Annual goals are a bit different than a New Year’s Resolution. I’m not talking the “I’m not going to do x this year” or whatever you might have stated. Goals give you a target, an endpoint, toward making your dreams come true.
I’ve been using Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner as both a goal tracker, and progress tracker, for almost a year now. Writing down your goals is not enough though. Actually chipping away by defining next steps and working your systems is essential to reaching those goals.
When it comes to setting up those systems, they may vary depending on the goal. For example, one of my goals is a habit goal of practicing French on Duolingo at least 4 times a week. I purposefully did not establish a number of minutes for this goal knowing that my time availability will vary and so it is more about the consistency of getting into Duolingo at least every other day. So my system for doing this? I leave early enough to pick my son up from his lacrosse practice to know that I’ll arrive at least 10 minutes early. Then, I sit in my car and do Duolingo lessons on my phone until his practice lets out. Some days he might wrap up a little early and I might only get in one lesson. Other days practice might go a big long and I get in a good 20 minutes. But when I arrive and park my car, I know my next action is to open up Duolingo and use that time wisely!
When it comes to more of an accomplishment based goal, I’ve adjusted my process for tracking and monitoring my progress. One of the systems I’ve put in place is the use of my Full Focus Planner. At the beginning of the quarter, I update the annual goals list found in the front of the planner. I refer back to that list every week when I do my planning to see what I can do that week to reach my goals.
Then on Sundays, I do an assessment of my week. I make myself a cup of tea when I first get up and sit down with my planner to review what worked and didn’t work from the week before, and what I have coming up in the next week. I’ve refined over time and gotten a better understanding of how much progress I can realistically expect to make week to week.
I make my plan for the week looking at what the next steps are that I can realistically tackle. When I first started using the system, I wasn’t perfect. Heck, even now a year in, there are days I totally miss my system. Or I have to shift my weekly planning to Monday.
Each morning the first thing I do is take out my planner and establish my three most important tasks for the day. On most days I try to have those focus on tasks that will help me reach my goals and those are the items that must get done. I also jot down other tasks I may want to complete that days (I use Nozbe to keep a running personal task list, Monday.com for client tasks for one client, and Trello for a running task list with another client so it is helpful to consolidate down into one list for the day).
And by making THIS a habit, many other parts of my day are very habit driven and I know I’m continuing to move forward. For example, my mornings have a standard cadence:
|Drink a Tea
|Feel Prepared for Day
|Review Planner, Calendar, To-Do List
|Feel Ready for the Day
|Kids Get on School Bus
|Connection with Husband
|Sit on the porch for 30 minutes to discuss our day, week, problems, successes
|Feel more connected emotionally
|Dog is watching me intently
|Take Dog for a walk (or if raining, she’ll follow me to watch me on the Peloton, LOL)
|Clear mind and feeling good for activity.
|Returned from Walk
|Get to office in a timely manner
|Get ready and get out the door with my packed bag in minimal time.
|Listen to podcasts or audio books in the car
What systems or habits do you have in place to help you reach or exceed your goals?