I think a list of goals is the best thing you can do for yourself. I like my list numbered, alphabetically ordered, some items bolded, some in red, some italicized (like if I have a goal that isn’t a ticking time bomb, such as going to the gym 3x a week — I’ve decided that italicized makes a task look less demanding) — I make up some pretty crazy rules for myself. But regardless, having a list of stuff you want to do feels really good. Strangely enough, for me, it feels as good to delete something off the list as it does to realize I really want to add something to the list.
There are tons of apps today to help you ‘get stuff done’ but I find that a simple word doc, or even the notes app in the iPhone, is what I tend to use. Or break out your pink journal and matching pink coffee mug and just get to it.
Here is a step by step guide on how to create a goal’s list, and how to get the most out of having one (AKA, DOING THE STUFF ON THE LIST).
1.The first thing you need to do is make the space that you’re writing your goals list in CLEAN, ORGANIZED, COMFORTABLE. When things around you feel like they’re in the right place, you’ll feel more encouraged to get things done. Make your bed, declutter your desk, buy flowers, light a candle.
2. Start with the stuff that feels like a hassle. For me, that’s the occasional rough school assignment. Write it down neatly in full sentences. Add some notes for yourself about what you need to do in order to complete the assignment (finish reading that book, fill out the rest of those exercises, email professor). That way, after you finish your goals list, you’ve sort of started the assignment already.
3. Sprinkle in something that you want to purchase, but don’t necessarily have the money for at the moment. This is on the list as a sort of ‘savings goal’. For example, Louboutins will probably always grace my list, but if there’s another killer pair of shoes you want, add it. Or maybe you want to go to a concert that’s in a couple of months. Make a goal to put aside $20 every week in order to buy those tickets. This will make your list ‘less scary’ and filled with hard, long-term goals, and easier to check things off, as it’s half a wish list 🙂 Write down that you’ve been meaning to buy a pack of gum. Go buy one. Cross it off.
4. Throw something on there that you’ve never done. For example, I’ve always wanted to volunteer at a dog shelter. And speaking of volunteering…
5. Have something on your list that makes you feel like you’re doing something important. You’re donating your time to something that you don’t get any monetary value from. This will make you happy. I recommend volunteering with the American Red Cross — if you go to NYU, I’d strongly urge you to join the NYU Red Cross Club. Or if you love dogs, comment below.
6. Have a ‘learning goal’ on your list — or some items that you think will better you as a citizen of the world and in your career. Some of mine include: Learn Portuguese On Duolingo, Do National Novel Writing in November and Get Bartender’s License (this can tie into #7 as well).
7. Add lunches, dinners, coffee dates and all around ‘getting out’ with friends goals. You haven’t seen Kate for 3 months, and you really hit it off in that class last semester. You both love Parks and Rec. Call her, schedule a date, and put it on the list. Now we have a social element in the list.
8. Brainstorm ways to make more $$$. We all have a side business in our hearts. I like to babysit a couple of times a week (and if you’re in NYC, I’d recommend you get on this babysitting train too). Or think about something else you’re good at and can offer to other people.
9. Sign up to hear someone you admire speak and be inspired by them. Go to a conference. I recommend Cosmo’s upcoming Fun Fearless Life event in November. It’s going to be incredible. On my list is hearing Lena Dunham speak about her new book — especially after all the insane things I’m hearing about her tour being no average book tour.
10. Add goals to the list for your body, mind and overall health. Plan on going to that yoga studio every Tuesday night. Try to substitute a meal with a nutrient-packed juice once a day. Sign up for a walk that supports a cause you believe in. When your body feels good, every other life category seems to fall into place.
11. Don’t forget to pamper yourself on your list. Get a manicure. Buy a facial on Groupon. Ask your ‘always has amazing hair friend’ to do your hair for a Friday night out. Takes care of #6 at the same time!
12. Take a trip. Could be a road trip a few hours away, or a trip across the world that you want to take next summer (and REALLY save for it). I want to go to Portugal. And I went to Abu Dhabi in January for a Global Issues Network Conference through NYU — apply to everything that comes your way that sounds like a cool experience.
13. Have something super long-term on your goal. It’d be really cool if I won an Oscar — I’m talking that big people.
14. Do something that makes you feel more cultured, and like you’re doing something right. Go to a new museum exhibit. See that actually amazing new documentary that won’t bore you to death. Bite the bullet and subscribe to The New Yorker.
15. Don’t be daunted by the size of your list. The longer it is, the more things you probably have to check off. And if you want anymore advice on how to create a killer goal’s list, do not hesitate to reach out! Here’s a small preview of what my list looks like (and be warned that this is only a quarter of it):
- Apply to Florence summer program
- Backup Computer – with Crash Plan?
- Continue learning Portuguese
- Do National Novel Writing in November!!!!
- Get back involved with a journalism club on campus or radio, TV news
- Get Bartender’s License
- Get more involved/run the Scott Family Foundation – look into organizations to contribute to – how often to donate, etc.
- Invest in a beautiful camera for blog
- Journalism Assignments: Read newspaper, prep for AP Day Book Assignment
- Keep working on Realizing You – write every Tuesday
- Look into helping Portuguese immigrants (Portuguese Immigration office?)
- Make business cards
- Plan next Arbonne cleanse – mid September/early October
- Register for upcoming Cosmo event
- Start a book club
- Try student directing a play again – write and direct one at NYU
- Volunteer with dogs back in the city at Animal Haven
- Workout 4 times a week – Use all of ClassPass
- Write for Miss City three times a week!
Again, don’t hesitate to reach out. I hope you’ve started your new and improved goals list already — just in time to have a fun-filled, relaxed, ‘everything in my life is going to be okay’ weekend.