I know I’m a little late to the party but since I haven’t blogged since the start of 2018, let me start by wishing you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The best thing about the new year is that with it comes a renewed sense of hope that, “THIS IS THE YEAR…”
This is the year that I finally get in shape...
This is the year that I get that promotion...
This is the year that I take the next step forward in my relationship...
This is the year that I read the whole Bible...
THIS is the year! There’s no shortage of optimism on January 1.
But we’re now more than two weeks into 2018. How are those goals and resolutions doing? Do you even remember them?
They say that 80% of New Year’s resolutions don’t even survive till the end of January! Sounds about right, doesn't it?
If you're finding your goals on life support as well, I believe there are two possible reasons why. Your problem lies either in the process of SETTING GOALS, or in the process of FOLLOWING UP with your goals.
I’ve written before about how I personally set goals each year. I have a specific process that I’ve been using for the past 4-5 years and it works great for me. But what I want to share today is the process I’m using to FOLLOW UP with those goals – which is equally as important and might be the reason you find yourself falling short.
The main change in my 2018 plan is that I’M GOING BACK TO ANALOG! I’m using a “paper and pen” system to follow up with my goals.
“Paper and pen” – you remember those things right? Those things we used to use back in school that since been replaced with our phones and tablets and laptops. Everything these days is pushing us to use less paper and more technology.
When was the last time you wrote down a phone number on a piece of paper? When was the last time you took meeting notes in a notebook? When was the last time you had an actual To Do list that you wrote by hand?
I know I know, it’s not 1996 anymore and I need to get with the times. I get that fully and I’m all for using technology to make our lives better and improve the way we do things.
But I’m afraid that in many ways – specifically when it comes things that are of major significance and importance – technology has become a hindrance!
Our phones/laptops/tablets are a minefield of distractions. They are intentionally designed to pull our eyes AND our attention away from what we’re doing. Every time you turn one of them on, you are inviting distraction into your day and focusing becomes that much more of a challenge.
You’re just one click away from a wasted day!
So what I’ve done is gone back to analog – that is, paper and pen. I purchased a Full Focus Planner, created by the productivity guru (and fellow Orthodox Christian) Michael Hyatt, and this is what I’m using in 2018.
Here’s what I love about my new planner:
I begin every day by opening to my GOALS page and reviewing each of my 8 goals for the year. I also review my MOTIVATIONS for each goal so I’m reminded not just of WHAT I want but WHY I want it. Very powerful!
Every Monday, I begin the week by coming up with my WEEKLY BIG THREE – the three things I need to get done this week to move my goals forward another step. Again, very powerful to think through this on a weekly basis and move that yearly goal along in bite-size chunks.
The other thing I do every Monday is go through a WEEKLY REVIEW of the prior week. This is great to see measure my progress, see what worked and didn’t work, and make adjustments for the week ahead before setting my next WEEKLY BIG THREE.
Overall, I LOVE my new planner and it’s already made a huge difference in my goals for 2018. You may not like my system – which is fine, you’re allowed to be wrong 😊 – but the important thing is that you figure out what works for you.
Don’t settle on digital just because it’s easier. Give analog a try, especially if you’ve found yourself to be very easily distracted when you’re using technology. Trust me, there’s just something about writing it down on paper with your own hand that makes it much more real than simply typing it into a laptop.
Why? Because in the end, goal-SETTING is only as valuable as goal-FOLLOW UP.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry