How To Make Time For Working On Your Personal Goals
31 July 2014
A common challenge we face as dreamers, especially when starting out, is not having the time to work on pursuing our dreams. Sometimes it may be that your studies require a lot more of your dedication and focus. Or it may be that your day-job is pretty demanding. We seem to have practical reasons for why we can’t get fully engaged in pursuing our dreams. Before you know it, we forget about them completely. If you experience this and are looking to make time for what’s important, I have a 4 step process that might help you out.
Step #1: Prioritize
The people you look up to and call successful, have most likely been in your situation. They had a demanding job or had to take their studies just as seriously. So despite being preoccupied, what did they do different that allowed them to pursue their goals and succeed?
They sorted out their priorities. School was important. Work was important. But was spending their entire weekend playing video games, watching movie marathons or hanging out MORE IMPORTANT than working on their goals?
I’d like to think not. I mean, playing video games is great. Watching movies is awesome. Hanging out is essential. But between some of these activities and working on your dreams, how much more time should you spend over the other… to get to where you need to be?
This is how dreamers strategize. Sacrifice is necessary. But only if it’s the right kind of sacrifice. Without school, you limit your growth options. Without work, you run into financial problems. But what will you truly lose without 5 hours of movie night?
Now if you had 5 hours to work on your dream every Saturday, what would that mean for you 4 weeks from now? Would you have created your first game? Would you have grasped the concept of online marketing? This is the mindset you need to adopt to stand a greater chance at achieving your goals.
Step #2: Plan
You have identified openings to work on your goals. Now time to come up with a plan. I have compared pursuing dreams to fighting in wars before. And you do not proceed to the battlefield without a strategy. It’s suicide.
Planning includes identifying your Goal. Coming up with the milestones you need to reach to accomplish that goal. And ultimately the daily tasks you need to complete to arrive at those milestones.
Planning also involves creating schedules on when you plan to do each activity you have identified. You may have freed up 5 hours of your weekend, but are we talking morning or night? Are we talking about 5 hours non-stop or 2 hours splits with 1 hour breaks in between?
No need to be too detailed though. Plans are just a guidelines and nothing more.
There’s a great article on goal setting on Forbes titled A Guide To Evaluate Your Priorities and Set Goals
Step# 3: Execute
Now that you have a plan and schedule in place, it’s time to take on one task at a time. Though this may sound pretty obvious, it’s really important. Nothing will help you keep working on your goals consistently, like momentum. To build momentum you must start and always ensure you stick to your schedule. It’s that simple.
Step# 4: Evaluate
Rarely will you get processes like this effective on the first go. Maybe you aren’t very effective during the weekend and you would rather work on your goals during the early mornings of every week day. Great. Just re-adjust your plan and schedule to work during the times most comfortable to you.
Most would give up when a plan they have adopted hasn’t gone right for them on the first try. Don’t let this be an excuse to make you give up on accomplishing your goals. Nothing was set in stone. You owe it to your passion to find the times and practices that will better help you work on reaching for the success you crave.
Evaluate everything. How you set priorities. How you plan. How you will execute and how you will refine the process of creating more time to work on your personal goals.
I am more of a “mindset-shift” type of guy than anything else when it comes to figuring out how to succeed. I have tried apps and processes before, but if your mind is not in-tuned with setting yourself up for success from the get go… all the apps in the world may not help you get to where you need to be.
Aside from looking for ways to make time to do the important things, being intentional about it is just as important.
And with that, I welcome you to share your views on the process I outlined and whether it makes sense. Please feel free to suggest ways you found to help make time to do what matters to you.
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