Tracking and achieving small goals
I have a little blue book. This is used to log small and what you might call insignificant goals – little day-to-day must do tasks one always has a habit putting off to pursue more exciting things.
The book is priceless for the peace of mind it creates not having to remember 101 things.
The unintended mindfulness created from not having to keep something stored in my head benefits as I no longer feel my clouded with a ‘to do list’, meaning I don’t have the sensation of constant worry of what needs to be done.
Now everytime I think of something (or am presented with a task), whether it’s calling a friend, cutting the grass or selling something on eBay it gets recorded in the blue book.
And there is something magical about recording a small goal down which ensures it gets done. The mere act of noting down the task, is almost like a declaration that inevitably it will get done.
The format is relatively simple, I create a column to record a description of the goal, the forecast date of completion, the actual date of completion and a place to add a tick.
Doesn’t the achieve date and the tick box serve the same purpose?… I imagine you asking, yes but there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a page full of ticks!
The forecast date is always aspirational, it’s not a date set in stone where the goal must been done at all costs, it is merely a driver of action, a reminder how long a goal has been outstanding and a commitment to achieve the task.
It’s a great tool to use in my relationship with my wife too. When she needs me to do a job before the book I would get the constant reminders to do a task “you need to to ring the window company”, “you need to sort the third bedroom” out. Now when I get asked if I’ve got a task done I simply say “Don’t worry it’s logged in the book”.
Record four columns – the task/goal, when you aim to achieve it, when you actually achieve it, and a column to tick it off… pretty straightforward.
Have your own little blue book…
Anyone can have a list for small goals/tasks, simply buy a small book you can carry around and draw out the four columns on a page and repeat as you add new goals and get onto new pages (and don’t forget to keep progressing through them either…).
The blue book is part of my life, I take it with me wherever I go and review it at spare moments, on the train, at home, in the office and use it motivate setting foundations for establishing medium/large goals (which get listed in there own seperate plan), for example “carry out work to put an initial plan together for writing a book”.
I’ve tailored the book to include notes from my wider vision, value and affirmation on the front pages, to inspire and remind me of my purpose.
When you’ve been practicing self-improvement for a while changes become more passive, less noticeable so the book is a great opportunity to keep motivating you to progress, you get a feeling of achievement as each little goal get knocked off and when you reflect, you realise how much you’ve done.
If you don’t record the small, insignificant things you need to do I recommend you start today.
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