This System For Achieving Personal Goals Is A Game-Ender

I know what it feels like to be drowning in a depressive state, but, lately, I’ve been drowning in something else. Projects. 

It’s awesome, really. I’m thrilled to be starting a business, landing freelance writing gigs, playing music again, (making a podcast?) and selling our house while looking for a new one. I’m blessed to be drowning as a full-time side-hustler, but when everything’s evolving at once to the soundtrack of Shiloh wailing and Isaiah repeating the same word over and over, things can feel pretty overwhelming. I’ve found myself lying awake at night, unable to sleep due to a racing mind.

A week or two ago, Linds and I implemented something in our home that’s helped called “Golden Goal.” I borrowed the name. Our favorite online substitute teacher, Wikipedia defines the concept this way.

The golden goal or golden point is a rule used in association football, bandy, lacrosse, field hockey, ice hockey, floorball and korfball to decide the winner of a match (typically a knock-out match) in which scores are equal at the end of normal time. It is a type of sudden death.

Pretty much, the winner takes all–the final goal is the game-ender. You can win everything with one goal.

So, when it comes to our own personal objectives, each morning, we decided to write one golden goal for the day for each of us. If an individual accomplishes that single goal they win the day! It’s that simple.

Too often, we let ourselves feel overwhelmed by to-do lists and mounting phone reminders. We get caught up in all that we should do or shouldn’t do and we pile expectations on top of one another like they’re dirty clothes. But, what if we chose the day’s single-most important task and made that the main objective? Sure, you can accomplish other chores throughout the day (you probably should), but all that will figure itself out. You focus your energy on that Golden Goal.

We’ve found this system helps with communication, managing expectation, and providing a daily sense of accomplishment.

Here are three tips for starting your own Golden Goal system in your home:

1. Get a whiteboard and color markers

We use a whiteboard and we put it where everyone can see it (ours is in the kitchen). Each person in our family has a different color. I’m blue, Lindsey’s purple, Isaiah’s green, and Shiloh’s red. Each morning over breakfast, we discuss the goals for the day. That way, we can help one another throughout the day, and no one forgets what their goal is.

2. Make each golden goal achievable, but not too easy

It’s good to make your goals achievable, but don’t go cheap by making them too easy. You want it to be something you’ll have to be intentional about accomplishing. Otherwise, you’ll likely forget about it and you won’t get the sweet satisfaction of leaping over a hurdle.

3. Let every person have their own goals

Sure, you could think of something for every person in your family to do, but it’s important to allow others the freedom to have their own goals. My two-year-old’s goal has been to “love mama” for three days in a row, and that’s okay. It’s actually pretty cute.

Win your goal and win the day with the Golden Goal system. Let me know how it works for you!

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