People sometimes ask me how I manage to get so much done and always appear to be doing lots of fun things at the same time. Put simply, if it wasn’t for all my planning and organizing, my level of accomplishments and fun times would be severely diminished. I like to take risks in life and have lots of fun, but I also feel there is no better way to do that then to set goals first before jumping into things head first. You only have a finite amount of time on the planet so it’s important to decide how to spend your time most wisely. It’s not to say that planning and goal setting doesn’t leave room for creativity or spontaneity, it’s just a matter of being clear about where you are and where you want to go. I find once you know that, creative and spontaneous experiences stem naturally from the things you’ve set in motion to accomplish.
I want to share with you some of the things I do and use to keep my life together. Before you even start setting goals, I would recommend getting a clear understanding of your needs and values as a person, this will help you gain a clear picture of what goals are most important to you. A really great way to do this is to take your Myers-Briggs [Go here to take it]. It’s a quick personality type indicator that takes about 5 minutes to fill out. It will shed light on what type of a person you are and from there you can start to define bigger picture things and create goals around it [In depth descriptions of your MBTI Type]. If you’ve done it before, do it again! As you and your life change so can your MBTI.
After you’ve gotten a clear picture about your needs and values you can start to decide what things in life are most important for you to accomplish. When I first started making my goals list I wrote “TOP 100 GOALS” on a sheet of paper and just started writing. I kept writing and writing until I had written down 100 things that I wanted to accomplish. If that’s a little to free form for you, you could use these category headers to get your juices flowing. These are the categories that I use: Artistic, Career, Education, Family, Financial, Physical, Pleasure, Possessions, Self-Development, Spirituality, and Travel. All my goals fit into those categories. You want to get down as many things you want to do as possible, everything from the easy to extremely difficult. Not all goals have to be “Climb Mount Everest” write them all down. Write more than 100! Learning to Kayak is still a goal worth accomplishing!
Once you’ve got all your goals written down it’s a matter of prioritizing them and deciding which ones are most important and least important. Usually you can look at them and just mark their importance level from A (Awesome) and C (Fair). Just write the letter next to each Goal. After that, remake 2 new lists based on A’s and C’s. The A’s will likely be the ones that will take the most work but also that you are most excited about accomplishing. This should allow you to break things down and get a better picture of how much work each of them will take. I find that I can accomplish a lot of my C goals while still working towards my A goals. Example: A GOAL – Write and Record a New Album | C GOAL – Take an Improv Class.
A lot of the time A goals will have a subset of goals and tasks that need to be done in order to accomplish them. I usually do it like this.
A GOAL: Write and Record New Album
– Meet up with writing partner [Tuesdays at 7PM]
– Take vocal lessons to prepare for vocal tracking [Wednesday at 8PM]
– Spend 3 hours each week writing lyrics [Saturday Afternoon]
– Track song ideas [Monday at 6PM]
– etc [Date and Time]
I find it really important to actually schedule time to do the tasks associated with the goals. The clearer you are the better chance you have of accomplishing the goals that you set out. The software I use for planning all this stuff out is called Basecamp. It is project managing software that I have re-purposed to be used as my life goal accomplishment system. You can use it for free [BaseCampHQ]. By putting goals into basecamp it gives me more flexibility to shift things around and manipulate the data. It’s also really great for prioritizing everything as well as setting milestones. I highly recommend giving it a shot. There is other software out there specifically for goals but I like Basecamp the most.
Now for the second most important part of the process, print out a copy of your goal list and read through it every morning when you get up! This will help to keep your goals in your mind and working towards them. The only thing more important to this is actually accomplishing them, and without thinking about them and having them on your mind you won’t do it… at least I wouldn’t. Just remember taking action and achieving your goals can be fun too! The journey is as important and sometimes even more exciting as completing the goal itself.
So there you have it goal setting type peoples, that’s what I do. If you have any questions, suggestions, or recommendations please leave a comment! I would love to hear what you do to keep your life organized, set goals, and accomplish them as well as any recommendations you have for me.
Until next time, keep smiling!
– Shane Lamotte