Monday, January 31, 2011

Creating the Life You Want, Checking in on Goals, Creating Workable To Do Lists

 So its January 31st and your wondering where the first 31 days of this calender year have gone and why you aren't living the life you want to be.   You know what you are not alone in that, these simple tips and suggestions are ones that I have used successfully in the pursuit of the life I want.

Your probably wondering, where to starts, well now is the perfect time to on your goals.  See where you are at and where you are heading in the new year.  It is a good time to change anything you disliked about the first month of the calendar year.  It is important to do check-ins, like this so you are living the life you want...

Socrates said it best:  "An Unexamined life is not worth living."

Let's start with a check in, on where we currently are at.   This isn't rocket science, it doesn't have to be complicated or hard.  Depending on your personality, it doesn't even have to be a written down evaluation.  One of the easiest ways I have found is to keep a notebook handy and got things down as they occur for about a week, before reviewing for changes.

The following is a list of 5 questions I use to do a basic check in:

1.)  Do you know what are your goals for this year?

2.)  Have you done anything towards reaching those goals.

3.)  Is there something you would like to change about the last 30 days?

4.)  Do you have control over what you would like to change in the last 30 days?   
      This one is really important, because knowing what we have control over and what we do not, helps us adjust our days.   It also alleviates the stress when you want to change things you have no control over.

5.)  Our your goals realistic?  Or does severity of need make them unrealistic, but must achieve anyway.
     Again having a realistic view of the priority and need of your goals, will help you achieve the goals in a timely and practical manner.  Sometimes we have to take it up a step when the goal is unrealistic, but necessary to achieve in an untimely manner.   Knowing this too will help you adjust and avoid stress.

Now that you have answered the above questions, your probably wondering, I have my list how am I going to accomplish this?    That is easy, this is where the all important To Do Lists come in.   I realize everyone isn't a list person, but here are some good tips of why they are important and how they can assist you in achieving the life you want.  Both Tina and I are list people, so using a to do list is second nature to me.   It helps keep you organized, focused and in control of your time.

1.)   Daily To Do List --- You want to have a daily to do list.  This covers things that have to be done or you would like to do every day.   Having a framework will allow you to see a more realistic view of the time you have to reach your goals.   It is also a good check and balance to make sure you are enjoying the journey, while you work towards your desires.

2.)  Uncontrollable ---  this is not really a to do list per say, because they are not things you are doing.  But I find that having a list as a reminder of the time eaters that I have no control over, helps me keep perspective, when I am frustrated at not being able to work on reaching my goals and am behind.

3.)  Short Term Goals ---  This is a list of items that you would like to accomplish in the next 6 months.  Whether it be more time with friends, less time spent working, more time spent outdoors, setting up a garden or paying off a bill, whatever it is.

3a.)  Now review your Short Term Goal list for the realistic achievement of them.

4.)  Medium Term Goals ---  This is a list of items that you would like to see happen, but will take 6 months to two years to accomplish.  

5.)  Long Term Goals ---  Anything that will take 2 years or longer to accomplish.

The next step is to prioritize the items on each list. 

This is the hard part, because our desires are usually counter to our responsibilities.
Start by reviewing the larger projects and breaking them down into smaller stepping stone steps.

Review each list separately and assign a priority code.  You can use anything that works for you.

I use the following simple alpha notation:

"A"  Have to do   
"B"  Should do 
"C"  Would like to do
"D"  Could Do

Most of the time you will see people only recommend a three step prioritization, I have found the 4 step to work better for me.   Mostly because the three step really doesn't allow for the personal stuff.  For me "C" is more often than not top priority, it just becomes a matter of managing &/or eliminating the "A" and "B's" to accommodate.   And well my "D" list from last year is still worked on, so they really are items that only need to be worked on when time allows.

Having your list done allows you to complete task while freeing up time, memory and keeping the clutter down from working on multiple projects in a frenzy.    Now, your set move forth on to living the life you want to be livings.  But before you go, Do you have any tips to share, that help you accomplish your goals and achieving the living of the life you dreamed about?

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