Making Your Daily Goals Manageable
I really do not know how my life (and what ‘needs‘ to get done) has changed so much in the last year, but it has. Before then I did a lot of daydreaming. But was too distracted to do the other things I really wanted to do. Mainly because of work, the family, cleaning the house and supermarket shopping.
Obviously those things are important – I mean we need to eat and I can’t really ignore everyone around me. But I feel as though I’ve taken on more and more since January. Some of these things are voluntary because I want to enjoy life and have achievements, but lately I’ve felt so overwhelmed. But instead of slowing down, I stupidly took on more things! Somewhere in my mind I just feel like I can do it all. The reality is I could maybe make my daily goals manageable without stressing. I just need to stop wasting time thinking about doing them and work on how to be more productive.
I am lucky because I do have quite a lot of time. Working for a company two days a week so I have plenty of ‘free’ time. So it’s finding a way to utilise this.
what do I need to do and when do I need to do it?
Excluding those two days I work, I need time for blogging (including planning and social media), Italian lessons and revision and making time to exercise or go to the gym. I do bits of marketing for other people too which means taking time to get the information I need for it plus photos.
At the moment I am using my time when Eva is at nursery, which is between 9 am and just after 3 pm. But I’m finding I’m ‘cramming’ everything in within those hours. If next to nothing is achieved, I beat myself up.
In the afternoon I down tools when Eva gets home to play with her and sort out dinner. Then the evenings are about getting her to bed, clearing the kitchen and generally being exhausted. If I can make a gym class I will, otherwise I try to work out at home before I eat.
The weekends are early starts with ballet on Saturday mornings and Swimming on Sundays. We do supermarket shopping then it’s kind of a family/social time. Then Monday hits and I’m looking back on the previous week wondering what happened. I guess this is a familiar story to most – just with different ‘stuff’ going on.
So why am I stressing? Because that’s the kind of girl I am. I stress over work, I stress over my children (my teenage son locks himself away and isn’t interested in anything that isn’t Mario) and I stress over my blog. That’s because I want things to be perfect and life just isn’t.
As a trainer and someone who’s dabbled in a bit of coaching, I am pretty good at taking a step back and looking at other people’s life problems. I can almost counsel them into working out how to break down that overwhelming emotion. But me? Nope. Total Stress-head!
One way to do this is by using the GROW model, which can be adapted for different situations. It’s great for work and when you need to hit deadlines.
GROW is an acronym, with each letter focusing on what you want to achieve and how you could do so. Your targets might not be possible or you might feel overwhelmed. So it’s breaking it all down to see how it could work rather than only looking at the end result.
The Grow Model
Goal. Firstly you need to look at where you want to be. The best way to do this is to look at what outcome you want today. I make the mistake of looking at where I want to eventually be and thinking it should be done today. I know I have to break it down into bite-sized chunks. So I need to make sure my goals are not lengthy.
Reality. This is where I need to stop daydreaming. If I need help with something because I just can’t figure it out myself, then I need to ask for it. It’s about looking at the current situation and how possible the goal is. If I look at today, I guess my goal is to write/draft a blog post and do some photo’s and some posts for social media.
Obstacles. Obstacles may be distractions. I might start taking photo’s for hours, getting carried away with that for example, taking me away from my goal. Or when my daughter gets home from nursery, it’ll be hard to get work done. If I look at what options I have to try and overcome these obstacles, they could be to do a bit of work in the evening or getting my husband to cook so I can carry on.
Way Forward. So now I think I know what I’m doing, how will I put that into practice? For me I need an action plan and the way I do that is by writing it all down the old fashioned way. Some people use spreadsheets, some use reminders and calendars, some use post-it notes on the fridge.
I need a new notebook!
Personally, I like something I can look at and scribble on, so a notebook works for basic ideas. It’s something I’ve always used for blogging anyway. For example, I’ll plan ahead ideas for posts and photo’s and what category they’ll each fall under. For blogging I’ll do a quarterly content plan. But on top of that I’ll use a notebook to brain dump. I picked up my slogan notebook from The Works. It is A4 size and didn’t cost me a fortune.
I feel I need to do a daily ‘Goals’ list. Before I’d do one then leave it for six months, but I think every evening I need to do this. Then I’ll resist from snoozing the alarm and instead get up early and crack on. Then I can start ticking them off one by one.
If I follow the GROW model I’m hoping I’ll manage it easier, by setting realistic targets to reach at the end of each day.
Here is an example of today’s goals:
So far I have met with my friend and discussed her website and what she wants me to do. Today I will write down some ideas I have and set a goal tomorrow to spend a couple of hours on this.
I have also cleaned the kitchen – woo-hoo! I did that first thing before she came over.
Now I am working on my blog post but will take a break from it to take photo’s before picking my daughter up from nursery. I’ll then down tools and do a bit of a workout whilst entertaining Eva, then prep dinner.
This evening we are staying in. Friday nights are usually a social night with friends with drinks and dinner, either at theirs or at ours. But tonight they have other plans. That gives me the opportunity to upload to social media and plan for tomorrow.
Phew! I think my headache has gone!
Of course you could do this in a more creative way or make it look prettier. I ‘scribble’ a lot and like to cross things off. I don’t spend hours writing my lists but lists work for me. You could do more of a brainstorm or a mind map and add colour and diagrams to make your day more inspiring.
Now I definitely need to commit to this. I need to set short term goals as well as having my long term plans. What I do each day will vary and they’ll be other things in between that I’ll be doing. Taking time out to go for a walk or sit in a cafe – or bounce ideas off others is great for head space. But actually ‘seeing’ what I’ve done that day I think it be a massive help – and hopefully a way to motivate rather than feel bogged-down and miserable.
If I do more than what is on the list then that would definitely be a bonus!