A Needy Helper reader recently asked me to share my goals process with them, so over the next few posts this is what I will attempt to do. To make the information easier to digest I will take you through my own personal process for creating and completing my goals for 2012.
We live in a world of instant gratification. Everybody wants everything completed yesterday and the world seems to move just so damn fast. With this in mind everyone is going to need a little help and the first point of call should be your mind.
To ensure that my mind is on the case, I schedule a few days in December for reflection and contemplation. By taking the time to do this exercise, you allow your sub-conscious mind to get on with the formulation of goal achieving plans while you consciously do the same. The way I see it, this process allows my mind to do double the work. While I am consciously thinking about goals, my mind is also sub-consciously thinking about them. I think about a lot of things, but there are three questions that I spend some considerable time thinking about.
1. What went right in the previous year?
2. What went wrong in the previous year?
3. What goals have I set for the following year?
To help this process become even more proficient I make sure that I document my goals success and failures in fine detail. I also have a list where I collate ideas for goals for the forthcoming year.
There are six different areas of my life that must align with my life purpose, and during my planning stage I think of ways of challenging myself in each of these categories. The outputs of these plans are my core goals. Here are my six specific categories:
During my period of reflection and contemplation, my ideas will start to flow from sub-conscious to conscious thought, and this where the ideas are recorded. As you move through the years you become much better at estimating the workload you can handle in a year. This is important because there is nothing more demoralising than setting unattainable goals.
CHUNKING IT DOWN
Once I have set my categorised goals I have a brainstorming session to chunk the work down. The outcome is a record of the necessary steps it will take to complete each goal. These steps are then entered into my M.O.N.E.Y list system and each week I go through this list and plan the week ahead. Once I have completed all of my actions contained in the M=Money list I then move onto the O=Objectives list. This makes sure that I am always planning activities in line with my goals. It’s a classic case of taking baby steps towards the finality of achievement.
Last year I decided to go through this process with my partner. If you are in a relationship with someone you love, then you will have a wonderfully enriching relationship if you share similar goals. By sharing goals you can help hold each other accountable for achieving them. Accountability, especially to someone you love and respect, really does help you to succeed.
To make sure that I am keeping on track with my workload, or if necessary, change some of my goals, I hold a quarterly review. Once again I complete this review with my partner because I feel the additional accountability really aspires me to achieve more.
This entire process is recorded on a simple excel spreadsheet. Each time I complete a piece of work relating to a goal I record the evidence on this sheet. Each day when I complete my Thinking Journal I assess how much daily work I have done in line with my goals, and I use this list as a reference. Last, but not least, I also record the details of my 3-monthly review on this same spreadsheet.
So this is my goals process. Do you have any questions? Do you have a better system you would like to share? In my next blog post I will share my 2012 goals with you and then move on to my first quarterly review.
The inspiration to write this blog post actually came from a reader of this blog. Reader’s feedback is an excellent way of creating blog post material; after all it is your readers that you are providing the content for in the first place.
Photo courtesy of Sean MacEntee (cc @ Flickr.com)