Tuesday, 19 April 2016

PRODUCTIVITY | Goal Setting to Get Your Life!

How to set goals and be more productive

Okay, so as twenty-somethings, we’re trying to be the best versions of ourselves - personal growth and development is the goal. It’s super easy to get sucked into a never-ending spiral of procrastination and lose focus. Netflix, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter - the list could go on and they’re all sapping your energy. We're all trying to get our lives somewhat together, whether that means landing the dream job, travelling the world, or graduating with a 2:1. 

Setting goals is not only really important to help you progress, it also helps keep you focused and can allow you to turn your dreams into realities. Unlike New Years resolutions, goals are a little bit deeper - they speak to what is most important to you in that moment and they should be better thought out. Setting aside time to define your goals and to regularly check in with them, is so important for your personal development. I wholeheartedly believe that having your goals and priorities in order makes most life decisions so much easier plus being able to achieve your goals breeds positivity leading to a happier and more fulfilled life! So here’s a quick guide on how to set achievable, manageable goals and kick start your productivity.  

Pro-tip: Write it all down. Personally, writing things down, whether its a to-do list or my ultimate life goals, takes it from abstract concept to concrete aim. 

Start Big

When you first sit down to set your goals, it’s important to let your mind be free. I would start with writing down all the things you can think of, that you think would make you feel happier and more fulfilled in life. It’s important here, however, not to think in the short term - think about what would make you happier in life generally and not just for the next month. For example, one of my biggest goals for 2016 is to be more fiscally responsible. Now, I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s making me incredibly happy right now, but I know in the long run it’ll be worth it, i.e when I'm sunning myself in Croatia or not living off tuna pasta because I thought buying another pair of shoes was a good idea.

Make them Meaningful and Measurable

Now that you have a broad idea of what your goals are, it’s time to whittle it down and start creating that action plan. I would suggest sticking with 4 to 6 goals, depending on how big we’re talking, that mean the most to you in the nearest future i.e the next year. 

Once you’ve picked out your most pressing desires, it’s time to make them measurable and meaningful. This involves breaking down your overarching goal into smaller chunks and listing out exactly what kinds of things would need to happen to achieve those goals. Continuing with my goal of fiscal responsibility, being fiscally responsible means paying off my overdraft, learning to save and learning to budget effectively. Make sure you attach measurable targets to each goal. There’s no point saying, yes I want to save more money this year without having a specific figure attached or saying you want to read more without specifying how many books this means. It needn’t be huge but you definitely do need to have some sort of measurable attached to each goal. 

Road Map Your Goals

Break your goal down into medium term and short term - medium term being halfway through and short term being a quarter of the way through your goal term. I made my goals at the beginning of the year, so medium term would be June and short term would have been April. Doing this gives you closer targets to help motivate you and keep you focused. You can even do monthly break downs if you think this will help you stay on track more. 

To-do Lists and Regular Reviews 

I like to make my to do lists each day by reviewing my longer term goals. Each day, I ask myself how can I get one small step closer to reaching this goal today. It might be something as simple as transferring £20 to my savings account but that action will get me closer to my long term goal of learning to save. Having your goals already laid out, makes making to-do lists a slightly easier task and keeps you more focused on what you need to do each day to get from point A to B. I try to limit my daily goal-digging to one task per goal per day, because you know there are other to-do list tasks (like laundry - ick) that need to get done as well. 

It’s also important to do regular reviews,  I generally do my reviews quarterly. You’re bound to slip up or fall off, we are only human after all. Slipping up, however, needn’t be a cause to abandon all hope and scrap your goals altogether. Instead it just might mean some slight re-adjusting of your shorter and medium term targets. For example, another one of my goals was to read 6 books this year. That worked out to one book every two months - it’s April and I’ve only read one book. So in order to re-work this goal, I need to modify my short term and medium term goals and maybe make it more of a priority by carving out time to read each day. Doing a regular review allows you to figure out what practices really are getting you closer to your long term goals and what you need to switch up to make it.

Have you set any goals for 2016? Comment below or tweet me with your answer. 

| Martha |

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  1. Love this!! It's so important to set goals and make them manageable. For a while I would jot down "to-dos" on Post It Notes and I had to learn to find a fixed place to write things down because I was all over the place lol

    Great tips, doll :)

    1. Ahhh I'm thinking of getting into bullet journalling because currently I still feel like my goal-organisation system is too all over the place - it's the perfectionist in me!

      Martha xo


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