JUST DO IT – the famous phrase from NIKE’s advert has become popular in motivational posts, videos and speeches. Why wait? Stop thinking about it for ages. Stop procrastinating. Just do it! Right? No. Not really. Not always.
Some people tend to dwell too much on prep and planning stages or postpone things too much but taking actions mindlessly just to do something related to their goals is not the smartest move either.
You need to have an action plan; a good, well-thought-out action plan where you write down your goals, particular actions, steps and tasks.
Only 3% of adults actually write their goals down.
This is one of the reasons why over 90% of people fail working on their New Year resolutions by 15th January each year!
There have been a number of studies which indicate that people who write their goals down are 50% more successful in achieving what they plan.
You should always keep the note with your goals with you; for example, in your wallet. Why is it so important? If you keep your goals and action steps in your mind (especially if you have an active lifestyle):
- you may forget about some of the goals or actions sometimes; an average human being has around 1,500 thoughts per minute – you can’t always ensure that your goals are kept on top of all these thoughts; often there is no energy & time for it
- you may often feel that there are other more important or urgent things that are written, for example, in your emails
- you won’t treat your personal goals as seriously as work or college/university-related assignments and projects (a lot of these are given to you in a written form or you are expected to write these things down!)
You need to come up with deadlines so your personal goals matter and are treated as any other, for example work goals. Once you have these important aspects sorted out then yes, take action!
And remember to book some time for reviewing your goals and plans because you will notice quickly what mistakes could be avoided, what works and what doesn’t, and what you can do to improve your working style.
Don’t JUST mindlessly DO IT!
People who are interested in productivity know how valuable it is to plan and review goals but… they also have a tendency to overdo it and spend too much time on this… time which of course could be used for work that matters and actually moves things along, and leads to some progress!
Planning is crucial and only recently I’ve realised how powerful is to have a clear action plan and revise it regularly but by planning we don’t really tick any of our tasks off, by doing to-do lists we don’t really do any of these things that we should be doing. It’s easy to overdo the prep and planning bit then so we need to always keep checking that it’s balanced and ideally schedule some time for it, e.g. an hour at weekends and 10 minutes every morning.
How much time do you spend on planning your goals, tasks, activities?
It’s been another superbusy week:
- I worked full time (I have to train a new person who will cover my maternity leave and work days seem more exhausting and intensive than ever before);
- I reached a major milestone in my personal life – the start of the 8th month of pregnancy;
- I had a few medical pregnancy-related appointments (soon it will be decided whether I will need to give birth earlier and how much earlier!).
- On top of everything my 4-year-old was off sick
- And I have to keep finding time to prepare things for the baby’s arrival (rooms arrangements, shopping, reading reviews of baby products, etc.).
I was trying to reconsider what are the most important bits and goals in my project, not for this year, but more narrowly for now – when I’m busy, about to give birth and still at work.
One of my goals was organising more outings with my daughter and spending more time with my family… however, when I thought about it more I decided it shouldn’t really be considered as a goal. It’s just a natural part of my life that matters and needs to be prioritised whenever I can. That’s it. It doesn’t have any deadlines and can’t be really specific enough or measured to classify it as a goal.
I wanted to improve my foreign-languages skills but really… that’s definitely not a priority right now. When I can I try to pay more attention to grammar or new foreign words (English and Portuguese) but that’s where my effort ends at the moment.
I’ve decided to focus all my energy, time and attention mainly on writing and reading because that’s what’s really important to me right now in terms of my personal development.
I’ve also decided that monthly updates re: my Personal Growth project would be better than weekly ones. It will allow me to focus on my goals even more.
One of the most crucial tasks for the next week is to contact a few publishers with a book proposal and see what they think…
Well, fingers crossed!