Tonje Lilleås

Setting goals and reaching them

Sitting with my notebook in my lap facing the forest, I started thinking about setting goals for myself. What are the things I want to fill my days with? What do I want to work on? And how do I make sure I’m able to prioritise the right things to help me grow, feel fulfilled and reach those goals.

The first thing I noticed was that I was in exactly the right place to do this task. The silence, the solitude, the fresh air and the stillness within me helped me think longer thoughts. It gave me space and time to ponder, to evaluate the last years and to look a few years ahead. And I started writing down some bullet points.

The things I want to fill my days with

Obviously the first thing that came to mind was family. I want time to get to know my boys as they grow into their personalities. I want our time together to be happy, meaningful and nurturing to our relationship. And I want their other mother and me to be able to show them how we love each other and work together to provide the best life possible for our family.

I then started thinking about health. How I really want my days to be filled with whatever helps me stay healthy in mind, body and soul. How nothing else really matters if I’m not taking care of myself. So I have to make sure I prioritise the rhythms and routines I know I depend on to stay healthy.

Creative outlet has proven to be key for me, and I have to make time to make images and content that I feel represent me, challenge me and motivate me to keep doing what makes me happy.

Keeping close to nature, making sure I get to spend enough time in and with nature isn’t something I just want. I crave it. I get cranky, moody and stressed out without it. I’m a better person when I make sure I fill my days with enough time of breathing fresh air, listening to silence and letting my eyes rest on amazing views.

Setting goals – time to get concrete

All the things I want to fill my days with has been pretty constant for years for me. It’s not difficult to describe what’s important to me. But from describing it to actually making sure I prioritise it – well, that’s a whole different journey. So I’ve decided to start setting goals to help make sure I really do fill my days with what I want to.

I soon figured out that my goals have to be concrete, measurable and realistic. If not, they will be demotivating and limit me. So I have decided on defining a bigger five year vision, a yearly area of focus and concrete yearly goals within three categories.

The five year vision

I wanted to find a statement for my five year vision that focused on who I want to be, how I want to feel or where I want to be five years from now. It could be something very concrete like “I have moved my family back to my hometown of Stranda” or “I have taken a year off to travel with my family”. Or it could be something less concrete like “I am a great photographer”.

To find the five year vision I emptied my mind with some long, deep breaths, and tried to envision myself in five years. The first thing that hit me, would be the core focus of the statement. This way it felt so obvious that my vision for 2019-2024 is

“I am at peace with the consequences of my injury and no longer feel limited or lesser because of it.”

The focus of 2019

I have two amazing young sons, and I want to make sure I give them the greatest gift I can; my time. But I also want to make sure that I pass something on to help the feel connected to me for the rest of their lives; the love for nature. I believe teaching them to love nature has to start right away, so there’s no doubt that my focus for 2019 will have to be

“Spending time in nature with my boys.”

Family goals

Having a newborn, a four year old and a dog, my wife and I have to make sure that everyone gets enough of what they individually need to feel happy and healthy. It’s about enough family-time, enough me-time, enough challenges, enough feeling of achievement, enough love and care. To help us get there I have set three concrete goals for myself

  1. Make sure we have dinner in nature at least three Wednesdays a month.
  2. Take my oldest son for a mini-break away just the two of us.
  3. Invite my wife for a date at least once a month.

Health goals

My health goals is closely knit with the five year vision. I spent some time thinking about where I’m at right now, and what would be three concrete things I could start right this moment to make sure I got closer to reaching my end goal. I’ve been through this so many times, and know what works. So figuring out what I need to make my rhythms this year was fairly easy.

  1. Meditate 20 minutes every damned day.
  2. Go for an hours quick paced walk, preferably in nature, every damned day.
  3. Do core and back exercises at least twice a week.

Creativity goals

I need my creative outlet. Last year I tried to go without somewhere to share my images and thoughts, but it just wasn’t right for me. So I know that setting creativity goals is really important to me to help me stay focused and not stop being creative even if my time is pressured. If I find that I’m not prioritising being creative, then I’m doing something wrong and I have to get my priorities back on track. The list of goals is not everything I’m going to do this year, but it’s a list of what I at least have to make sure I do to know that I’m on the right track.

  1. Post regularly on the blog every other Wednesday.
  2. Take two weeks off to create images. One of which attending a photography workshop, the other in complete solitude in nature.
  3. Upload my first video.

And how to reach them

So there you have it; I have set my goals. Now it’s all about making sure I reach them. I have to make sure I’m focused, so every Sunday I will read through them and evaluate if my priorities the last week has been accordingly. Every time I make a conscious decision in 2019 I will ask myself if it is helping me reach my goals. And every year over the next five years I will find an area of focus and set my concrete goals to help make sure I’m getting to a point where I can say that I’m really at peace with the consequences of my injury.

This was a monster of a post. I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. And if you did, I hope you will consider subscribing to my blog, following me on Instagram and Twitter and tip a friend of yours to check out this blog. Wishing you all the very best of days!





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.