One of the main challenges we face with reaching our goals is losing track of them. We get distracted and sidetracked by life, and they slip out of focus. We can lose months of the year before we realize we’re not making progress. A regular goal review process can fix that problem.
It starts with a simple list of your goals, a goal summary. You can do this in a physical notebook or planner, like my Full Focus PlannerTM, or a digital solution like Evernote or Nozbe. You can even frame your goals and hang them on the wall. (I use a hybrid system of the Full Focus Planner and Nozbe, as well as hanging a summary on the wall. You need to find whatever works best for you.) To gain the full benefit of the review, you should scan this list each day. I know it sounds like a lot, but it takes only a minute. After all, you only have seven to ten goals, right? I do this as part of my morning routine.
Many people feel stuck or fail to make progress because they can’t make the connection between their yearly goals and their daily tasks. All their hopes languish on a wrinkled sheet of paper in a drawer somewhere. I saw this in corporate strategic planning all the time. Massive strategy documents would be created with significant goal commitments. But there was no mechanism to translate those annual and quarterly commitments to daily actions. In the end, the big binder would wind up crammed on a shelf between other big binders, rarely consulted and mostly forgotten.
The daily review is designed to make that connection between goals and tasks. As I scan the list, I look for relevant next actions. I ask myself the question: What is it that I could do today that would move me down the field toward the goal? I’m connecting my goal list to my task list. And I don’t let that list get complicated or lengthy. As I teach in Free to Focus, I limit my tasks to what I call my Daily Big 3. So I never have more than three significant tasks to complete in any one day. But those three tasks are chosen specifically to help me achieve my goals.
A lot of people start out their day with ten or twenty tasks for the day. By close of business, they’ve only checked off half the items and they feel like a failure. They’re creating a game they can’t possibly win. Who’s got time for that kind of demotivation? If you really want to make progress toward your most important goals, you need a fast and easy method to chunk down big goals into achievable daily tasks.
This is an extract from Michael Hyatt's In Your Best Year Ever published by Baker Books