Caffeine…haha! Just kidding…sort of…
There are certain things I do to track my goals or to do’s that help me to maintain focus and get back on track if I get derailed. Here are five things that are always at the top of my list!
Write it Down!
I am a big fan of to do lists and writing things down. The primary reason for this is anxiety reduction. When we carry all of our to do’s in our brain it can increase our anxiety because we get worried we will forget something. If you write it down in a safe place that you don’t have to worry because you will know exactly where to look to address the next step or ‘to do’ on your list.
I highly recommend finding a paper (paper can’t be ‘accidentally’ deleted) planner or notebook where you can keep ALL appointments and lists. This way you know it’s all in one place. Finding materials and creating a system that works for you specifically, is extremely important when trying to maintain or regain focus on your goals.
There are many different ways to prioritize your goals and the various steps that come with them. You may need to prioritize them based on time sensitivity, by ease or difficulty, and even based on your energy level (more on this later). As I mentioned before, have a location where your entire task list is kept and revisit it everyday to select your daily priorities. I recommend selecting three items. I recommend three because it is enough to help you feel accomplished at the end of the day, even if you only check one item off the list, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed. It’s also important to remember that three is not the limit. If you have completed your three items and have the time and capacity to do more choose one thing at a time, do not remake a new priority list.
Additionally, if you are unable to complete the three priorities move whatever is left over to the next day’s priority list and DO NOT put pressure on yourself for not getting all three done. Even if you only get one completed a third of your daily list was done and two completed is more than 50% of your to do’s done for the day. Life happens and sometimes our goals get derailed and we have to trust the timing of it.
Adjust As Needed
If a goal no longer fits or makes sense, a timeline is missed, or a priority task in not completed…ADJUST! It is absolutely ok to change the timeline or shift your goal to something that makes more sense as you learn what you are working towards.
One thing you can absolutely trust is that life will get in the way and you will have to change course. But if you know that going into it and you can trust yourself to adjust and keep growing, there will be no stopping you!
Observe Your Energy
We all have off days. I have talked with many clients, in addition to doing this myself, about scaling your energy level and how much energy a task will take on a scale of zero to ten. For example, if you are having an energy level 3 day don’t try to tackle a level 9 task. Conversely, if you are having an energy level 9 day don’t put three level 9 tasks on the priority list. Maybe put one level 4 and two level 3’s. break it down so you won’t feel completely drained when you are done with your day. It is important to remember if you put three level 9 tasks on your to do list and only get one done when those other two transfer to the next day and your energy level is a 4 you could run into feelings of defeat and like you are not able to get anything done.
Don’t do that to yourself! Observe your energy and use it wisely.
Give Yourself Permission to Miss the Mark
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes our goals and tasks need to be adjusted. Give yourself permission to make changes without feeling like you should have gotten it right the first time. That is not how goals work. More often than not we set a goal and have to change it for the better because we find that our capacity for completion and growth is bigger than we every imagined. Let the miss be a message that you are on the right path and the adjustments show all of the amazing things you are capable of.
Stay tuned for upcoming goal workshops if you are interested in more support on goal setting and management!!