Step 1: PLAN
For instance, let’s say one of your most important life areas is health, and one of your goals in that area is to improve your mental and emotional health. So, let’s assume that by becoming more organized you can feel more stable mentally and emotionally.
There are many things that can be done to become more organized that’s why you need to be even more specific when setting a goal. So, in order to make this goal a reality, we need to make it even more specific.
We already said you want to become more organized so now we need to look at the options. Do you want to be more organized at home? Where? inside or outside? If inside, where? Kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms?
Or do you want to become more organized in your office? Which part of your office, your filing system, your incoming mail system, your desk, your supplies, your furniture?
The more specific the goal the better chances of success you'll have.
So, after all of those ideas, let’s say we narrowed it down to you wanting to become more organized around your desk area.
You can start writing down the plan by making a list of things that need to happen so you can accomplish your goal. Here’s one example of what that list could look like:
GOAL: Become more organized around desk area.
- Think of the work you do on your desk and make a list of essential things needed on a daily basis
- Gather empty boxes to take everything off the desk. Yes, everything.
- Buy necessary organizing items for the essential things you need on your desk, such as: office trays, folders, pen/pencil trays, note pads, paper clips, post it notes, etc.
- Remove everything from your desk and put them in the empty boxes
- Place empty organizing items on your desk and place labels if needed
- Re-stock desk only with those essential items from the list
- Keep the box with the rest of the things nearby to take out stuff as needed.
- After one week, replace the items left over in the box to a long term storage. If you see no need for them in the near future, just go ahead and sell them or give them away if you want.
Now you have a plan and you can edit it whenever you wish. There is no right or wrong way about planning for a goal. What counts is that you begin and make progress towards its completion.
Step 2: FOCUS
Focusing is intentionally aiming all your good energy of thought to bring you closer to accomplishing your desired goal.
One system you can use to focus intently is to do intense work in small chunks of time and then take a break.
It's called Productive Sprints and it works like this:
- Set your timer to 20 minutes,
- During those 20 minutes, don’t do anything else besides intentionally working on your current item.
- Once the timer is off, take a 10 minute break to drink water, stretch, to quickly check your email, or do whatever it is you need to do, but only for 10 minutes.
- Once the break is about to be over, sit down, set your timer again and get ready for another 20 minutes of intense work toward your goal.
After following these steps, you will feel accomplishment as you see the progress done.
The more you focus the easier it becomes, so try to do as many 20 minute intervals of work as you can handle, just keep in mind that there is no need to overwork yourself.
Remember, you are doing this to feel good mentally and emotionally, so, feel good and have fun in the process.
Step 3: ACT
For the example I used above, go ahead, make a list of essential items you need on a daily basis. Grab pen and paper and do it now.
Once you take your fist step you will feel you are on the road to completion and you will start feeling excitement and fulfillment as you check items off your list.
Once that’s done do the next step, and the next one, and the next one. Keep doing this until you are done.
There is not a race to get your goal completed. But even a little progress each day, you will accomplish your goal faster.
So, what's your plan?