I’ve now been back working full time for two weeks and living in London, with all its attractions and distractions. It’s not surprising then, that I’m finding my time squeezed. I was out five nights out of seven this week, socialising, playing football, following up job opportunities and fulfilling other responsiblities. I’m not complaining – this is precisely why I moved back to London – but it means I have to be much more focussed to achieve my goals.
At the end of last year I set seven goals for 2012. They encompass writing, health and fitness, relationships and career. They’re all achievable but require a sustained effort. I removed one shortly after moving back to London because a) I had substantially achieved it b)achieving it fully was outside my control and c) I realised it was less important the the others. It would also kind of take care of itself. Six goals for 2012 is still plenty.
As it’s so easy to get distracted by day-to-day life, I’m tracking daily progess on all my goals in a log book. This has been scientifically proven to help you achieve them.
I’m using this lovely notebook my friend sent me a couple of weeks ago.
Google supplied a couple of bird-themed inspirational quotes that I wrote out inside the front cover.
I’ve numbered my goals 1-6 and at the end of each day I write a line to say whether I have done anything that day to work towards that goal. I also make notes on any other personal develeopment activities and life in general.
For each week I print out a little grid where I tick whether I did anything towards that goal. This means I can see at a glance how productive I’ve been and what areas are being neglected. I can also tot up the figures and give myself a score, allowing me to compare weeks. Yeah, it’s a bit nerdy and it’s been less than a week, but I think it’s helping to focus my mind.
What I’m still trying to work out is just how much activity earns me a tick in the box. Fifteen minutes thinking and making notes for my novel? Three hours volunteering for a charity, when it’s not my career but will probably help my cv? Five minutes discussing the physics of my short story with a scientist? I’ll probably include the first two. Probably not the last. I don’t want to make it too hard – I want to use this log to encourage any and all action towards my goals – but it has to be a decent amount.