It is a well-known concept that if you want to build up a habit do it over a period of 30 days. I use a daily goals table at the beginning of each week to keep track of things I want to do everyday (mainly habits I am trying to develop).
The key is keep it simple: I just sketch out a rough grid putting days at the top, goals at the side and tick them off.
On the following pages I then set out my objectives for the week. 3 or 4 things that will help me on my way. For example:
Goal: To make more friends at work
- Lunch – eat lunch with different people as often as possible.
- chat with everyone – attempt to learn one new thing about everyone (and remember it)
- attend / organise a social
- join an internal club/group/organisation
You should try to plan you week. Take half an hour at the beginning of the week to think about what you want/can achieve. It is not a to-do list you don’t need to get everything done. If you don’t get it done try again the next week – it is more about making progress towards your ultimate goals – how fast you get there is up to you these objectives are just to guide you.
Last time, I asked you to scribble down what your long term goals are.
No thinking required, just inspiration.
Today we are going to review this. Firstly most people will have two sets of long term goals: personal goals and career aspirations. For some people these go hand in hand, other people keep them completely separate.
Think about what is important to you: achievements, values, and dreams. I can’t tell you what these are, but to help you get started – think about the following in 2 contexts – within the next couple of years and in 20 years.
- Education / training
- Significant Other and Children
- Family (parents, siblings)
- Hobbies, recreation and “Life” part of work/life balance
- Material possessions
So get your thinking cap on.
This is the “deluxe journal” from Roger La Borde and is part of the First Press brand. This notebook I got in the sale was one of 2 similar floral designs. The second in a green colour is still advertised on their website.
It is printed and bound in china on paper from managed forests using vegetable based inks and bagged in biodegradable cello.
The pages are all brightly coloured, with vibrant and bold patterns following throughout. See some examples below:
Can’t get more pretty than this.
The paper is thick. Easy to write on and compact. I use this as my dumping journal, so it travels around in my bag and I write draft blog posts, to-do lists and all thoughts that pop into my head while commuting. Usually I use an exercise book for such things, but this is a welcome change.
They’ve not updated the Royal Mail Stamp List yet, but it has been announced that the animated characters Wallace & Gromit will appear on the upcoming Christmas Stamps (on Sale 2 Nov). Much more fun than the choice last year.
image credit: Creative review
Sapiens Notebook is the series on notebooks with leather cover inspired by renaissance ones, used by Leonardo, Raffaello and Galileo.
This tidy compact notebook is made in Italy. The image of the Vitruvian Man etched on the cover and a wonderful real leather smell, makes it very attractive.
With a tough exterior and a tight wrap-a-round fasten, it keeps together nicely in your bag and is well protected. The downside, the notebook doesn’t lie flat and it can be a bit of a battle, but I am hoping this will ease with use. The pages are plain and thick (I”m not sure of the actual quality but they do not bleed) as there is even a toughened feel to the paper.
But all in all a stylish, sleek book that you won’t be embarrassed to be carrying around and in many ways I”m sure for some people a competitor to Moleskine: not as thin, but just as small, well protected, good paper and nice for a change.
So, you have your notebook to hand.
Ask yourself: What do I want to get out of this journal? and make a few decisions before you get started.
- Personal or professional life or both?
My goals journal is not just about career development. It is about maintaining a work/life balance in my rather busy life, and creating a more regular personal routine aka me time and fun time.
- Style of journal – and goal targets/review
Consider – how often are you going to review your goals? and how are your targets going to be presented? The intention for this style of journal was to be a weekly one as discussed in my earlier post. (and you will see examples of this later). But it is entirely up to you as an individual whether the weekly goal with daily checklist is suitable for your needs. You may prefer a more rigid, dated structure to a free-flowing one.
- Motivation for long-term goals?
My intentions for my notebook are to have long-term goals, which the weekly ones which build up to this. Are you someone motivated by eyeing up the long-term goal or are you put off by the feeling that you won’t get there instantaneously and give up because you are “getting nowhere”?
The first type of person whose long-term goals motivates them to do the “little things” will be best using these long-term goals in their notebook. The second type of person who is more likely to throw in the towel at the thought of such goals is better to leave these out (after the first goal decisions), and focus on the weekly goals and getting satisfaction out of those achievements.
Decisions made about the notebook and the content style. Now for the hard bit, the goals themselves.
Ask yourself: What are my goals?
Open the notebook and scribble down your mission statement/long-term goals. As it stands now! These are going on the first page. You can choose to give as much thought or as little thought into this as you want (we will review this next time). This is just getting thoughts on paper, as sometimes the unplanned, first-into-my-head ideas are the best.
Image via Wikipedia
…and this month it is hosted by Office Supply Geek.
A fine choice of posts this month but make sure you check out:
Time for another “uses for notebooks” posting. I talked before about How to keep a Career Log. A Career log has been of more use when job-hunting, and when you move jobs frequently. It captures the highlights!!
But what if you want to track you goals / career progression in a current job or company?
This is where a goal journal is much more handy.
Why Keep a Goals Journal? (and not a Career log)
- If you don’t want to be doing the same thing day in and day out but actually want to make a difference to your job this is the journal you need.
- If you want a bit more structure to your “long-term goals” and actually want to put them to paper.
- If you don’t quite need a progress journal (written daily/job hunting) but need more than a career log (reviewed monthly/yearly/job changes).
What Sort of Notebook Should You Use?
I use one of my Cath Kidston notebooks. In my mind there are only 2 requirements.
- It should be small. The CK notebooks are A6. Small enough (and slim enough) to slide into your bag, so the notebook is handy for when you get inspiration.
- It should be pretty/attractive/good quality paper. The key here is to make you want to use it. All too often when it comes to personal goals we procrastinate and put things off. I try to get round this my tempting myself to actually want to use the notebook. (Even have a special pen if you favour pens over notebooks).
How to get started?
Interested? Well first, chose your notebook. Go on, run along.
…and then join me next time to review the content – and learn how to actually use the notebook to your advantage.