Several weeks ago, I had a thought. Rather than set annual resolutions, why not set small monthly goals and be mindful about achieving them?

I am constantly in experimentation mode with something or the other, so why not experiment with this as well? This was towards the end of February.

So I set a goal for March 2022 – Learn how to do a Headstand.

Let’s fast forward to end of March – I could stay in a headstand with my feet straight up, well-balanced. The most I stayed up was under a minute. It was far better than 1-second headstands that I could do before.

I enjoyed the tiny challenge. But more importantly, I learned a few things about goal setting in the process. Here’s what I learned:

  • I need to enjoy the process. If I don’t enjoy it, it’s not a good goal for me. Without enjoyment, I’m simply torturing myself for the sake of “goal”. I can usually tell within the first week or two if I love it or not.
  • Keep the pressure off. I kept my expectations very low. Any progress I made at the end of the month was acceptable. Even no progress would be okay.
  • The results must be tangible. I could measure how long I stayed in the headstand position, independently without any support. This gave me a daily measurement of whether I was progressing forward or sliding back.
  • It was okay to quit if I found myself miserable with it within a week or two. Because come next month, I would set a new goal with something else, and attempt it again.
  • It can’t be a forever goal. It has to have an end. Walking daily is a forever goal. That’s not a good goal for me. It’s something I will do as and when I feel like it because I enjoy it, but my goals need a clear end.
  • More I worked on the goal, more motivated I became. It added energy to me and my goal, not drain energy out of me. That was a very important lesson for me.
  • Goal setting is a process that needs to be personalized. It not a one-fit solution for everyone. I needed to customize it for myself so I can position myself for success. There are other guidelines for goal setting out there that are not conducive to me. If I use those, I’d be setting myself up for failure.

I own a company called Enjoyable Books. I am looking to grow my email marketing database for it, and one of the ways I am exploring is by doing presentations of book marketing ideas. So, I set that as my objective for April – Build a Book Marketing Ideas Presentation.

So far, I’ve worked on it every day of April for about 30-45 minutes each day, and I am about halfway through my first rough draft. Most importantly, I look forward to working on it when I wake up.

I am enjoying this process, and I can already see that as I reflect on my year in December, I will have a string of successes to look at.

For May, I’m contemplating what to work on – my harmonica skills, or fiction writing skills. I am not very good at either. I’m leaning towards harmonica, simply because it’s going to be a busy month, and that can be practiced any place, anytime. Whereas writing will need some dedication.

If you’ve never considered setting monthly goals, I highly encourage it. It’s an amazing experience. Keep a dairy if you can, or even a piece of paper of all the things you’re experimenting with. When you look at it in future, you just may marvel at yourself.

Here are some more ideas on my list for upcoming months:

  • Play the harmonica
  • Write short stories
  • Learn to swim
  • Solve Rubik’s cube
  • Do full splits
  • Run a mile (Currently I can run no more than a quarter mile).
  • Do a 5-minute Horse Stance
  • Learn horse riding
  • Do a cartwheel
  • Create a Podcast

I am confident the list will continue to expand in the future. It seems like an exciting adventure. Hope you try it out too. Let me know.