Although I’m a fan of setting goals and priorities, often I get to the end of a day and find that I spent my time rushing around putting out fires (so to speak, usually not real fires!) without taking any steps toward achieving my goals or devoting appropriate time to my priorities. When I find myself too often in that position, I try a few of the following tactics.
- Review my goals: I think it’s helpful to have my goals written out, and to review them fairly often. This reminds me to make time for things like writing, or that I haven’t spent much time creating heirloom memories lately.
- Read up on related subjects: I try to read a good rotation of books that apply to my areas of interest and priorities: marriage, parenting/education, writing, fitness, etc. Your categories may be different than mine, but I think books are an easy and cheap way to sharpen thinking and grow in your goal areas.
- Schedule it in: I try to translate my big goals and priorities to daily tasks and write them on my to do list. For example, last week my to do list included line items like: quiet time, exercise (with specific workout), write 1 hour, read “Parents and Children” 20 minutes, do leaf art project with kids, and so on. All of those are things I like to do and want to do, but I might have gotten sidetracked and not accomplished them without the reminder of my to do list. Plus I’m highly motivated by the prospect of crossing things off of lists!
How do you translate your big goals into smaller steps? What works for you?