I'm setting a 28 day goal to change my life and I'm going to track my change one day at a time!
Mom Improvement Presents: Setting a 28 Day Goal

In my last post, I talked about setting a goal and creating your path to completion, and I gave you a worksheet to help!  Now, it’s time to talk about the benefits of making your goal a “28 Day Goal”.  This will help you be more successful and intentional with whatever it is you plan to do!  If this post makes you want to change any of your answers in the last worksheet, or set a different goal, or change your methods for achieving your goal, that’s no problem!  You can always print out a new worksheet to revise your plan!

Small Goal, Big Surprise

Sometimes big life changes come in small packages.  In my last post, I mentioned that I took 90 Day Budget Boot Camp.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.  I feel like I’m a pretty darn good budgeter and I still learned so much.  PS- I’m not paid to recommend that course, I do so because it’s just a great course!

Probably the biggest, most beneficial takeaway of the whole camp was the “do your dishes” assignment.  The rules were simple: at night, after dinner, you had to clear your sink.  Run the dishwasher, do the dishes by hand, Rosemarie didn’t care how, it just had to get done.

Are you skeptical?  I totally was.  How were my dishes- dirty or clean- impacting my budget?  How was getting them done going to help me pay down our credit cards?  While the direct correlation between budget and dishwasher might be hard to draw… it really does make a HUGE difference in… life.  A clean sink is a major benefit for my psyche.

My life changed when I started this goal- get my dishes done every night, no matter what!
Washing dishes for a better tomorrow!

It’s not actually about the dishes

When I come downstairs to make breakfast in the morning and stare into my beautiful, clear sink, the entire day becomes more manageable.  The clear sink, in this case, represents my clear mind.  I’m free to brew coffee, fill the Brita pitcher, make breakfast, run water.  But I’m also feeling the pride of sticking to a commitment.  Between my husband and I, the dishes are getting done every single night.  That requires a level of discipline we didn’t really have before.

I’m guessing, if you’re looking for solutions to life’s messy problems, that discipline isn’t something that’s super high in your skill set either.  That’s nothing to feel bad about.  I feel like the laziest, most undisciplined person of all time sometimes.  The key to changing your attitude is to change your method.  And that’s what today’s freebie is all about.

Creating daily accountability

The goal you’re working on right now is one small piece of your daily pie.  You picked one thing about your life that made you unhappy, and now we’re going to fix it.  Most likely, you picked something that you do (or don’t do and want to start doing) every single day.  That’s a good idea!  Making something a habit is much easier if you incorporate it into your regular pattern or routine.  That’s what today’s freebie is here to help with- daily implementation.

A bubble a day…

The cheat sheet allows you to fill in one bubble every day you complete your goal.  We had a tracker for our dishes right on the kitchen refrigerator.  It was there, staring at us, telling us to do that job.  This sheet will be the same tool for you, but there’s a couple important things you need to do to be successful with your tracker:

  1. Keep it near where you are completing your goal.  This could be tricky, depending on what your goal is.  If there really is no convenient place to keep it (if your goal is happening outside your home or in a few different places within your home), then keep it right by your bed.  Tape it to the wall in your bedroom if you have to, and tape a writing implement right next to it so that you always have something to use to fill it in.
  2. This is so dorky, but it helps me to have a special pen that I use to fill in my tracker.  I don’t really know why, it just makes me happy!  Find something like this for yourself.  Maybe you don’t like pens, but maybe you do like stickers!  Find a special sheet of stickers at the dollar store or in the dollar section at Target to use only on your bubble sheet.  Sometimes a simple incentive is all you need to give yourself that extra bit of motivation.
  3. The final element to success with a bubble sheet is the hardest- commitment.  You are making an agreement with yourself that you’re going to complete this goal, and you’re using your bubble sheet to track your success, but you’ll have nothing to track if you don’t do what you need to do.

There were nights when the very last thing I wanted to do was the dishes.  But I looked at my tracker, and I thought about how I would feel in the morning, when I came downstairs to a dirty sink.  My husband and I had made a commitment to stick to something.   No one could do it for us- we had to do it.

Achieving a goal takes patience and time!
Give yourself time to achieve your goal!

Building habits takes time!

Filling in your bubbles could take some real willpower for the first two weeks, maybe even three.  When I was in school, the theory was if you did something 14 days in a row, it would become a habit.  I think they have since revised that number to 21 days.  That’s why I give myself 28 days, pretty much an entire month.  I remember thinking somewhere around day 17 of our dishes goal that it felt like routine.  It felt easy, it felt do-able, and it got done.  We’re also doing other things we never used to do like wiping down counter tops and sweeping the floor!

Break down your goal even more

However, looking at an entire month of commitment to something could probably still be too daunting.  If the idea of one month doesn’t bother you, great, but if it does, then it’s important to break down your mindset even further.  Imagine, for the time being, that you are only going to do your goal for one week.  Once that’s in your head, that temporary timeline should give you the freedom to complete those seven bubbles.  Is a week still too long?  Commit to three days.  Then another three days, and so on, and so forth.  And if you are truly having an impossible time after that first week, then it is time to go back to the drawing board and re-assess your goal.  More about that in my next post. For now, don’t forget to download the freebie.

Each new day brings the promise of a fresh start to complete your goal!
Wake up and try again!

Tomorrow is another day…

You may still miss a day in your first week or two.  It’s very important not to beat yourself up if that happens.  You are allowed to have life intervene, you are allowed to forget, you are allowed to get distracted.  Just get back on the horse.  Your bubble sheet will help you to stay on track, but it is not a magic wand.  Don’t give up on yourself.  You picked this goal for a reason- you want to make a positive change in your life!  Take a deep breath, start over again if you have to, and keep going.  And leave me a comment or send me a message to tell me how you’re doing and how it’s going!  I can’t wait to hear from you!