We all have dearly loved people in our lives who vacillate between Atkins diet, the Zone, Paleo, Blueprint… whatever the flavor of the week may be as dictated by People magazine or other well-known scientific publications. You’ve given up all hope on actual success, writing them off – only to find that they get it one day. They’ve finally knocked off the bullsh*t, came to grips with learning about their unique needs for being healthy and stopped following fad diets. The years of trials and struggling were necessary to understand their relationship with food and their bodies.
I don’t think goal setting is so different from the diet example outlined above. We try everyone else’s solutions before we finally take ownership of a method that works best for ourselves. As I close in on 30 (13 months) I find myself writing more clear goals and experiencing greater GSD (Getting Sh*t Done as we affectionately call it in my household). This post is 30% about sharing my ridiculous, hybrid way of organizing ideas, goals and dreams. It’s 30% about sharing organization ideas from brilliant and/or crazy people I admire online. Most importantly this post is 40% about YOU! I want to know how YOU keep life organized and move toward the big goal(s) in life. These things don’t happen by chance. Luck is kind of rubbish in my opinion. It can easily be boiled down to statistics.
Once upon a time I practically salivated when it was time to purchase a new planner. One year I “accidentally” spilled coffee all over my planner and had to buy a new one that I had been eyeing at the local bookstore. I’ve tried to be more of a big girl and move from paper to online docs and lists, but I can’t find myself breaking the Sharpie® habit just yet. Going on an all-data-diet for my goal-setting and to-do lists nice in theory. I still need a medium that allows me to be loud, blaring and tangible when it comes to making my brain juices work.
I start out every month with my collection of Sharpies (the 80′s glam pack, if you must know), my trusty Moleskin notebook and my Pilot G2 pens. These are the necessary “drugs” for my productivity nirvana. Green tea is optional but often required. I write out what I want to accomplish with the ABSOLUTES as the #1-3 slots in the list. The rest of list isn’t negligible, but if they don’t happen in this month’s time frame, I’m okay with rolling them over to the next month and not feel too guilty about it all. Most months I have an average of 6-8 big goals. Anything more than that borders on insanity for me, as leaving room for sleep, exercise, eating, showering and being a non-reclusive human is necessary.
List of goals. Check. Next comes the online part. I use two tools online to break down my goals in to meetings and action items (objectives). Google Calendar is my appointment scheduling beast and Teux Deux is the clean, simple interface I use for my daily to-do list (it also has an iPhone app). What I don’t finish one day rolls over to the next. with Teux Deux I try to keep the Teux Deux list limited to 3-5 things per day. See impending insanity for scheduling/creating action items beyond this range from prior paragraph.
I spend Friday afternoons/evenings checking the progress. Can I cross a goal off? Do I need to add any extra steps? On Sundays I organize everything after slaying my lists on the weekends (weekend warrior!). Sundays are my days to mind-map, draw pictures and list out all the crazy steps needed to move onto my nice clean lists.
After many years trying various methods, I found a few that work well for me. I have a full-time day job, but I have a big goal of being a wellness expert, author and coach for my peers as my full-time profession. I tackle my life goals by evaluating things daily, weekly, monthly, annually – you get the picture. Below are a few of my favorite posts on the topics of life goals and to-do lists:
- Why Your Email Inbox Is NOT a Good To-do List (Zen Habits)
- Long To-Do List? Make a Not-Right-Now List (Inc.com)
- How it all began… (365 til 30)
- The life list (Nicole is Better)
- How to Conduct a Personal Quarterly Review (Stratejoy)
- Do your to-do lists need a makeover? (Unclutterer)
- Tired of Having A Neverending To-Do List? Use It To Your Advantage (the middle finger project)
How am I doing this month? Good question!
- My taxes must absolutely be finished by 12:00am Sunday. Thanks for being awesome, IRS.
- The wireframe development for the new WELL site is down on paper and ready to be transferred into a wireframe. My developer is on-call for a meeting after the 15th.
- I’m designing, writing and testing the components of “WELL Wire” (a paid subscription newsletter) for the first week of May.
- I’ve been using my phone timer to set 20 minutes a day to work on my exercise app (top-secret, yo!).
- 3 guest posts have been sent off; with one published and a meeting for the 4th next week; bonus – there’s an extra 5th post hiding in Google docs. Just in cases.
- I’ve been to 2 networking events (SMARTY) and scheduled 4 lunches with women I want to work with in the coming months.
- Sugar-free goal: I have successfully limited my sugar to under 30 grams every day this month with the exception of Easter Sunday ;)
- Organizing my resources – there’s a lid on the junk in the trunk. This is kind of an ongoing thing and this month it also includes updating the operating systems for my Apple products and making them pow-wow between one another without extra effort from me.
A little over 2 weeks remain in April. I’m owning it, making the month mine and celebrating with a fabulous party in Vegas the final weekend!
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