My birthday is in early September. As with most people, I use my birthday as a time to assess goals – what has been going well and what hasn’t. It acts as a soft launch for my “resolutions.” So, by the time the actual New Year is upon me, I’ve already made some adjustments and am well on my way.
I’ve always been a list maker and a note taker. But I realized that I was rarely executing and my lists were never getting any shorter.
In the beginning of 2017, I made this complicated excel sheet I thought would help, but by summer, it proved too cumbersome. So, I set about the task of simplifying my productivity. After getting Side Hustle Pro’s Goal Getter Action Plan, I created a one page goal sheet, which naturally incorporates the SMART (Specific, measurable, attainable, Relevant, Time Sensitive) goal framework. It helped me prioritize, stay focused and produce content consistently, including a weekly newsletter and blog post. These are the 5 things I include on my one page goal sheet:
WHY are you doing this at all. Your “why” is the motivation to get it done – the grand scheme of things.
I set a theme for the month so I’m not flying by the seat of my pants all month. I like a one or two word theme to keep my thought process tight. When selecting a theme, I go back to the questions I’ve been asked over the previous month. I also take a look at my analytics to find who is engaging and build content to keep that audience interested.
Everyone knows what a goal is. In this section I quantify what I want to do. So “blog more,” is not sufficient. I say “write 4 blog posts.” I’m real with myself about what I can accomplish. Setting realistic goals helps me keep my feet to the fire. I usually have 2-3 goals I focus on each month.
4. Action Plan
This is where I list out the exact things I will do. For content creation purposes, I will list out the titles for the blogs I want to write around the theme.
5. To Do List
What is required to get the action plan done and when am I going to do it. I get pretty specific. I write down the steps, especially the things I tend to forget, with a day in parenthesis. For instance, For the visual promotion, I write things like “buy flowers (sat) create graphics (sun), share to pinterest (wed), share to instagram (mon), etc,” then I repeat the steps each week.
BONUS – Future Considerations: I always leave space on my sheet to jot down ideas for the next month. I am an incredibly forgetful person. If I don’t write things down, I WILL forget. I also get the best ideas while I’m creating content. So instead of writing it down on a miscellaneous sheet of paper, that I’ll never be able to find, I jot it on my goal sheet. The bonus, of course, is all those stray thoughts I’ve jotted throughout the month are a great jumping off point for the next month’s goals.
Here are a couple other examples for how I would break down the most common “resolutions”:
RESOLUTION: LOSE WEIGHT
Purpose: Get healthy
Theme: Eat more veggies
Goal: 1 meat free meal each week
Action Plan: 4 healthy meat free recipes
To Do List: grocery list (sat), meal prep (sun)
Future Considerations: that yummy chicken recipe you found on pinterest while looking for meat-free foods
RESOLUTION: START A BUSINESS
Purpose: Make Money from Ideas
Goal: Read 3 marketing books
Action Plan: name the books
To Do List: Read for 1 hour a day from 6-7
Future considerations: The other interesting, non-marketing books you found
While I still have lists all over the place, my one page list has helped me hone in on the most important tasks to complete every month.