I’m planning to get results in 2023 for goals I’ve put off pursuing, primarily with writing and blogging.
Every year, every month, every week time seems to move faster. As of right now, I don’t have any true obstacles to keep me from working on my novel or keeping up with my blog. If I keep procrastinating on putting in the work the likelihood of fulfilling my goals will slip away.
That’s why this year I’m planning to be intentional with how I spend my time. The keyword here is planning.
I’ve read several books about time management and creating habits over the past few years from people like Laura Vanderkam and James Clear. Here are the takeaways that I plan to utilize this year.
Change of mindset.
This involves moving from an attitude of “I wish” or “I want” to and attitude of “I will” and “I am.” Getting results is not about wanting, it’s about doing. I have to go from ‘I want to be a writer’ to ‘I am a writer’ and then follow through with a plan of action.
Plan daily, weekly, monthly.
I use a dry erase board to track events and appointments. It’s very rewarding to watch it fill up with successes. For this year, I’m taking it a step further. I bought a planner where I will intentionally plan for writing time, exercise time, family time and all the things I want to do that somehow end up with a moving timeline that never gets done.
Make working on goals a priority.
The first step is penciling these items on my calendar. The second step is letting go of activities that can either be put off or don’t need to be done.
Every night before I go to bed, I look at my schedule for the next day and make a mental note about what two or three things I want to be sure to accomplish. Even if something comes up, like today is weirdly warm so I’m thinking about going outside to do some yardwork, I will only say yes if I can still accomplish the things I said I would. This type of rearranging works for me as long as I’m swapping time versus replacing activities.
Make effective use of time.
I’ve noticed that when I get up 15 minutes early I normally end up running late. I’ve also noticed when I listen to a podcast while cleaning, it takes me longer to clean. In order to get results, I need to use my time wisely. If I can do a chore in a half hour, I need to be careful not to prolong it to an hour. This way I can use that half hour to accomplish other goals.
Pair tasks with others to make it a habit.
A classic example of this is brushing your teeth right before bed. By pairing a task with another one you know you’ll do, it can be a trigger, a reminder, and/or give you momentum to work on the new task. When I wrote my first book, my daughter would go to bed at 7:30, this was a trigger for me to start writing time.
Think of future self.
When faced with a choice I think about my future self, either later in the day, a month, or even a year from now. For example, I’m thinking of drinking another soda. I really want this soda. It’ll help me focus, but what will my future self think tonight at bedtime.
What about you?
Have you set goals for 2023? What have you found helpful when planning?