(Author’s Note: This is the last in a series of three posts on goal settings. If you missed the first two check out the links embedded in the post!)
I have been receiving some good questions about goal setting and the process of goal setting. I think the topic is often talked about but rarely implemented. I know that even as I write this post, I will tell you the process I am using, but know that it’s not perfect. And, I’m definitely far from perfect in my execution of this stuff. Again, I am just a learner on this journey just like everyone else. But here is what I am learning.
When I have attempted to set goals in the past, I would either write really weak goals that you couldn’t track, or I would write them, never look at them again, and within a few days forget about them. The point of having goals is to give us direction in our daily activities toward our future plans. If our goals are not informing and shaping our daily decisions in the present they might as well not be written at all. Goals act as a guide toward the future we are creating. They must be reviewed regularly in the present, because the present is where our future is shaped. That was deep! So, for most of my life, I was not a good goal setter. I still am a novice at best. I have gone over why goals are important and how to write effective goals, but the review process is just as critical. This is the step most people who write goals (which according to the research is 3% of Americans), neglect. So, if only 3% of Americans are writing goals, how many are actually tracking them and using them regularly? Hopefully, all 3%, but in the conversations I’ve been having it seems that I was the rule and not the exception. Here are the 3 parts of my goal review process.
1. Read Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan e-book. This e-book has been the blueprint for my weekly review time. He has a section on defining your goals which I didn’t use as much because I had done most of that when reading, The Compound Effect. However, if you haven’t done that, it has a process right there. I did use the life plan writing activities. It was useful and is the basis of my review time. It takes your goals and puts them in a context. It’s more a future story you’re telling yourself every time you review it. It is time consuming at first. But if you do the work at the front end, it minimizes the work you have to do on the back end.
2. Review Your Goals Weekly at the Same Time. This has been a struggle for me. Michael Hyatt recommends reviewing your goals Sunday night and planning for the week. I seem to have stuff going on Sunday night, but have had success Sunday mornings. Whenever it is, this is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the review process. Put it on your calendar like any other appointment. Trust me, if you don’t write it on your schedule, you will skip it (I know from personal experience).
3. Schedule Your Week on Google Calendar. I have my Google calendar synced to my iPhone. So, on Sunday, I go over my goals and then write in as many things as I can that will help me reach those goals. I schedule my workouts, meetings,cooking times, time to read and study, and even times to write notes, and call people to tell them I’m thinking about them. The more I can schedule, the easier it is to stay on course with my goals. Again, its not perfect, but its a good start. I get a lot more done when I am doing this regularly. Honestly, this is a better version of Darren Hardy’s Weekly Rhythm Register.
Again, I am not claiming that this is the best process out there. This is just the best process I am using and having success with. If you have other ideas that are working, I would love to hear about them.