Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goal Writing (Oh yeah! And an, um axel!)

Big announcement, you guys:

I landed my axel on Monday!


I also landed it on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. Wednesday was a disaster, but oh well. I've got it now, baby!

Those of you who read regularly have probably heard about my axel many times before. Going on three years, this jump has proved just out of my grasp. It had gotten incredibly close this summer, but that was almost more frustrating than it just being a hot mess. I was so, so close. And I just really, really wanted it.

Back when I did regular monthlies, my axel was included in every single 'goals list'. Off the blog, I don't know how many times I've written "Land my axel." It's written on legal pads, actual goal lists, journal entries in several different journals, random sticky notes, and doodled-on receipts.

I've been more than a little obsessive.

I was getting really frustrated, and honestly, sick of them. The same little side hop entry, the same two footed landing. Sometimes, the landing would be closer to one foot, but I'd fall. I didn't like working on them, because I just felt stuck. But at the start of this month, I was talking to my mum and I just said "I've got to do it this month."

Just, do it.

I told my coach, "I want to land my axel this month, and then put it in the Christmas show. I just have to do it this month."

Perhaps this is obvious. But I can't help but be amazed that I said I would do it this month, and it happened. Like, I really did achieve that goal.

Oh my word, guys. I have my axel! I would like to offer myself as proof that, eventually, with enough focus and enough hard work, goals are checked off. Don't doubt yourself, because that's a surefire way to stay stuck forever.

This year, I tried a new goal-writing method. I wasn't satisfied with my "QUICK DO EVERYTHING" life-list, and for whatever reason, a list of monthly goals and objectives just seemed sterile. A couple of months ago I came across an amazing power-point online (which, apparently, I cannot find and can't link to....#bloggerfail), that presented a great way of organizing goals. Long story short:
  • Make 5 goal lists: Lifetime, 10-year, 4-year, 1-year, and a 3-month action plan.
  • Be realistic, but also dream big. He made the awesome comment that your goals should be so big, you only achieve 70% of them. But giving yourself the permission to try, makes you more likely to achieve. 
  • Keep your lists in a visible place, and (here's the key) actively pursue them throughout your daily life (no duh. But really, it's easier said than done). 
Well, I made my lists. And I love them. I feel like my goals are challenging, and leading me in a good direction, but I also feel like I can really make great progress. My goal year goes June-June, which I prefer to January-December, and my 3-month plan ends on December 1. On the first of this month, I sat down and made a 1-month action plan, that highlighted the specific goals in the 3-month plan with action steps I could take every day to get there.

Landing an axel and landing a double (remember the 70% rule!) were on my 3-month plan. So, the specific steps I wrote down in my 1-month action plan were:
  • Re-committing to showing up early to the rink and off-ice jumping.
  • Trying them every single time I hit the ice, even when I was really tired or it wasn't a 'jumping day'. 
  • Extra lessons with my coach.
Then, I wrote down a cheesy mantra that I repeated over and over again:

Fire within me.

And yes, I needed a mantra that was really cliche, and really hustle-y, to get that jump.

I'd been starting to feel really down in the dumps, and frankly, I wasn't very confident in my ability to land it. But, I did try to keep repeating this mantra, and in a cheesy way, I tricked myself into believing it. Gillian, you're good. You're strong. You're dedicated. You've got this. 

You might say that I would have gotten my axel eventually, even without all these 'action plans' and mantras, and you'd probably be right. But, I know being able to focus, and channel my frustration into a fire to get it done, really pushed me. I love writing lists, and goal lists are something I've always tried to work with. But, this is the first system I've felt actually worked. You can bet I'll be updating my lists for the next 3-months.

What system do you use? And does anyone know what Power Point I'm talking about? I'd love to give some credit.

Happy Weekend! xo

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