Thursday, February 7, 2013

Resolutions and Goals and Calendars - Oh, My!

This year, for the first time, I am forcing myself to come face-to-face with my goals. When I made my New Year's resolutions, I wrote them as goals for several important areas of my life. I would never have attempted this while working full-time, but now that I'm retired and pursuing new adventures, it was a way of keeping myself on-track.

As I do this, and as part of my planning for the classes I'm teaching, I find myself going back to my tried and true resources. I first read Marcia Ramsland's Simplify Your Time a few years ago, and at that time, I only skimmed the sections on projects - very lightly. Back then, I was more interested in getting the day-to-day under control, and projects were something to be tackled...someday.

Now I am at a different stage of my life - one where so much of what I do is a project in and of itself, and I'm the only project manager. So, I find myself establishing the same SMART goals that were foisted upon me at work, and following the advice I've read in so many places for so long - setting annual goals, writing monthly goals and breaking them down into smaller chunks that can be managed on a daily or weekly basis. It's an entirely different mindset.

And it's actually kind of fun. (Admittedly, I might define "fun" differently than the average person). At the beginning of each month, I review my goals from the previous month and set new goals for the month to come, based on my accomplishments. I take the advice I read in Ramsland's book and write the projects (goals) for each month at the top of the page for the month in my planner. In addition, I look over my annual goals - the ones that began as New Year's resolutions - to see if I'm making progress.

If you'd suggested this to me five years ago, I'd've rolled my eyes and told you that it sounded like an awful lot of work. And you know what? I'd've been wrong. It actually doesn't take much time at all, and the payoff (staying focused and motivated much of the time) is worth it.

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the next item on my list - working on this week's Friday Freebie.

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