Okay, I know this title could sound like some nonsense and shenanigans for a 30-day social media activity, but this is important.
Remember, at some point, this Instagram Challenge intrigued you. It was something that made you think it would be of benefit to you and/or your people. But if it’s just that, you won’t last. You’ll quit (hello, let me tell you about it) and I don’t want that to happen to you.
So rather than just saying you’re gonna participate but then be a silent observer, I’d like you to consider setting a SMART Goal for this month’s Instagram Challenge to move you to action (and success!) that works for you.
SMART – specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based
I’m not trying to be bossy, but remember that my background is in education + leadership development. I’ve worked with a lot of people who wanted the thing they desired and were open to trying a new thing to get after it. Only those who do the work, reap the benefits. I’m becoming that person and wanna help you do it too.
To help set you up for success, I’ve done some of the work for you!
SETTING YOUR SMART GOAL FOR THIS CHALLENGE
S | I will complete this many of the #soultendingSeptember prompts
There is one action for each day in September designed to help you pay closer attention to what’s happening inside your soul (aka “soul tending”). How many of these would you like to complete to help you get closer to your WHY? Your deep reason for wanting to do this in the first place. If you didn’t get to, jump back over here to delve more into your desired outcome before moving on to the next goal setting step.
M | I will measure my progress in a method that helps me visually see how close I am to reaching my Instagram Challenge goal
If you’re going to post to your feed (what I’ll be doing + what I encourage you to do) then you can save your own photo and track your completion of the task for the day. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #soultendingSeptember”.
If you’re not going to do it that way (which is completely fine) how will you measure your goal?
Will you create a calendar that you can post on your fridge and put an X through each prompt you complete? Will you use an app on your phone to mark completion? Will you hop on the phone and text or call your accountability partner?
It’s up to you! How will you measure the completion of your goal?
A | How am I agreeing to opt-in to this experience?
I’ve recently learned and been putting into practice the importance of entering agreements with people rather than placing expectations on them. I am so excited that this goal is set up this way.
Rather than place a bunch of expectations on you, I’m sharing an opportunity to learn and grow in this area, making my thoughts available to you in prompt form on the Instagram platform and will be engaging with each and every person that posts with the hashtag or tags me in their photos while doing their soul tending work.
What are you agreeing to? I’m here to help and encourage but if your goal extends beyond what I’ve agreed to above, don’t be surprised at my lack of response. This challenge is designed to motivate, encourage and teach a little, but it is not the platform to expect coaching or lengthy 1-1 conversations about your experience.
So, how will you opt-in?
Will you post on your feed (this would be my first choice!!! go big!!!)? Will you share in your stories, do a weekly live video on your experiences tending to your soul? Will you comment here on the blog – there will be plenty of opportunities throughout the month – or will you simply journal in your soul care spot? Maybe you’ll Marco Polo or Voxer your friend who is also doing it with you from another state?
However you agree to show up in this challenge, do it.
R | What CAN you do?
Be real with yourself.
Are you a high level officer in a volunteer organization? Do you have a full course-load this term? Are you transitioning into a new job, home, relationship, city or diet during September? Do you have three children under the age of three that you are responsible for keeping alive each day?
What is “realistic” to you is realistic to you. This challenged is designed to stretch you, not break you.
Pray about it. Ask the friend or your spouse who’s doing the challenge with you for their input.
You may not be able to do all 30 days or the days that require a lot of time on your feet.
Breathe. Read that again…
It truly is o-k-a-y.
I do want you to choose something that seems realistic, but not too comfortable here. Say realistic for you is 80% of the prompts. But if you do all of the things in that 80% consider swapping out a couple of easy ones (things you already do) for ones that may stretch you a bit.
T | In the month of September, how many hours can I give to reaching my goal?
I will be actively engaging folks the final week of August – I want all the people tending to their souls y’all – and then everyday in September with my personal breaks from Insta on Sundays until after dinner; I need to be able to sustain myself throughout the challenge to better serve each of you.
Maybe you can do the bulk of the challenge, but not on the days that they are matched with. For example, you can hug 3 people, but you can’t do it on day 24 when the rest of us are prompted to be hugging (because your people are traveling and you have the house to yourself – Hallelujah! Squeeze their necks when they return.) If you can do this prompt over three days or on the 21st instead of the 24th, go ahead – do it, post it and do another prompt as it suits you. Be flexible and extend yourself all the grace.
It’s better to consider how much time some of this will take now, so you can be sure you have the margin for it – which is tomorrow’s preparation post.
Maybe you can’t participate with us for the month of September as we know it. The hashtag will remain available when the calendar flips to the coming months, but my responses will cease on 02 October. This is not to deter you from doing what you can when you can. I just want to give you a heads up ahead of time so you’re better prepared to manage what your time and energy for success.
Look. I know that many of you know about SMART Goals. And as soon as some of you saw the post, you may have caught a side-eye towards me and this post.
Please know, that it’s not my goal or intent to be condescending or rude in breaking down the way that I think. If you’re feeling that, try making it less about my delivery and ask yourself why you may be feeling that way. If there is a part of this preparation post that you liked and you think would work for you, take it, if there were other parts that were not for you, simply leave it.
I know so many folks use this strategy in the workplace, but oftentimes it does not get transferred into our personal lives and I think that is to our detriment. So go grab a 5×7 notecard, turn to a page in your journal or open the Notes App on your phone and jot down your SMART Goal for this Instagram Challenge. Post it someplace where you can refer to it daily or almost daily and get excited.
If you’re willing go ahead and post it (or what you feel comfortable sharing) in the comments below or on your Instagram Stories/Feed. Your vulnerability is welcome, your work is important.
We’re only three more days away and you’re already doing great Soul Tender!