A great tool to help you stay focused on your goals

Do you plan your goals with your supervisor and file them within the HR system just do forget about them until they are up for review?

Do you struggle to align your daily actions with your goals?

I’ve been there for sure. There were times, when I would open the goal document, just to realize, that I have forgotten about a couple of major points nearly completely. Of course, I had progressed very little for these goals.

But I’m not having trouble with this anymore and I attribute this predominantly due to 2 things:

  • A nice tool and
  • A daily habit.

The tool and the habit go hand in hand and one cannot live without the other. I’m using the Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt to write down my yearly goals, review them daily and take daily actions to make sure, that I’m progressing towards my goals.

Every morning, I follow my work day starting routine, which looks like this (at least if I’m working from home, like I mostly do):

  • Bringing water and juice to my desk (this helps me stay hydrated during the day to keep my focus high)
  • Making an espresso (I just can’t live without it)
  • Reviewing my yearly goals documented in the paper planner (I use the full focus planner but other paper planners work as well – I highly recommend paper rather than digital to have it present all day)
  • Checking my weekly big 3 goals (determined every start of the week in alignment with the yearly goals)
  • Determining or reviewing my 3 big tasks for the day (just 3 to make them achievable but also meaningful and they might be already scheduled in your calendar, which I highly recommend practicing as well)
  • Listing other smaller to-dos (these may be transferred to the next day)
  • Checking my calendar (this goes mostly in parallel to setting the daily big 3 tasks to make sure, both are aligned from a content and from a time capacity point of view)

This is roughly the flow each morning and it assures, that my big 3 actions for the day align with my goals. This also helps me to have more satisfaction from the work day as I see each evening, how I progressed towards my personal goals. I feel great, if I ticked off the big 3 – the other minor tasks need to be done, but I’m not measuring myself against these.

This has the positive effect, that I get a reward for following this habit. And getting a reward drives a habit. Read Atomic Habits by James Clear, if you would like to learn more about building habits.

As you can see, the paper planner, which shows me the goals and big 3 tasks all day long, and the habit go hand in hand. Of course, there are other similar planners, which you can use. A colleague uses the Business Planner weekview.  I guess, it’s an alternative, that’s easier to get, if you’re outside of the US.

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