So you have your mission statement – the target you are working towards, and the steps you are going to take to get there.
Now it is your opportunity to review your progress. Review is probably the most important part of the journal as it keeps you in check, and tells you whether everything is worthwhile, whether you are achieving any thing. If not you may need to look for a different motivator.
Above is an example of my review page.
So what do I do?
Firstly I review my daily goals (the tick boxes that I’ve used in trying to develop habits). My average is 3/5. The one I fall down on is NOT buying a coffee, but making one. Unfortunately – red cups are now on sale. so fat chance until after christmas.
Secondly I review my prongs (the specific targets for that week). In my notebook I’ve split these between personal (home) ones and Career (work) ones. How many did I do? Those that I did not do I write out again to try again the following week.
And finally I review this list that I’ve re-written. I note how long they’ve been undone, if they are still relevant and assess whether if I can break it down into smaller tasks.
E.g. I need new glasses. but to get new glasses I need to have an eye test but to get an eye test I need to book an appointment. The booking of the appointment is what goes on the list, not get new glasses.
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.
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.