Woohoo! Step 1 accomplished, getting started is always the hardest part, while the second hardest is keeping it going. I’ve found that what has helped me stay focused on my blog was planning ahead and coming up with a clear idea on what I wanted my blog to be about and what I wanted my posting schedule to be like. This planning ahead also led me to doing something that I’d always failed at completing which was setting up some goals for myself that I want to accomplish within the next year.
I’ve always found goal setting to be somewhat tricky to do and stick to and I feel as if there are a few reasons why. “Life”/Something unexpected inevitably happens and we either get tired, or give up because the result we want isn’t happening quickly enough, or sometimes as we get wiser our goals change and then our plans just fall by the wayside. Another common blocker that occurs is we verbalize/put our goals in writing which feels great only to never take the first step to completing them. After a bit of research and some “soul-searching” I’ve decided to take a more structured approach in setting my goals (which took me about a day and a half to complete). My research led me to see that there were a few flaws to my previous goal setting attempts as it did not follow a process i.e. there was no structure to it. I found several references that many businesses use to the SMART model which I feel can be applied at the personal level as well, whatever your goals may be. SMART:
Specific – Detailing exactly what you are going to do and when and how it will be achieved. This helps to make crystal clear in your mind what it is that you want to achieve and gives you a direction on how you are going to do it.
Measurable – This allows you to see the progress you are making over time no matter how small which will encourage you to keep going as the benefits are recognizable.
Acheivable – Is the goal that you have chosen possible given your current state and means?
Realistic – Do you have the tools necessary to achieve this goal? Is it feasible for you or is it a large undertaking given the level that you are currently on? Sometimes its better to learn how to crawl before trying to walk straightaway.
Time-bound – Having a time frame of when to achieve this goal by. This is something that I have always been adamant about not doing, but the truth is if you have a clear target time in sight the harder you will work to achieve that goal.
I applied this model to each of the goals that I set and just winged my own formula for coming up exactly what my goals and objectives were.
On one side of a sheet of paper I listed roughly 30 things that I wanted to accomplish within 1 year not caring whether some of those items were similar or not. I then grouped together like-minded achievements/objectives (using different colors to help separate them) that could be connected to the same theme. I then fleshed out the “themes” which allowed me to get an idea of what it was that I really wanted to accomplish. A benefit of the list that I created was that I was able to spot/come up with different objectives that I could perform which would allow me to complete my goals. These objectives are both measurable and attainable and will be able to assist me on my journey. Under these objectives there are also little sub-tasks that I’ve set aside for myself to tick off once I have accomplished it. I liken this to adventure game/anime where there are a series of things that you have to accomplish or obtain in order to assist you in beating the “big bad” to attempt to make it more fun for me.
Without further ado, here are my 3 biggest goals and a few of my objectives:
- Minimize Procrastination (Time-frame: 1 year)
- Steadily become more accountable with the tasks that have to be done to achieve your goals and check up on these tasks weekly to ensure I am on track. (Target time frame: 1 year)
- Conquer the causes that are at the root of my procrastination on a weekly/monthly basis until they are gone, e.g. stress, etc. (Target time frame: 3 – 6 months)
- Become more Efficient at Time Management (Time-frame: 1 year)
- Come up with a clear plan and goals you want to achieve (Completed). Conquer your goals (Target time frame: 1 year).
- Get rid of bad habits over time and replace them with healthy habits to make your day/week/month/year more productive). (Target time frame: 2 – 12 months).
- Be more of a “Doer” instead of a Viewer (Time-frame: 3 months– 1 year)
- Do something that I’m interested in at least once or twice a week to become more adept at naturally doing the things that I want to do. (Starting now)
- Build my confidence by doing something that scares me once a month. (Target time frame: 1 year)
While it was a bit difficult to come up with ways to measure my progress as these goals are more for personal change and growth, I came up with a system that I will follow. Previously I used schedules and planners to no avail to try to track my progress at being efficient at time management or completing my goals. Currently I will be using my blog as a tracker, I’ve also began using a blank notebook to set a plan for my day, note down any achievements, how I feel completing certain tasks, failures, etc. Many of the sub-tasks that I’ve set for myself (which I have not noted down in this blog) I have already begun to complete so that I can share what has worked and what hasn’t. I am also accepting tips and tricks from anyone who has gone through my situation and come out on the other side in order to gain a different perspective.