Wednesday, October 21, 2015

30 Days. 30 Goals: My Challenge To Myself

Earlier this year I decided to get my life together "for real this time." I don't know about anyone else but I find myself saying this every year, every month, every week. I'm always saying "Tomorrow, I'm going to start being great." And sometimes I do start, and then I fall off. I had to get more organized. So when Myleik of Curlbox created a journal and podcast outlining how she gets things accomplished, I thought "this is perfect, I can do it." And it was a great plan. I bought the journal, read all of her methods, and listened to the blog. It seemed simple enough...every day you write down everything that needs to be done (color coding based on importance or time), and when you complete a goal you highlight it. Seeing a whole page full of highlighted items is suppose to encourage you and fill you with a sense of accomplishment. If there were any tasks you didn't complete, you moved them over to the next day. GREAT. I can do this. But then I couldn't. I started and I would pick and choose which tasks I would do. I found myself carrying over certain tasks day after day. It never bothered me to write down tasks over and over again because I stopped doing it every day. I wrote a list and I could remember everything so no I don't need to do this every day. I realized a month ago, as I was writing a poem in the journal, that this method didn't work for me. I didn't feel accomplished, I felt like it was WORK. I used my journal to write poems and ideas, to write down quotes, to draw pictures...everything BUT getting organized. Why wasn't this working for me? 

Then I saw a post that said "Finish ONE thing. That's all you have to do." Sunday, I looked at my life and realized I had two main goals that I needed to finish. Both of which could change the trajectory of my life next year. Both things I have wanted since I moved to NYC. I wrote down everything I needed to do and got overwhelmed. This is why it wasn't working for me. There was too much to do. I had 100 things I needed to complete. My mind jumped back and forth between tasks. But then I heard a voice in my head say "Just finish ONE thing." So I decided, for the next month, every day I will choose one task from that list and devote my day to that ONE task. Nothing else. I wouldn't even think of other things I needed to do. 

So I picked one thing, and I wrote it down. Monday will be devoted to writing an LOR. The 99 other tasks didn't matter. I only had to finish this one on Monday. And I did. Then something amazing happened: I forwarded the LOR to the person who needed it (getting a second task done) and she uploaded it to the proper source (getting a third tasks done). Finishing ONE thing removed THREE things off of my lists. I felt so good. That task was gone.

Tuesday came and I selected another tasks: write the essay for the scholarship. 250 words. I could do this! On my train ride to work I started working on it. On my train ride home I reviewed what I wrote. When I got home, it was completed! I put a tasks on my calendar to remind myself to re-read the essay a week before the due date. Another task completed! These two items have been on my list for over a month and in two days, I knocked 4 things off my life! Having completed that essay I started looking for more grant funding to apply to later this month (a 5th task). I was on a roll!

Today is Wednesday. My task today is to finish a journal article. The article is completed, I just have to re-read and revise it. Once it's completed, I will forward it to my friend so he can review it. Then I can submit the article. 

I know it's only been three days but I have completed 6 goals by just focusing on ONE goal a day. So for anyone who is like me and has ADD and feels overwhelmed at times: Just pick ONE thing. Finish that ONE thing today. I personally decided that all of my tasks have to be aimed at the bigger goal of making me a better person (meaning "washing my clothes" could not be a goal). To avoid being distracted I started my list on a new sheet in my journal. Each day I add to that list the one goal for that day, and I look at that goal throughout the day until it's completed. I personally can't look at a list of 100 things anymore  because I want to do them all! But a list with ONE thing (I know, one item isn't really a list), it makes me feel like "This is all I have to do? Just this? I can do this!!". 

This method does require anyone on a schedule to be aware of their timeline. It also requires discipline because it forces you to focus on only one thing at a time. If you complete that task, you can move on to another one but it's not required. However, I have found that completing one tasks did give me the motivation to work on another. 

If you try this method out let me know how it works for you. At the end of the 30 days I will definitely update everyone (and show my list off!!).  Remember: Do Better! is STILL the movement. 

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