Mixing work with the tonic of everyday life often borders on chaotic.
A not so linear path is an average “day in the life.”
Fortune 500 executive, painter, blogging wunderkind; they all have something in common.
A meandering, fun, but often torturous path.
A zig-zag route where goals are left to wither on the vine.
Big goals. You know, those fat feats you swear you ARE going to accomplish in 2013?
Rigid must-dos that don’t jibe with your sometimes topsy-turvy days and weeks.
How’d they work out for you in 2012?
I thought so.
We often set gargantuan goals without planning the small, actionable steps needed to achieve them.
But even if you plan those baby steps, there’s a big, fat problem. It gets back to our wiring, the craziness of life and all those other brains we engage with daily.
This stuff kinda complicates things. But again, that’s a “day in the life,” right?
In our kinetic, daily bump and grind, big dreams slide into the abyss and a year later you’re wondering, “what the hell happened?”
Been there. So done that.
But you know what? I think your goal-setting solution is anything by complicated.
Why? Well it’s more about creating good habits and eliminating bad ones.
And guess what? A few simple changes have increased my productivity 1,001%, or something like that.
So what do I do?
Well, I’ve embraced some habits that have frankly been a godsend. And if you feel stuck or you’re not seeing those big goals through, I dare you to try the following …
1. Chuck out your mega-list, now!
You heard me. Your colossal, end of year wish list. The one with too many goals.
I used to create lists and then lists for those lists. Big goals. Small goals. Short- and long-term goals.
Daily. Weekly. Monthly. Yearly.
It’s exhausting just thinking about it! Seriously.
I tried everything from “Zen to Done” to that David Allen insanity.
After years of this crap, I realized that just about every goal-setting method resulted in one iteration after another of the good old list. Each a massive waste of time. Especially that giant year-end wish list.
So I “tossed” those time-wasters in the bin.
Again, life is a jumble, and at the end of the year, that monster list stares back at you mockingly, calling you the equivalent of a “Lilliputian, underachieving donkey!”
If you need to write down your goals, you have too many and your list will mock you, daily.
Hey I’m all for planning, but over-planning is unrealistic and can ultimately annihilate your spirit. Plus life is not a to-do list.
2. Instead, focus on how you would like to feel; at the end of today, this week, this month. Visualize that happy camper you want to be. It’s not as nebulous as you think.
Realize that a fat ol’ batch of rigorous boxes to tick won’t mesh with life and the way you process things.
Or better yet, commit a few big ambitions to memory. Your goals will become a mind-set, because you’ll be living them daily. This is how you make those big leaps.
Again, think about how you would like to feel when these big feats are realized.
3. And then kill the bad habits with a short Not-Do list.
I know there is nothing original about a Not-Do list, but they work. Make your own and burn that into your cranium. Then make those not-dos habits.
My results? More sleep. Less time wasted. More productive. Less stressed. Way more creative.
And I’ve stopped feeling like an underachieving donkey.
I’m a reformed self-help, productivity junkie. But since I’ve chucked the mega-list, I’ve felt like the most productive citizen on the planet.
I have a complicated life (we all do), so why should your unrealistic lists smother you?
Just give this simple, but effective plan a shot …
1. Set several big goals and simply embed them in your noodle. They become a frame of mind that drives what you do.
Those to-dos? Save them for individual jobs.
2. Visualize where you want to be and realize “You Can.” You’ve heard the phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy” right?
Of course this doesn’t always work, but simplified goals and ingrained affirmations sure as hell won’t hurt. Nor will a good old sustained effort.
3. Instill good habits and work daily to kill the bad ones.
One bad habit: my compulsive list making routine, has bitten the dust.
Stop overwhelming yourself and you soon might eclipse past feats.
Think big, but simplify.
Why not try it and see where it takes you? 1,001 percent ain’t bad, right? …