tl;dr I have goals now. They may change next month.
I can’t quite remember when iI came on the idea, but in June I decided to start tracking a few different goals every month. I set myself a few rules to guide them. They are:
1. Each goal (or task – see #4 and #5 below) must be defined and achievable.
2. Be Accountable.
3. Each goal should be visibly tracked.
4. As much as possible, set daily tasks to work towards the goal.
5. Have a maximum of 2 different tasks for each goal (ideally only 1).
Initially it was a rolling goal, with a one-month focus. June went well, and I had fun tracking everything across the 4 primary goals.
So in June, my primary goals were:
1. Watch what I eat, with the primary tasks being: weigh myself every week day and have a daily caloric intake of under 2250 (tracked with My Fitness Pal)
2. Have a solid body-base by end of July (be strong and work with minimal weak areas), with the primary tasks being: Do Wendler 4x a week, Do 3 SSI exercises per week.
3. Finish 80% of my work projects within the set timeframe, tasks being: Communicated daily with clients and set daily goals.
4. Live within my budget with primary task being to save details of expenses daily to a google spreadsheet.
Initially I had just thought I’d keep the goals running kinda until I didn’t want to anymore – or until they needed change, but I found that June went well, then July I really struggled to track anything (although I have kept up with the financial tracking), so as I enter August, I’ve decided to add a 6th rule: Each goal lasts 1 month. Thereafter, I re-evaluate and set new goals or new tasks (or keep the ones that are working).
In all honesty, this is all a bit of an experiment. I’m hoping that at least some of each habit will stick, and I’m sure I’ll be drawn back to the important ones.
Also, I’ve found that I tend to stick to something for 4-6 weeks, and then get bored or distracted. I’m hoping that forcing myself to refocus each month will help me gather some kind of traction.
And then as I attempt to achieve my greater goals, being able to have a month to try something new both keeps things interesting, but also means that I’ve built experimentation into the regime, which allows me to tweak and find what works for me.
The main idea is to keep what works, discard the rest and that way, hopefully I’ll be able to keep moving towards the goal.
Also if one month I try something that bombs, then it’s a relatively short delay before I can get back onto things with the next month.
My goals for August are as follows:
1. End August lighter than I started it. I plan to achieve it by tracking my weight daily.
2. End August stronger than I started it. Tools/Tasks: I have a solid weight training program (Wendler 5/3/1), which I simply need to follow throughout the month. 2. Do 1 Sports Science Institute work out each week – I have 3 for rehab which I’m seriously struggling to get to, so I need to at least do one.
3. Generate more content. Tools: Create at least 1 piece of content every day. This excludes facebook, twitter, instagram posts, but can include Medium, my blog, vlogging on Vine, Snapchat, Younow or Storie and podcasts.
4. Spend less than I did last month. Easy enough to achieve, simply need to track all my slips in a google spreadsheet.
5. Something to do with my worklife. (still figuring this out).
I’ve also realised I need to tie each of these into a long-term goal. I know in some ways I’ve been doing that subconsciously, but it will be good to make a specific note so that as I change each monthly goal, I’m still focussed on the bigger picture.
So, my over-arching goals are:
1. Get to and maintain a body weight of less than 100kg or 15% body fat.
2. Have a functionally strong and fit body.
3. Be in a financially secure place (debt free, investing, future focussed).
4. Be successful in my work
5. be a good father & friend, person.
6. There are a few general life skills that I want to focus on (content creation, guitar, art/painting, etc) and an singular monthly focus will help.
I’m very aware that I don’t want to overwhelm myself. In general we can only make 1 small change at a time – or it’s one small change that sticks. So each of the tools or tasks that I’ve set needs to be small and easily achievable.
Also, by aligning it to a greater overall goal, it aligns with my passions and things I really want to achieve, which adds in that much needed emotional motivations.
Keeping it to a focused monthly goal means that the timeline isn’t super long and fuzzy in the future. Each goal is only 4 short weeks away, so sticking to the new habit is easier.
And I’m sure as I get used to this schedule, adding habits will become a habit in itself, and so sticking to each of the primary goals will (hopefully) become easier.
This is all actually part of one of my primary themes for my year, which is to become more disciplined. I have a poster stuck to my wall “If you have self-control you can accomplish anything”. I also read somewhere recently that discipline is a bigger indicator of success than talent. Gary Vaynerchuk said “Lack of consistency is a MASSIVE vulnerability”. And discipline is one of my weak areas – so definitely something I’ve been trying to focus on this year.
So that’s the basics. I’ll probably delve deeper into each of these goals and my thinking around this system as the month progresses, but for now, let’s see how it goes.