My Goal Setting Strategy
Raise your hand if you're the type of person who, if you don't write a task down or add an event to your calendar, it's like it never existed.
I am, by nature, extremely absent-minded, and I must fight that aspect of my personality with every tool I can find. I have learned that I absolutely MUST write everything down or it flies out of my brain never to be seen or heard from again.
I prefer to begin by writing down tasks and goals with old fashioned pen or paper before transferring those to an electronic form. It allows me to perform a "brain dump," organize my thoughts, and helps commit those thoughts to memory.
After performing a brain dump, I find that most of my "goals" are the end result I want to achieve, so I will winnow my list down to the action items I will need to accomplish to reach those end goals. Once my VIP goals and tasks are identified, I will capture those electronically because when someone is as absent-minded as I am, a piece of paper or even an entire notepad can easily disappear without a trace.
Some of my favorite electronic task managers include:
- Google Calendar - I have a shared Google Calendar with my husband so neither of us has an excuse for double-booking.
- aNote - aNote is a paid app, but I have found it worth the [minor] investment. It allows me to categorize my notes and rank them by priority. It also syncs with my calendars and with Evernote, which brings me to my next item...
- Evernote - this application is free, with the option to upgrade to a premium, paid platform [I use the free version]. This tool is useful for saving information, such as links for future reading, photos, thoughts for future blog posts - anything I'd like to remember but doesn't necessarily have a due date assigned to it.
I organize my to-do's into: Errands, Career, Relationship, Colby (my dog - he gets his own category!), long-term goals and monthly goals. Above, I've shared my key goals for the month of February. This month, I am focused on successfully launching this blog, maintaining a home that is ready for surprise visitors, and preparing my old, broken down bag of bones for the half marathon training that I will begin at the end of the month. My monthly goals are meant to be daily or weekly disciplines that I hope to turn into habits through diligent repetition.
This topic is one I could elaborate on for days, and I'm sure I will come back with more to say.
In the meantime, what are your best goal setting strategies? What have been your biggest goal setting fails?