Once you have a rough idea of what your long-term and short-term goals look like, what’s the next step?
Keep in mind that goals aren’t a means to an end; goal setting is an ongoing activity that can happen at any time. I frequently review my goals and determine if I need to add or remove any to my current lists.
As I mentioned in my last post , I break my workable goals into chunks. While I have long-term future goals (my three year goals), I don’t focus on any goals I don’t plan to achieve within a year. I consider the list of things I want to focus on in the next year my long-term goals. Once I have that list sorted out, I break it down even further by quarter. Some goals lend themselves to being completed in certain times of the year better than others. I start with those goals first.
Once I have those goals broken down into what quarters I think I might want to work on them, I take them a month at a time. So in my monthly planning, which I will talk more about next week when I introduce you to my Bullet Journal, I set my goals for each month. In David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, he talks about how anything that requires more than one step is actually a project, so what I actually create is a monthly project list. This is all the things I hope to achieve in a given month.
From this list, as I do my weekly planning, I then list out the next actions I need to take in order to complete those projects. Each week I pull items from my monthly project list that I want to work on, based on what other priorities I have going on that week, and I put them on my weekly planning page. Then, I create a Next Action page, and list all the next actions that need to happen to move those projects forward. Sometimes I list two or three next actions for a project, sometimes it’s just one. Some projects might get done in a week, some might take a whole month, and some get moved forward month to month. The goal, however, is that there are always actions happening that move the projects forward. If not, I still know what projects are on my horizon, and I can make the choice not to deal with them.
I keep my writing and blogging goals in a separate Bullet Journal, but I deal with them in a similar manner. At the start of the year, I created a list of goals I wanted to achieve by the end of the year. Notice the list is much smaller. I knew that with a heavy course load of school work, the time I had to work on these goals would be limited. My original goal was to launch this blog in January. As you can see, it took a lot more time to bring that plan together, but it does not mean I didn’t meet my goal. I just met at at a later date.
For these goals, I created a different layout. I wanted to track my next actions, by quarter, and my accomplishments as well. This way at the end of the year, instead of looking back and saying, yes, I crossed off all my to-do, I could celebrate my achievements. Some of the items on my accomplishment list were not on my goal list, and that makes them even nicer to keep track of, as these are the kinds of things I would be likely to forget.
Next week, I will introduce you to Bullet Journaling, along with my favorite supplies, and my favorite sources of inspiration, so be sure to check back.
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