Do you have big plans for your life that aren’t quite happening the way you want them to? Are you feeling frustrated that it’s [three! eight! eleven!] months into the year and you still haven’t accomplished [whatever goal you’re always reaching for]? Been taking some time out to reassess your life?
I hear you.
I’ve been happily writing full time for nearly a year now. It’s been amazing in many ways, my dream career come true. From time to time though, I look at the calendar dissatisfied with the rate at which I’m getting things done.
We could all be more productive, sure. I could go read and listen to lots of smart people tell me how to work better and be more effective.
Or I could just return to a method that has been surprisingly effective for me: writing my goals down on notecards.
I know it seems too simple, too easy, too vision-board-for-middle-school-kids. But, it helps me because sometimes the panic I feel about time is because I don’t have a game plan. I don’t even know where I’m trying to get to so I can map it all out. I get scattered and then run in ten different (and ineffective) directions.
On my notecards, I have goals written down that are far off, but I also have some that are for the end of the year. This week, in celebration of the impending start of fall, I’m going to get re-acquainted with those goals.
What did I say I would do?
What have I done to get there?
What do I still have to do?
Some of those notecards will get a good edit. There were goals that I was reaching for that no longer make sense.
Some of those cards will get trashed, for instance fall travel is really off my list so I can maximize my wallet and my writing time. Other notecards will get added. I have some longform journalism pieces I want to work on and a nonfiction book idea that could use some attention.
I don’t have a meditation mantra or a vision board, but reading through those cards once a week is kind of my substitute for both of those. I get focused on my goals and see them often enough to get my mind turning about how to get them done.
If notecards don’t work for you, putting pen to paper in other ways might be just as effective.
Pull out a journal.
- Since I already likened this to a middle school vision board, might as well go completely middle school and embrace your “Dear Diary.” Some suggestions if you need help with your journal back to school shopping.
Try bullet journaling.
- For those who like their journaling a little fancier, there are folks who swear by this combination of planner and diary.
Start getting grateful.
- It isn’t a way of goal achievement necessarily, but a grateful journal can also be a clarifying writing task. Plus, it’ll help your health.
Does writing help you to get things done? Do you have other simple ways of staying on task?