Thursday, April 30, 2009

30 Day Experiment: Goal Board

I have made an effort to perform a new task approximately each month in order to better myself. In March, I listed 10 things a day that I was thankful for in order to illicit a feeling of abundance. I stopped that process after approximately 3 weeks as I accomplished my goal prior to the ending of the month.

My process for the month of April has been to implement a goal board. It’s an approximately 9x14in dry erase board where I make a list of daily goals I want to accomplish in order to make that day successful. The goals should be micro versions of long term goals. The idea is that by attacking facets daily I slowly build toward the end goal of achievement. Out of all my goals this has probably been the most rewarding in terms of productivity. I am trying to move toward a life of more organization and accomplishment and the goal board actually helps me achieve this. Here is a list of recurring goals that I am currently undertaking and below how they fit into my long term plans.

1) Meditation
2) Reading
3) Reading Course
4) Workout

Meditation as mentioned in an earlier post is something that I am undertaking in order to explore more deeply my inner thoughts and feelings. I have recently moved this time to the mornings as I have found it more effective after a week long experiment. The long term goal I hope to achieve is to become more in tune with my life goals, passions and desires. Also I want to allow my mind time to process and access life as it stands now.

Right now my current reading material revolves around entrepreneurship and financial planning. Finances and accounting are my background and by becoming more knowledgeable in this area I know that I can help others achieve their goals and desires financially. My hope to help others maximize the use of money for themselves and be able to accomplish and pursue their dreams in doing so. I know that my end goal and passion revolves around running a Company for myself. I know that to do that I need both experience and knowledge. By reading I at least get a cheap introduction to the knowledge necessary to achieve my goal.

The reading course is a current project I am undertaking to increase my reading speed. Right now I use the Ace Reader Pro program on my computer. My current tested speed is around 390 wpm or so. I currently utilize the technique when reading material that is light and where I want to retain main points. I wouldn’t use this for fiction since some of the detail will not be fully processed.
Your body is your vessel and going into the massive benefits of regular exercise is worth a post in itself. This month I have been regularly flakey due to laziness resulting from 10+ hour work days. Long term goals are pro longed life, happiness and flexibility.

Obviously, if I have any other specific day goals I do those as well. One technique I have found effective was something that I read about on known as timeboxing. What you do is take something that you don’t want to do (for me that is cleaning) and do that task for an allotted amount of time without a focus on outcome. So when I have to clean I set a goal of clean x for 15 minutes. One of the tasks was cleaning my room and I figured it would take me a week, but really it took about 30 minutes. By turning on some music and timeboxing I accomplished my goal much faster.

One thing I have not been able to fully vet is the lack of goal setting on weekends. I have explored this and think that it derives from my frustration in my current state (ie. 10+ hour work days). I’m not unhappy per se because I know at the end of the day I am in control. I just want change now even though I know that it may not be time. I am learning patience. Often I leave the weekend feeling that I have wasted it. I want to change that mindset.

As with all my experiments the task is always to try and see the results. Don’t be like the old me and just say, “that doesn’t work.” See someone who is being successful and attempt to model things that person does to find out what works for you. I think you will be surprised at some small things actually have big time results. I am so far from perfect, but hopefully by looking at life in incremental steps I will see myself as a better person at the end of it all.

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