An Easy Way to Stay on Top of Goals and Actually Get Stuff Done
There is simply too much to do, yes?
I’m guessing almost everyone can relate to that statement. So what have you tried to make it all work?
Have you tried planners, new organization programs, goal-setting, resolutions, even apps that are supposed to help? And then you got excited about the new program and started off with a an enthusiastic bang, only to lose your resolve when things started to pile up? Yeah, me too.
This is a favorite subject for me personally because I have a lot to juggle. I’ve read and studied about various methods of organizing and prioritizing tasks, and have tried quite a few of them. There is definitely a lot of good advice out there.
That said, I have come up with something quite simple that I use, and that works for me, and I want to share it with you. I call it the “3-Goal Week”.
The 3-Goal Week
- Every Sunday, I write down 3 things a want to accomplish over the next 7 days. That means by midnight on the following Saturday. Only 3.
- Then I write the actions required to get those three things done, and I schedule each action on my calendar.
- Every night I look at my calendar for the next day to prime myself for what needs to be done. Then I sleep on it. I check the calendar again in the morning, make any revisions, and then complete the actions listed on that day.
- By the end of the week, my 3 things have been completed and my goals are met. It feels great!
Why Only 3?
I’m a list maker and I love to plan out goals and objectives and write out task lists. The problem is that the longer the list and the more elaborate the plans, the less likely I will be to follow through. If the list is too long in the time period I’ve allotted, then I will fail to complete everything.
I had to come up with something realistic and doable, and accomplishing only 3 things worked.
When choosing the 3 goals I want to reach, I go through a series of questions in my head to make sure I won’t overload myself and up the chances for failure.
Here’s what you need to consider:
1. Can I really accomplish this goal in the time I’ve allotted for doing it?
Be realistic about this. Make a goal that doesn’t require too much time, or doesn’t have so many action steps that you will only get to some of them.
It may take you a few try’s to really get good at making the right choice about what you can do in one week. These goals should be small action goals that you can finish, even if unexpected things come up to get in your way.
2. Have I made the goal actionable by creating a step by step task list?
If your goal is a single action goal, then you’re ahead. Most likely, there are several actions that need to be done to reach the goal, and the key is to break down the goal into as many single actions as necessary to get it done.
3. Are the tasks (actions) on my calendar?
Making the goal is is important, but having them scheduled is what ensures success. Put each action on your calendar. Be specific. Put it in the time slot most likely to work, and then follow through.
You can use any kind of calendar you want, but it should be one you look at. I use my Google calendar because it comes up on my phone, iPad, and computer, and I get automatic reminders.
4. Is my plan simple enough to follow without overwhelming me?
Make sure your goals are fairly easy to accomplish. These are not big goals like writing a book. These are goals more like writing 3 pages, or walking three times this week 2 miles each time, or making a dental appointment that has been hanging over your head.
These goals can be smaller parts of a larger goal, and often are. By doing them you get closer to your big goal.
Why This Works
Some people can handle more goals in a week, and maybe you can too. Even so, problems arise when you set yourself up for more than you can handle, and then fail to follow through. The more you do that, the more you break down your resolve and the easier it is for you to ditch the plan.
Conversely, when you accomplish just 3 things every week, you build momentum. You are exercising your ability to make plans and follow through, and the more successful you are at it, the stronger your resolve becomes. You become confident that you can get on top of things, and your general level of stress recedes.
If you happen to accomplish more than your 3 designated goals, bravo! Be careful though. Don’t start piling on more each week. Stick to the 3 goals per week plan, and when you occasionally knock out 5, just feel good about it.
One Last Thing
As already mentioned, make sure that the goals you choose are not mammoth in size and scope. These are three small goals that you know you can accomplish, even if other things come up during the week unexpectedly that will take up extra time.
The key is creating small, doable, actionable goals you can meet without a lot of strain or stress. Then follow through and accomplish them.
Over a year, how many goals will you accomplish? Let’s take 4 weeks off just for fun and relaxation. That means you’ll complete 144 small goals! That’s a lot!!!
If you knew you could accomplish 144 small goals this year, then you could do just about anything you have a mind to in 2016.
To get started, tell me the first 3 goals you are going to accomplish during the first week of 2016. You’ll be making your goal list and actions by Sunday night, January 3rd, and you’ll begin on Monday, January 4th. Let’s hear them. The more people who respond, the better, because it will give everyone some ideas about what people are doing and what they want to accomplish, and what kinds of goals will work.