research the city and bookmark search
  • Email an accountant for an appointment

This is usually where we discover how much research is needed to consistently take action. Not knowing where or how to start something is a common block. By breaking it down, you're softening the edges of overwhelm. 

If you don't know how to do one of your tasks, write down the next available action: hire a contractor, ask a friend, schedule a coffee date, google_____, etc. Even if there are parts of your goal that seem impossible, there is a next available action.

Transform Your Tasks Into a Checklist

This list will serve as a daily checklist until your goal is achieved.

THIS IS HOW 

  1. After listing all tasks, fold the right-hand column under the left so that only the list of actionable steps is visible.
  2. Add a goal completion date at the bottom of the page.
  3. Use the folded list as a daily checklist.

Folding the list helps you focus on the steps without feeling overwhelmed by the unfinished goals. It also serves as a bookmark within your journal, keeping your tasks top of mind for easy reference. If you prefer using a digital planning tool, you can transfer your checklist there, but make sure to bookmark it for easy access.

Additional Magic

  • Take a few minutes to meditate on what it would look and feel like to accomplish your goal.
  • Write your goal on a slip of paper and place it on your altar. You can also place a crystal, like pyrite, on it.
  • Use Wish Paper to create a goal-setting ceremony for yourself.
  • Create a playlist that brings you joy and motivation for your daily tasks. Play it whenever you work on your list.
  • Track your progress, but don't overcomplicate it. A single check on a calendar or tally on your phone is enough.

 Planting seeds requires time and care to sprout. The process may not be as quick as we'd like. However, taking small steps along the way can restore energy toward our goals. There's also considerable satisfaction in keeping promises to ourselves. By taking incremental steps from your checklist, you can create the favorable conditions you need to find success and joy.

Your goals are powerful, and you're capable of achieving them for your highest and best. This practice helps each step become an intentional commitment to what you want and who you're becoming in the process.

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