Today is the last day of elementary school for my youngest child. It is bittersweet. Things are changing, things are ending. It is time for some new direction, new opportunities, new goals. And that, is right up my alley.
I confess to being a goal and list junkie. I am seduced by free apps for my smartphone that offer me faster, more intuitive ways to plan my time. I love notebooks that offer organizing systems. I adore those New Year’s Resolution blog posts that spring up every January.
About a year and a half ago I started taking my goal setting seriously. I started planning a new series of goals in seven areas of life every twelve weeks. Each week, on Sunday afternoon, I think about what I will do during the upcoming week to move me closer to my objectives. I decide on three tasks and write them down. Jack Canfield, of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame, has a great printable sheet on his website that I like to use.
I’m also a big fan of to-do lists. Sometimes I make one on an index card, dividing it in half. On one side I write down three or four things I absolutely promise myself I will accomplish that day. On the other half, I place the same number of things I would like the universe to deliver to me. I find if I honor the commitments on my half, the universe tends to be obliging.
One of my very favorite lists has kind of a reverse approach. Lists are often made by compiling tasks with the idea that completing them will help you arrive a a better feeling place. I like to make lists based on what I want to feel and then decide which efforts will get me there. For example, if I want to feel connected I will call or write to a friend. If I want to feel healthy and energized I will make a point to take a walk and to drink sixty-four ounces of water that day.
This strategy helps with even the most dreaded tasks. I’ve noticed usually I can’t access the feelings I want to experience if something unpleasant is hanging over my head. More often than not, I add things I’ve been procrastinating to the list in order to feel accomplished, or freed up, or triumphant.
How about you? Are you a goal setting list maker too?
I’m a big list maker, even at 3 AM. If I jot down that one thing I need to remember, I can go back to sleep. If I don’t, I might stay awake for hours trying not to forget it! But I haven’t tried the reverse list idea, Jessie. Intriguing.
I’m an inveterate list-maker and goal-setter, too, Jessie. Similar to to your reverse goals, I do top-down goals–ie start with the big picture and then break it down to the steps you need to get there. One of many hold-overs from my corporate to my writing life.
I find making lists in that reverse fashion reframes things in a way that adds value to how I spend my time. And I have more fun too!
Jessie, this is great! I am always looking for new ways to manage my time, since I tend to both procrastinate and overwhelm myself. Love Jack Canfield and will definitely check out these worksheets.
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