I don’t have any “new year’s resolutions” because those rarely pan out. But I do have goals. Settings goals is very important (or should be) but what is even more important is knowing how to properly set goals and planning your routine and actions around those goals. I believe that everything we do should be taking us closer to our goals. If what we are doing does not bring us closer to reaching our goals, why are we doing it? This may sound a bit harsh to some but if you’re goal driven then you’ll agree with me.
Not too long ago I have attended a Time Power seminar and for 2011 and beyond I have worked on a strict and detailed goal-setting “system,” which I will share with you here. Feel free to use it for your own goal setting and daily planning.
My most significant productivity goal is: Starting today, I will set aside at least 20 minutes each morning to plan and organize my day. Time management is about focussing on the future! – Quality planning is going to a place of solitude free of interruptions, where I can be alone for a period of time to write or think.
Charles Kettering once said: “I expect to spend the rest of my life in the future, so I want to be reasonably sure of what kind of future it’s going to be. That is my reason for planning”
My daily action list will contain activities that I need to pursue from the previous day’s action list. my monthly calendar, long and short terms goals, voice mail, and email. I will divide this action list into four time quadrants: Vital, Important, Some Value, Waste of Time. It’s very important to know which task to place under which time quadrant but this is where my long and short term goals play a big role, they help me to determine which tasks to place into which time quadrants for my daily planning. I will also ensure that I make realistic time estimates and allow time for interruptions. – The good thing about initial planning is that I can go about my day without having to worry about prioritizing under pressure.
Now before I can even begin to work on my first daily action list I want to define my goals, for without goals I would have nothing to plan for and I would have no idea how to prioritize my tasks. I have decided to follow the Hobbs model of personal productivity which will take my goal setting from general to specific. There is no use in setting goals that aren’t specific down to the finest detail. For example: I might say that by the end of the year I want to be rich, drive a nice car, and live in a big house. Those are general goals, I need to be more specific: how rich (numbers?), which car (manufacturer, color, features), which house (location, price, design, etc.). Setting specific goals will help with time management. – This is something which I have been having some trouble with, my goals have always been too general. It’s time to make them more specific down to the finest detail.
Now some people, including myself may find it difficult to set “specific” goals, especially when we want to set long-range goals, intermediate goals and immediate goals because even we may not know exactly what we want down to the finest detail. Sure its easy to do general goal setting but being specific down to the finest detail may be tricky for some. But don’t despair (lol I sound like some sort of personal life coach now.) Setting specific goals is easy once you know your Unifying principles. My unifying principles will help me set specific long-term goals, which in turn will help me to set intermediate goals, which in turn will help me to set immediate goals. Get the picture? It’s quite simple 🙂
What are unifying principles you ask? Well, Those are core principles to use as a guide for goal planing and living such as: Financial freedom, intelligence, leadership, family, creativity, fun/entertainment, friendship and physical well-being. (Those are my personal unifying principles, not in that exact order – Yours may be different). – Now that I have my unifying principles jotted down I need to prioritize them, which in turn will help with my goal setting and daily action list.
After I have prioritized my unifying principles I have started writing my goals (which I still haven’t completed) using a simple goal writing formula. The unifying principles, together with a simple formula makes it ridiculously easy to realize and set specific goals. This simple formula consists of three sections: What (object or action), How will I measure it (specific) and by When (time).
Together with my unifying principles and goal writing formula I have used the goal writing guidelines which I learnt during the Time Power seminar:
- Prepare goals within a framework of my unifying principles.
- Plan my goals within reach of my abilities and what I realistically think I can accomplish.
- Write each goal down.
- Make my goals specific, so that the results are measurable.
- See the goal as my very own (Already achieved / Law of attraction).
I am still in the process of writing down all my specific goals. Thus far I’ve only been planning my daily tasks around general goals which have proved to be highly unsuccessful since the last couple of years have been disastrous to say the least. But now that I am getting my specific long-range, intermediate and immediate goals in place I will be able to PROPERLY plan my daily tasks which will bring me closer to my goals, each and every day.
Now what exactly are my specific long-range, intermediate and immediate goals? Stay tuned. I may (or my not) share those with you. Maybe you’ll just get the general versions, unless of course you want to know the specifics.
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