Making Goals While On The Road
Happy 2018! While some people are making resolutions to start a new diet, go to the gym more, spend less time on social media or save money, travelers often live in the moment and therefore don't make any resolutions at all! While I'm skeptical of New Year's resolutions, I am a believer in setting smaller goals throughout the year. Keep reading to find out what kind of goals I set and how I set them while living abroad and traveling.
1. A Travel Bucketlist
The easiest way for travelers to set goals is by creating a Travel Bucketlist. If you've already planned your trips for 2018 (well, aren't you organized!) then try to write a list of experiences you'd like to have at your destinations, foods you'd like to try, viewpoints you'd like to visit or places you'd like to stay in.
If you don't have your travels mapped out quite yet, get some inspiration! Google, Pinterest and even your friends' travel photos are great places to start. Here are a few lists to get you started:
Bucketlist from The Travel Channel
Bucketlist from Cosmopolitan
Bucketlist from Travel and Leisure
Your list can be as long or as short as you'd like. My advice is to start small, and add a few items each month, or add a new item when an item is crossed off on the list.
If you are creative, you can even make a Dream Board. Simply print out a picture to represent each of your goals and display the board in a prominent place in your house. This could be on a cork board, or just the photos themselves on your fridge, mirror or door.
2. Make Many, Smaller Goals
Just like any task, a large one is more daunting than many smaller, bite-sized ones. This is why the majority of New Year's resolutions fail. Instead of "Losing 20 pounds," why not focus first on drinking more water, a month later starting to cook healthier meals at home, then the following month try to ease into a new form of exercise. Whether you are traveling or not, SCIENCE tells us that when we make more, tiny goals, we are more likely to reach our intended outcome than when we make scary, Everest-like challenges.
So what kind of goals should you be making if you're traveling or living abroad? First you need to decided what is important to you. Make a list of priorities. If keeping in touch with family is a priority, try to set up more Skype calls per month. If saving money is important, look into Couch Surfing, WWOOFing or cooking meals yourself at your accomodation instead of eating out during your travels. If you want to take more pictures of your travels, try a Photo Challenge (these can be found on Pinterest or Instagram.)
3. Re-Evaluate Your Goals
David and I like to make monthly goals. We write them up at the start of the month, post them in our bedroom and ask each other how our goals are going throughout the month. Personally, I break my monthly goals into weekly, and even daily goals. However, and this is the most important part, I realize that I might not be able to complete everything on my various lists. THAT'S OK.
At the end of the month, I take a look at my list and re-evaluate what I've written. While some of my incomplete goals may migrate to my new monthly list, others could be dropped completely. What was important to me at the start of the month may no longer be of much importance. We are constantly changing, so I don't see a reason to feel guilty for not completing or semi-completing my goals. They are there to serve as benchmarks on your journey, not as final destinations.
4. Get Inspo From The Interwebz
Feeling unmotivated? It happens to all of us. Luckily, the Internet is full of inspiring people, books, quotes and videos. A quick Google or Pinterest search should point you in the right direction. Likewise, talk to a friend (you know, the one who seems to have all their s*** together?) Chances are they are reading a good book or following an inspiring YouTuber.
Things I find inspiring:
Coffee Talks with YouTuber Kalyn Nicholson
Quotes found on Pinterest
5. Reward Yourself In A Way That Matches Your Goals
Lastly, try to motivate yourself to complete tasks in a way that matches the task. For example, if your goal is to read 2 books a month, reward yourself with a new book or two once you complete your goal. If you are trying to workout more, for each workout award yourself a point. Once you reach a certain amount of points, reward yourself with new workout gear.
In this way not only is your spending more mindful, but you motivate yourself to complete the goal.
Personally, this year I'll be focusing on blogging more, keeping healthy by dancing, working on my first novel and making more of an effort to keep in touch with friends and family. What are your goals for 2018? Leave a comment below!
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