New Year! New Dreams! New Goals!
When best to plan than NOW!
I’m sharing the techniques I use to plan and achieve my goals. I hope this will help you too to make this year ‘The Year’ that makes all the difference!
We all have limited time and limited resources but many needs and wants, so we need to be very strategic on how we use our time and resources. In order to make the best out of what we have, we need to know what are our biggest needs and wants.
First thing I do is, I jot down everything I wish I could achieve – both short term and long term – even the ones I may think are impossible. Sometimes we are afraid to even play with the idea because we think the goal is so big and we may not be able to achieve it, so we suppress it in the back of our mind. Writing it down will not only help us know what all we really want but also helps us consider it.
Then I pick out 1 – 4 goals I would like to achieve this year.
But why 1 – 4 goals?
When we are focusing on everything we are really not focusing on anything!
If you want to achieve something, the best and fastest way to achieve it is to have laser focus on the prize. Less is more.
The reason I said 1 – 4 is because some goals are huge and some are small. What I mean is that some goals may take you entire year to achieve or even more, and some may take you only 1 month, 3 months etc. Once you have 1 – 4 important goals aligned, you can start focusing on the most important Goal. Once you achieve that goal you can now focus on the next goal and so on.
Once I have picked my top goals for the year, I jot it down in the Goals page. Though I suggest 1 – 4 goals, we have provided space for 6 different goals as everyone is different. I not only jot down the goals but I write few main things about the goals just as a guide for our next steps. If you want to take it up a notch – I suggest writing down why you would want to achieve this goal and how it would make you feel. Whenever I feel lost or exhausted I come back to this and this reminds me about my end goal and why I want to achieve it and how it will make me feel. It keeps me motivated.
Once I have filled in all my goals. I move on to the Goal Brainstorm page. Here, I pick one of my goals from Goals page, then I jot down all the tasks I need to do in order to achieve this goal. You do not need to worry about the order of tasks – just jot down everything you can think of. Once I have listed all the tasks, I put a tentative date against it. I would highly suggest not skipping this step as this is what will hold you accountable. Also, it is very important to be realistic about this date. It might be a simple task but if you have a lot of things going on, it will take you some time to do it. For example, one of my goals is to learn Procreate as a hobby, and it might take some people a month to learn all the basics but it is going to take me a little over 4 months as I can invest only few hours on weekend.
Bottom line, make it yours! Put dates that fit your lifestyle and your personality. Remember, only you will know what will work for you.
I also want to clarify that these are tentative dates, things happen, things change so it is perfectly okay to change the dates as time comes. However, it is important to write a tentative date, which will help you know if you are running late or are on track.
Once I am done with brainstorming the tasks and adding dates, I transfer this to Goal Schedule page in chronological order – both tasks and the dates.
There are checkboxes against each task and every time I’m done with a task I check the box against it. I visit this page time and again, this lets me know where I stand for that specific goal at that point in time.
I repeat the same process for all my goals for both Goal Brainstorm & Goal Schedule page.
That concludes how I use the Goal Planner and hope it helped you – at the least I hope it inspired you.
That was just planning and that is why most of the plans remain plans as nothing was done for accountability.
At Daily Thinkers, we are all about Goal Achieving not just goal planning. So I’m going to share rest of my techniques on accountability so that you achieve your goals. Remember the step I asked (above) not to skip, the step where I ask you to add a tentative date – yes that is the key!
Feel free to use any planner that you have. I use Daily Thinkers Planner which I have designed to work best with these techniques – it is not just a planner, it is a system that I use to achieve my goals including launching this planner brand and bringing it to life.
What I do is I refer to Goal Schedule page and transfer all tasks that falls on January to Monthly Highlight page for one of the goals, then I repeat the same for all other months. What this does is, when the month comes around and you are ready to plan, everything will be at your fingertips and you would not have to go back and check the Goal pages, or worse – you will not forget about it.
Next, I refer to Monthly Highlight page for January and transfer all tasks to the Top Priority section of the Daily page (of the tentative date). I repeat this for February and March only, as things may change and we get better idea as we get closer. For that reason, I fill in Daily Pages for following quarters at the end of March, June, September respectively.
Sometimes, dates may change from projected date but it is okay as the idea behind writing the date is to keep us on track and not necessarily complete the task on the exact date. You might be few days early or late, or sometimes even weeks but you will not be off by much.
Then I repeat the same for all other goals for the first quarter.
Do not forget to come back to the Goal Planning pages and check mark against each task as they are done. This will help you track your goals.
Now let’s ACHIEVE those goals!!!