We’re over three quarters of the way through one of the most testing years there ever has been.
Whether you shelved some 2020 goals and plans entirely or shifted them back a year, the countdown to the next year feels like a countdown like no other.
We have compiled a series of tips on how to get the most out of your goals for the year ahead – where to start with goal setting and planning and how, taking one step at a time, can lead to great things.
These things have worked for us – we hope they work for you too.
SET YOURSELF MONTHLY GOALS and write them down – they can be stand-alone or part of a bigger plan.
BREAK YOUR MONTHLY GOAL(S) INTO SMALLER, MORE MANAGEABLE CHUNKS for each week (the big stuff can seem overwhelming – breaking it all down will give you smaller, tangible chunks to work through and help you to stay on track).
FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND – starting can be the hardest part. What’s the first thing you need to do to begin that first weekly achievable task? Be realistic and kind to yourself here. The first task might just be writing the task down in your planner. The second task might be planning what you can do today to move it forward. For example - undertake research online; ask friends/colleagues for contacts who may be able to help with a task. These steps are the building blocks to your achievement. Some may be micro-steps. But they still count.
TAKE TIME TO THINK ABOUT AND PLAN EACH DAY, either the night before or first thing in the morning – it makes all the difference. Keep a notebook by the bed (for those pesky thoughts that flash into your head as it touches the pillow). Write the thoughts down rather than tapping it into your phone – it’s better for you before going to sleep and, it has been proved that writing is better at locking things in your memory than typing.
BE REALISTIC WITH WHAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE IN A DAY. Don’t over pack your day with to-dos or you’ll end up feeling down on yourself for not getting things done (see point three again). Map it all out so you know how many steps are involved in the process – we can tend to skip over details and when we don’t factor them in to our planning, but inevitably have to do them anyway, it can make us feel off-track when actually, we’ve probably achieved a lot).
WRITE OUT YOUR SCHEDULE AND YOUR TO-DOs FOR THE DAY (don’t forget to carry over from yesterday if necessary). Life still happens around the bigger plans – there’s laundry to do; calls to make; shopping to pick up; runs to go on. Write it all down.
PRIORITISE YOUR TOP TO-DOs. Set yourself your three top priorities and focus on getting them done each day no matter what. One of these might be the niggly stack of paper on the counter-top that keeps bothering you out of the corner of your eye… you know you’ll feel so much better when the stack is cleared. Put it on your to-do list. The end of day you will thank you for it.
DON'T FORGET TO INCLUDE WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO YOU – exercise, family time, meal planning – to maintain a balanced, productive and healthy lifestyle. You are more than just a list of tasks and a productivity machine. You are a brilliant human being with so much to give to the world. Take time for you and yours and make that part of your planning.
If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us it’s this.
All plans are worthwhile. No matter how big or small.
Some of the bigger stuff may have been off the table so far this year but, the smaller stuff – the meeting a friend for kerbside coffee; the note to buy your mum some flowers; the plans to take the kids out for a walk; the training programme you probably wouldn’t have had time to sign up to before; the places you discover when you take a new walking route – these plans matter too.
Take joy in planning the little things as well as the big. They make a difference too.
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