The beginning of a new year is always an exciting time for me. It’s a time of reflection and a time of planning for the future. This year I have a lot of things I wish to achieve so I have set a number of goals in the areas of health, relationships and work. In order to be successful in these things, there are some very simple but important systems and processes I have put in place.
What about systems and processes?
Think about something as simple as stacking the dishwasher. Do you just put any old thing anywhere or do you have a system? I definitely have a system. In my dishwasher, the dinner plates only fit on the bottom rack, the glasses only fit in the middle and the cutlery has a special rack all of its own at the top.
Let’s say I have a bench top full of dishes I need to stack into my dishwasher. If I set about putting in whichever one I lay my hands upon first, I will need to pull out and push in each drawer of the dishwasher many times before I have that bench empty. If however, I start with the cutlery, move on to the glasses and finish with the dinner plates, I only need to pull out each drawer once.
Can you see how this simple system saves me time, saves wear and tear on the dishwasher and saves frustration overall?
Think about some other things you do on a regular basis. Do you have systems and processes in place for those?
Goal setting systems and processes.
I have developed a system for setting my goals. You can get a copy here. Of course, setting a goal really is the easy part. I can’t tell you how many times I have cleaned out an old paper drawer or found an old exercise book and stumbled across goals that I had written down and promptly forgotten about. Some of them were achieved but most of them were not because I had not consciously done any work towards them.
The most important goal achieving process.
The most important thing to do once a goal has been set is to actively work towards it every day. The simplest way I have found to do that is to begin each day by reading through my goals. I use the same document I used to set my goals, (download it here) because it includes the reason why I set that goal in the first place. For me it is important to be reminded about that each day so I stay on the right track.
It also reminds me that I believed the goal was important enough to give up some things and make extra effort in other areas in order to achieve it. On days when I just don’t feel like doing any work towards my goal, these extra reminders give me the push I need to take action.
The most important step.
This next step is probably the most important in this whole process. You can have the best written goal and read through it every day, but if you forget to actually take action, nothing will happen. In my goal setting process I have a section where I determine the next step I need to take towards my goal, the one that I can do today. I then go and do that one thing.
How do you find the time?
Obviously, in order to take actions on your goal you are going to need to make some time to do that. It’s no good just hoping to fit it in somewhere within your busy day. I have seen many people fail because they think that the time will materialise and of course it never does. We have to carve that time out for ourselves.
One of the best ways I have found to do this is to schedule. I write down everything I need to do, prioritise those things so I know what needs to be done first and what can wait until another time and then, most importantly, I make a time for each item in my day.
Maybe I decide that I will do yoga at 6.30am because I have a goal to increase my flexibility and I decide that I will work on my blog from 7-8pm. These items go down into my planner first because they are the most important in achieving my goals. Everything else is scheduled around them.
If you are struggling to find the time to work in your goals each day then I recommend checking out The Lifewrangling Planner. I walk you through the process I use and show you how you can achieve more each day.
So remember, as important as setting a goal can be, actively working towards it each and every day is the key to success.
What step will you take towards your goals today?
Have you made time to do it?