Nkem Story

For 2017, I’m Doing Character Goals

July 3, 2017

So we’ve now reached the 2nd half of the year and even though I didn’t do a goal post like I did last year, I still wanted to do a goal check in!

Last year, I talked about meticulously planning you goals, such that, every project you want to complete for the year is broken down and categorized. I can proudly say all that planning and scheming worked well. I successfully completed a lot of the goals that were on my list. I definitely did not complete every little thing, but I was able to tick off some of the most important ones!

This year, I wanted to try something new and I decided to JUST focus on the most important ones. But I took it a step further and wrapped them around specific traits I am trying to cultivate. This was partly because at the time I was reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and partly because I knew I had underlying traits I need to work on while completing my goals.

Why Character Goals?

For me, accomplishing certain goals isn’t the main focus – it’s growing into the kind of person I am proud to be. Someone is kind, generous, forgiving, intelligent, driven and graceful, who emanates light and positivity all around her. So basically, a full time, Nubian Queen. As long as I’m growing into that person, the specific goals I accomplish along the way aren’t as important.

That said, I have also begun to find my passion and purpose in life so it makes sense to focus my energy in certain projects and dreams. I’m still all about categories, so I narrowed my life into 5 categories and chose a specific goal(s) or project I wanted to complete this year within that area of my life, and attached a trait to it.

The Traits:

The traits I chose were specific attributes I need in life, on my path to becoming the woman I want to be. These were the traits I chose and the categories of my life I attached them to:

Discipline

– the ability to get up every day and work hard on the same thing over and over again, even when you’re not in the mood.

No one is successful without discipline. It’s what separates a brilliant B student from the class valedictorian. For me, I need more discipline in developing my personal brand. This means, just sitting down and writing. Being disciplined in editing photos, posting on Instagram and being consistent with my blog.

Focus

– the ability to drown out all other noises, in order to work hard on one task or goal.

Especially for someone like me with a plethora of interests, and who dabbles in multitasking, focusing is so important in actually finishing one or two things, rather than have 10 things half done. I attached focus to my academic goals, as I applied for scholarships. Being a few years removed from school now, it’s easy to stray from your course, but reflecting on focus, I could keep my eye on the prize and turn in stellar applications. It didn’t turn out for the positive <link> but I’m happy with the effort I put in.

Strength

– the ability to withstand pressure or great force.

Being strong for me means being steadfast in my resolve and in my values and beliefs. It also means being courageous in the face of adversity, so that no matter what I went through, I would remain grounded and center in myself. I connected the strength to my health and wellness, so this meant being stronger in my faith, being strong emotionally and for those that I care about, and also working on exercise and eating well in order to be physically stronger.

Faith

– the ability to believe even without seeing. Faith has been super important this year for me.

And when choosing this as a trait to cultivate, I knew it meant deepening my journey with God, but also having more faith in my own abilities. When I bring those two together: trusting God and trusting myself, it leads to more faith in the path ahead. I’ve talked before about moving forward even if you’re not sure of the destination, but it’s better to just keep growing – well something like that takes a lot of faith. I attached faith to the various projects I’m working on while here in Nigeria, one of which was taking on clients with my public relations skills. I really doubted myself at the beginning, but now I already have a few clients. It’s amazing what God does once we start taking our own little steps.

Responsibility

– the ability to own up to your part in what you’re doing and be reliable to yourself and others.

Taking responsibility and being responsible are so important when trying to achieve goals. You have to know that the buck stops with you and only you can control your destiny. It also means knowing when you can and cannot come through in a task or event and owning up to that. I attached responsibility to the work and volunteering I do through NYSC. These are things I have chosen to do, so it’s important to treat it seriously and be a reliable employee and volunteer. This means showing up on time and ready to work hard.

How I got started

Once I had those 5 traits chosen, I reflected on them in my journal. I wrote a full page about each trait: what it meant to me, dictionary definition, and how I wanted it to manifest in my life. I also took each of the 5 categories I talked about and wrote quarter goals for each of them.

I try to choose one trait per week to really focus on and implement in my life. Some weeks I forget, but I reflect on the traits often, sometimes in my journal but often in my head. It’s a hard thing to track – am I more responsible? More focused? It’s definitely up and down but I keep growing and I keep trying.

6 Month Progress

So after 6 months of reflecting on these traits I can say I’m more conscientious of them. I thought of faith often as I went through the setbacks regarding my scholarships <link>, and I think of responsibility often at my new position and with some new projects I’ve under taken. Times when I feel lazy about working on my blog or editing photos, I think of discipline to keep me on track. Discipline is probably the one that I need to work on the most, across all categories of my life. That and focus. I need to get much better at focusing on just one activity at a time. My Moleskine planner has definitely been a life saver for that.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed working on these 5 traits, reflecting on them often and being intentional about applying them to my life. And in the process, I’ve gotten A LOT of stuff done this year. I certainly feel like I’m getting closer to some of my life goals, while becoming the woman I want to be. And what could be better than that?

 

What were your 2017 goals and how are you doing on them now that we are at the half way mark? If you had chosen some traits to focus on this year, what would you have chosen? Let me know below. I’m really curious what attributes people deem important in their lives?

Never stop growing,

Omolayo Nkem

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5 Comments

  • Reply Lillian July 4, 2017 at 05:02

    Hi Nkem!

    Thanks for sharing this personal post. I can totally resonate with it especially with the discipline and focus character goals. Since late 2016, I have been actively embracing minimalism which is linked to both discipline and focus; your post just brought another lens to look at my own approach. Will definitely try out your ‘framework ‘ in one of my regular reflection sessions.

    • Reply Omolayo Nkem July 6, 2017 at 11:13

      Hi Lilian!
      Thanks for stopping by! My brother is a huge minimalist, so I understand the mindset. I can definitely see how discipline and focus are key to achieving that. And yes, for me, reflection and assessing my progress is key to any skill, habit or trait I want to pick up and apply in everyday life. Let me know how it goes for you and if it progresses your embracing of minimalism. I think it’s so great that you’re taking that on. We should all live more like that.

  • Reply Chic Therapy July 6, 2017 at 07:19

    This is a very insightful post. I have never actually thought of having character goals, and striving to adopt them. My homework is cut out for me…

    • Reply Omolayo Nkem July 6, 2017 at 11:07

      That’s awesome!! I’m glad you feel inspired to try it out! It’s really cool to reflect on certain character traits that you want to cultivate.
      Let me know when you finish your homework, lol. Or at least what traits you end up choosing!

  • Reply Kachee July 7, 2017 at 23:30

    I love this post Nkem and these are great Character traits that we all need to develop consciously to evolve into better things. If I wrote a list, it would be very much similar to this, and even though unwritten, I think through these often on a day to day – having faith, being disciplined and taking responsibility! Thank you for highlighting this fact.

    KacheeTee.com

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