Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Goal Setting Template- Part 4

Goal Setting. Goals are great, but they remain just dreams without the doing. So far I clued you in on how describing a goal in terms of behaviors and actions really made a difference for me. I mentioned expressing those goals as something measurable, something that can be seen or quantified. Then added the component of a time line and picking only the goals we can control for anything we want to achieve.

In order to actually accomplish a goal, I must act on all these wonderful new insights and visualizations I have just spent so much up front time on. Yep. All that in depth examination, still somedays and wishes without the next parts of the template. Think all I want, dream all I might, without a plan of action, what happens? Nada. Zip. Zilch. It's just time spent dreaming. If everything is peachy keen in your world, congrats. If you have found some zen like state of non desire and it's working for you, you have my applause and my puzzlement. Things change, whether we like it or not.

I am all for going with the flow. Flow is good. I just want to be flowing in certain directions. And I want a how. Here are the last 3 steps on the 7 step template I use. They are all about getting it done.

5) Plan a program or a strategy that will get you what you want.
There is no one right way here, except for the right way for me, or for you. I have a combination of ways to get something done. I have a couple of strategies that work for me. And I am always looking around. But the one sure thing is this. It has to be a consistent part of my day, my week, or my month, and it has to be doable. Reasonable. Not some ideal that I feel miserable about if I don't do it exactly right. Are you listening? Not after perfection here, just something that works.You can be like a horse with blinders on and go after 1 thing until it is accomplished one day a week, one hour a day, or one week out of every month. What fits for you? Can you multitask? I have multiple hats I wear and multiple goals. I set up a system that insures I tag all the bases over a month's time. Some people recommend going laser like after one thing a month until it is done. In my work, I cannot drop all but one facet of what I do, so I tag bases. But I tag them with emphasis and priority. When I am in the studio, I am in the studio. When I am doing admin work or marketing I am doing just those. My specific goals are given top priority within those slots and activities.

6) Break the steps down and integrate them into your work flow.

What does that mean? It means I want an integrated system and I want the steps to take. And I don't want to think about it too much after the upfront time and mapping is done.
Seriously. I do not mind upfront valuable introspection time. Setting a compass is crucial to me to get where I want to go. Having a map. Way important. So I break the steps down into actionable tasks that get me where I am going. But after that I want to sail. I have my map, I can check it regularly, but after that it's time for sailing, and being in that moment.

I find that having one place, one central locus of control is essential to getting things done for me. I use an admin (administration) notebook, a calendar and an admin checklist. This makes it work for me. The notebook is a whole post probably, but it has my goal sheets in it. It divided into sections for the bases I must tag, the areas where I focus. It has a section for the studio. It has a section for marketing. It has others sections too, but those would vary to fit whatever your areas of focus are, if this appeals to you. The admin checklist is my map. It has on it the actual actions I need to take to accomplish my goals. These actions come straight from my multiple goal sheets. It has it's own section. It covers all my areas of focus and walks me through my priorities.It is probably a whole post too. The calendar is a must. Remember the time component? Totally essential, especially for those crucial, hard and fast deadlines (as in, deadline for submission to an exhibit, materials promised to James by, or painting must be shipped by deadlines). Calendar things. Duh. I work through those sections in my notebook each month emphasizing one each week. So those are noted on the calendar too. Hm. Anybody wanna guess what this week's priority focus happened to be?

Each month I tag each area of focus, using my admin checklist, my sections in the notebook which contain these goals sheets I make, and I use my calendar. This goes a long way in dealing with that nagging feeling that I used to get when I was in the studio wondering if I had forgotten to do something elsewhere. Or that feeling when I had my marketing, relationship building hat on and felt guilty for not being in the studio. In fact this Those feelings that stole my focus are exactly why I developed my system. I had to find a way to have a way to cover all activities consistently over time. It works for me, not perfectly, but way good. Almost as well as having an administrative assistant. Yep. My notebook.

Great. Lots of work here. But there's one huge thing missing. A big, big thing. Accountability.

7) Hold yourself accountable.
Huge. I actually write down on my template how I will be accountable on each goal sheet. Dave Allen is adament about a weekly review. I like them too. He likes Friday. So do I. Failing Friday, ( things happen) I do a more leisurely one on a part of Saturday, or for a while on Sunday. See flexibility, latitude here. Call it what you want, but at regular intervals take stock. See what's crossed of off the list. Make sure you are still on course and set up for the next week.
I also like rewards. Accomplish x get y. I haven't used them lately, but I am bringing them back for myself.
Sometimes a buddy system works. I have a water buddy. We remind each other to drink our water. Yep. It is that simple.
If you need to report in to someone. Do that. If you need to track progress. Set up a place to track it. So many pages written, so many minutes exercised. Yep. Write those down. Some people do this publicly. ( "I am not only going to play in the US Open, I am going to win it." Tiger Woods )
The point is this. Say what you are going to do and do it. Find a way to hold yourself to it.

Are we there yet? Yes. We are there. I hadn't planned to do this series in one week. I was going to spread it out over several Mondays, but inquiring minds wanted to know. So here is my unperfected, but very usable template for setting goals. If you want in depth reading, here's the book that made a difference to me. If you buy it from this link, Amazon gives me a small commission. See? Rewards. Not a bad thing. But I would recommend it even without that small reward. I customized the template he uses and pulled in some other tricks to make it work for me. You can too.

So dreams? Or goals with action? Focusing on the behaviors and actions for me is like playing like you belong there. No matter where there is. Ahem. I have some work to do on this myself. Yep. It is goal focusing, readjusting, nail it down week for me. Could you tell?


ParisBreakfasts said...

Dear Dr. Jan,

Thanks for the detailed perscription.
Take hourly, daily, monthly as you see fit.
Yes I will!
Toute a suite
Big Merci
Must go read the fine print here...
Will set a timeline to read fine print..YES I WILL!

Janice C. Cartier said...

You're welcome.

It's a lot to take in at once. The main thing is to get one place to put all your stuff: the goal sheets, your checklist and use a calendar just as much to make an appointment with yourself as you might with other people... Set aside some consistent time on a regular basis to go after those operational tasks. They're keyed to your most valuable ideas about what you see yourself being and doing.

Paris B & B said...

I am convinced.
I have seen ze light!
But I may need brain surgery to get ze little brain cells lined up like duckies in a row.
I'm about to take ze organizing class for a 2nd go round. Maybe I can try to apply all this there.
Must try!
Tanks again, Dr.Jan
Did you change yr tel#?