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Try This New Spin on Goal-Setting

arrow hitting targetRecently I listened to an interview with Chalene Johnson, who introduced me to a new idea for goal-setting.

At first I was skeptical, but when I actually went through Chalene’s steps, it worked!

Here’s what she suggested:

1. Set 10 goals.

WHAT? TEN goals? That’s too many, isn’t it?

Trust Chalene. Write down 10 goals across a wide range of areas of your life.

Here are the areas Chalene suggests for your goals:

  1. Educational (a “get smart” goal — something you want to learn more about)
  2. Pure joy — something just for the fun of it
  3. Love life
  4. Family / friends
  5. Spirituality
  6. Environment — Meaning where you spend much of your time, such as your home or workplace
  7. Purpose / profession
  8. Financial
  9. Fitness / nutrition
  10. Mental wellness — I like to think of this as emotional well-being.

Once you’ve come up with a goal for each area — or 10 goals in any area, if you prefer …

2. Figure out your personal “push” goal.

What is the one thing that will facilitate the achievement of all or most of your 10 goals?

Chalene refers to this as your “push” goal because it acts like a domino, pushing the other ones over.

In the interview she gave the example of getting more sleep. For some people, this is the one thing that could make all the difference in achieving their heart’s desire.

In doing this exercise I discovered that my personal push goal is to budget my time.

I personally need to parcel my time into packages and assign specific activities to those packages — including rest.

I can make huge strides toward my 10 goals, but only if I focus on my “push” goal of time management.

3. Focus on your push goal.

Your 10 goals should fall like dominoes behind the right “push” goal. What’s yours?

I’ve been focusing on time management for the past week. Planning my time has become the most important thing I do.

Once the time is allotted for a given task, I can sit down and do it. Because the time is designated for this particular task, I’m free of the “Should I really be doing this right now, or is there something more important I need to focus on?” blues.

When I take the time to plan my time, it’s astonishing how more productive and balanced I feel.

Thanks, Chalene!


With all this focus on how I spend my time, I’ve decided to stop slavishly posting on Tina’s Tidbits every single Saturday.

This is my 170th post, and I’ve never missed a Saturday. But it takes longer than you might think to put together a thoughtful blog post.

Blogging is only one of my activities, yet it takes up more than its share of my time.

I also speak, teach and counsel in addition to trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, see family and friends, travel, exercise, learn Spanish, and find time for my guilty pleasure: Reality TV. (Wait — does watching The Bachelor count as a spiritual goal?)

So I’m officially hanging up my “weekly blogger” skates and putting on the plain “blogger” shoes.

I have blogging commitments at PsychologyToday.com and GoodTherapy.org, and I’ll continue to share those posts, with exclusive commentary, right here on Tina’s Tidbits.

I’ll also share any worthwhile tidbits or “deep thoughts” (air quotes) as they come to me. I like talking things over with you, and I value your feedback.

But I’m excited to start taking the time I need in ALL areas of my life, including training to walk the 2015 Portland Marathon in October!

So don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a post on any given Saturday. I’m still here.

I’m just managing my time differently.

I hope this post inspires you to find your own “push” goal, the one thing that will help you achieve everything you desire.

Photo courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Tina Gilbertson

Tina Gilbertson is a psychotherapist, speaker and author based in Denver, Colorado.
She specializes in supporting parents of estranged adult children through therapy, consulting and other resources, and offers assertiveness training and executive coaching for organizations.
The author of “Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them” and the “Guide for Parents of Estranged Adult Children,” Tina is often featured in the media as an expert on communication and relationships.
Her blog on PsychologyToday.com is called “Constructive Wallowing.”

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0 Responses to "Try This New Spin on Goal-Setting"

    • Tina Gilbertson
      May 9, 2015 - 9:47 am Reply

      Thanks, Bookishheather. I wish I’d registered for the half-marathon myself. I think a half-marathon is twice the fun of a full one.

  • Cheryl Peddie
    May 9, 2015 - 10:44 am Reply

    I’ll certainly miss your weekly posts, although I’m so excited for you as you commit to some extra time for yourself and other goals! Will continue reading your words of wisdom. Hmmm.. And I suspect my own ‘push’ goal would be to find some physical activity I enjoy doing enough that I can make it a habit. I know that extra energy would do a lot to get me further towards my other goals. Thanks again Tina!

    • Tina Gilbertson
      May 9, 2015 - 11:19 am Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Cheryl. Physical activity is a great push goal. I never would have thought of it.

      It can take time to find your “thing,” the thing you enjoy enough to make a habit. I grew up in a non-exercising family and didn’t see the inside of a gym till I was almost 30. Physical activity did NOT come naturally to me.

      Over the years, the activity that’s emerged for me, randomly, is weight training. For whatever reason, I enjoy pushing and pulling weight around.

      However, if I don’t do it first thing in the morning, I might not do it at all. So my time budget includes scheduled morning workouts … between training walks now, of course.

      There’s nothing more important for healthy aging than physical activity. Good luck on your push goal, Cheryl!

  • Isabel A. Spradlin
    May 10, 2015 - 7:33 pm Reply

    Wow, you kind of snuck that not-quite-a-farewell right in there! You’ve been such an inspiration to me over the years with your Saturday posts. Thank you so much for all the time and effort you have put into them! I look forward to reading the rest as they come.

  • Eve
    May 13, 2015 - 6:13 pm Reply

    I love this idea, Tina, but for me, it’s…. You mean ONLY 10??? lol!! So good luck with your running, my running days are over, so when you get really really exhausted, just remember ~ you can (still) do this!! 😉

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