Time management Monday: How to set and achieve your goals like successful people do

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Winter Jog

Last Monday we talked about how to find focus with your goals. Now we’ll talk about the hard part: actually doing the things.

So often people set goals for themselves and don’t reach them. Why? What makes some people successful at reaching their goals while others fail? The secret is their mindset.

You have to want it: Fit people don’t sit on the couch eating chips, thinking they’ll work out tomorrow. They want to be fit, and they want to work out. People who have clean, organized homes spend their time cleaning because they want their homes to be a clean, relaxing, inviting place to live and have people over.

If you try to set goals because you think you should, not because you want to, you’re doomed to fail. “Shoulds” and guilt won’t get you through the day to day work you need to do in order to consistently work toward your goals.

Set aside time for it: Make time every day or week for your goal actions. Again, people who are healthy and in good shape make time every day for exercise and to make and eat healthy meals. Some other examples:

– My mother in law (the most organized person I know) sets aside a certain amount of time every day for cleaning. It is just part of her daily routine.

– My friend has a beautiful garden. She spends an afternoon every weekend tending the garden.

To make positive changes, you have to make them a priority in how you spend your time. Make the time for them, and incorporate those actions into your day to day life.

Find value in the actions: Balancing your budget or mopping the floor can be a drag. You have to find value in those actions. You are spending the time to balance your budget to reach your larger goals of paying off debit and / or saving for the future. The act of facing your budget can feel daunting, or at the very least boring, but the value of doing it makes a huge difference for your quality of life and your future.

My sister in law once said to me about cleaning her house, “Every time I have a mop in my hand, I feel like surely there is something more meaningful I could be doing right now.” I identify with that so much, because I hate spending my time cleaning. I want to do other things. But, it’s important to keep the household functioning so when I am doing something tedious like vacuuming or folding clothes I remind myself why those actions are valuable.

Schedule the time in your planner:

-Scheduling time in your planner to do your goal actions makes sure it will happen (see set aside time for it above). Schedule daily exercise time, block out time to work on your budget, create a weekly cleaning routine, etc. If you don’t make time for it, guess what: it won’t happen.

-When it’s time to do what you have scheduled in your planner, you can let your mind rest by knowing that is what you are supposed to be doing right now. This helps with the “find value in the actions” aspect. By blocking out that time in your planner to do those actions, you are validating their importance.

Keep it up by making it a part of who you are: The really hard part in working toward goals is consistency. Doing the things often and regularly is what will give you the results you want. So, create the mindset of the goal you want. For example, you are becoming a fit person, and fit people exercise and eat healthy food consistently. You are becoming a debt-free person with money saved, and those types of people stick to their budget and don’t spend money frivolously. Make your goals part of your identity.

Use a planner specifically designed to help you set and reach your goals: The Life Noted planner has yearly and monthly review pages, with guidance on how to set and track your goals all year and incorporate your goal actions into your daily schedule. See photos and more information about the Life Noted planners in academic year and January-December formats, including information on where to buy, here.

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