After not setting goals for a couple of years now, and knowing how well they worked for me in the past, I decided to restart the practice this year.
Writing down a handful of (real and meaningful) goals for the year was the relatively straightforward part. Devising a way to track them effectively was another matter. Knowing myself, I needed a way to track progress and see the accumulation of gold stars to stay motivated.
I know that each goal will require a set of actions. Each action can be a daily, weekly, monthly or even quarterly affair.
Following this train of thought, I produced multiple iterations of databases. And got progressively overwhelmed in the process. I was making things too complicated! And I was creating a yearly calendar with daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly actions to check off! Talk about inventing a burden for my own back!
All design is iterative. And simplification is almost always the key to a good solution. So I went back to base principles. How do I really simplify these goals so that I can focus on achieving them and not managing a system or serving a process.
Then it struck me. The actions are actually habits. All I need is a short list of things I will attempt to do as often as I can. Daily would be best, but not mandatory. Phew!
On a daily level, I am simply trying to inculcate a set of habits. The more I exercise those habits, the closer I will naturally get to my goals. The daily focus is on the actions.
As my phone is with me all the time, the Habit Streak Pro app is working out real good for me thus far. I rendered my goals into half a dozen questions I would ask myself at the end of each day. The aim is to tick off as many of those as I can each day. Some things (like fitness) will need to be ticked off more regularly than other things like complete a course of training.
So far, so good! Here's to the rest of 2014!