My Four Rules to Goal Setting and Goal Achieving

Tonight I suffered a dollhouse fail, but then also a dollhouse success, once again reminding me that sometimes I just have to do things the way I see it in my head.

I spent the last couple days researching tried and true ways of assembling a dollhouse-sized bookshelf with foam core, cute paper, and some decoupage. Typically, I don’t have a lot of patience for measuring things just right or being anal retentive about directions (not just in crafting, but in LIFE). This means sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. After spending an inordinate amount of hours measuring the correct pieces, decoupaging some faux-wood scrapbooking paper on the each piece, and then assembling them, this was the result:

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OMG it’s hideous. I said to my husband, “It looks like something that got put out on the curb with a free sign in dollhouse land.” After throwing it aside, I thought I was done for the night. But as I was putting away some of my scraps, I found myself just cutting some basic rectangles out of the foam core and experimenting with the extra pieces. Pretty soon, I had made two basic tables that I think look actually presentable. Then I moved onto a couple chairs.

None of these pieces used a template, and I’m the first to admit that there are many imperfections in size, but frankly that’s the way I do things. Then I glossed over the miniatures I made last week with some clear nail polish (thanks to the suggestion of a friend) and here’s my current result.

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My fair submissions are all due in a week and while I’m still fretting about the size of my marshmallows or the texture of my banana bread, at least I have the “dollhouse furniture” category ready for action.

What’s my moral of the story?

1. Take a risk. 

When I signed up to submit dollhouse furniture for judging at the state fair, I had never really made dollhouse furniture before. It’s a little nerve wracking to submit something for judging, and some of the things I’ve seen displayed at the fair are pretty amazing – but some of them are pretty awful, too (once we witnessed a submission in the cake decorating category that spelled birthday in “Happy Birthday” wrong – ouch!). 

2. Make it public.

It’s not always easy to put yourself on display, but without giving myself a deadline, telling my friends, and publishing it here, I know for a fact I would never have made anything. Sure, the idea would float around my mind (as it has been for over a decade), but that’s all. Whether it’s training for a half marathon, finding a new job, or making banana bread, I’m a huge proponent of telling people about your goals. 

3. Make it measurable.

Friends and family have gotten into the habit of asking me, “What’s your current goal?” when they see me (hence rule #2). If I were to say, “Run more,” or “Lose some weight,” that’s not very specific. Some people run seven days a week, some run zero. What does “more” or “some” mean? There’s no guesswork in whether I hit my target. 

4. Have more small goals than big goals.

For me, this is the most crucial rule. Personally, I’ve got to have small successes that give me momentum for the tougher challenges. My list has evolved over the last few years, but I’ve definitely learned that I need a few goals that I can complete in just one day, or one week. If you’ve only got these big over-arching goals, it can feel near impossible. I’ve mentioned before that I once read if you complete 20 goals a year, that can add up to 200 in a decade – things add up!

We are 2/3 of the way through 2014. What goals did you make for yourself this year, and have you checked any of them off? How did you decide on these goals? Are they still important?

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