Dolly Henry is a sewing and design blog for the creative wanderer, where style meets play and making is a lifestyle.

Hi, I'm Megan - owner, designer and writer at Dolly Henry! Join me here as I explore the ins and outs of creativity, dabble in dollmaking and raise my voice on issues facing creative entrepreneurs.

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Tips for Achieving Your Goals

On the first of September, I started the 100 Day Goal run by Julia at The Business Bakery. 
My goal is to improve my general wellbeing, which extends into all aspects of my life.

To achieve a goal, you really have to want to.

I know this sounds obvious, but I have discovered in the past (when I have half-heartedly set out to do a 100 Day Goal) if my destination isn't clear, it's so easy to take multiple detours and wind up lost.

This time I finetuned my goal and created some space in my life to make it happen.
 In short, I made my goal my priority.

If you feel like you need to do this in order to achieve your goal, but don't have the resources or time, that's okay. The beauty of Julia's 100 Day Goal is that you only have to take one small step towards it every day. These small steps are called micro actions and can be done in short bursts of 5, 15 or 30 minutes.

If that seems like a jolly slow way to achieve a goal, you might want to read on.

Even five minutes a day will get you closer to your goal than doing nothing at all.

It's a bit like if you want to win a raffle, you at least need to buy a ticket. The more tickets you buy, the greater chance you have of success.

For instance, if you wish to lose weight but struggle to find the time or motivation to do so, doing one thing each day will make more of a difference than doing nothing at all.

I have found micro actions have an accumulative effect - when I set out to do one small obligatory task, this often gives me the momentum to do another one. Energy creates energy and the feel good factor of a small achievement fuels my desire to do more. Before I know it, I haven't just done one microaction, I have done three.

A good example of this is when I mentally commit to just a short walk down the street. By the time I reach the bottom of the hill that is our driveway, I feel motivated enough to go the other way and take an hour long walk instead. 

Action creates action and the adage that the hardest part is showing up, rings true each time.

On the flip side, because I am required to simply do ONE small thing a day towards my goal, it's possible to stay on track even when life throws you a curved ball. A week ago, when the days involved a family emergency and some hospital visits, bigger microactions involving more energy were impossible so I simply made getting enough sleep or preparing healthy food my tasks.

Keeping my goal at the front of my mind helped me achieve tiny little steps that I otherwise wouldn't have.

It is important that you can measure your progress when you are working towards a goal. For some goals, this is easier than others. My goal isn't tangible or numerical so for me, just writing down the microactions I have achieved or observations I have made in regards to my health and wellbeing works well.

Visualisation is a big help when it comes to staying motivated and on track. Some people love vision boards and I do too, for some purposes. However I have a slightly different approach with my goal.

Do you remember waiting for Christmas as a child? You get excited about the festivities and the presents you imagine opening on December 25. All sorts of delightful images and thoughts float through your mind. You are very much putting yourself in the future, full of anticipation for what lies ahead. It motivates you to be on your best behaviour, so you don't land on the naughty list. You write wish lists and letters. Help decorate the Christmas tree, sing Jingle Bells and put on your Santa hat. You do all these little things in preparation for Christmas Day.

This is how visualisation works for me. I imagine achieving my goal and how great I will feel crossing the finishing line. I picture how I look, how my life looks and sometimes, I even start writing a blog post in my head about how amazing it has been to finally achieve my goal. A bit like writing a corny acceptance speech in preparation of winning a great prize, doing this sounds quite silly but it definitely creates a winners mindset. Failure becomes obsolete because Goal Day, like Christmas, is coming and the festive preparations are in full swing!

I am already looking forward to writing that blog post, I am already visualising my success. These little things have made a big difference to me this round. I can't tell you how many times I have set out to do the 100 Day Goal and lasted little longer than a week. I pinpoint my progress down to a few simple factors:

- Choosing a goal I DEFINITELY want to achieve, something important to ME.
- Prioritising my goal over other things and creating the mental space to let it happen.
 (hello less time spent on Social Media!)
- Visualising my success so on tough days (and they are very common!) the finishing line stays in view.
- Redefining success and failure, allowing myself to be happy 
achieving tiny (micro) actions for the first month into my goal.
- Accepting that my journey is a huge part in reaching the final destination and going SLOW is okay.

If you are interested in achieving your own 100 Day Goal, you can sign up to be notified on Julia's website here. It's free to join and the next round will start in 2019!

Megan xx

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