Advice from Champion Goal-Achievers
In the process of honing their life lists, 43 Things members have experimented with countless goal-setting techniques and discovered which methods promote progress and which ones fail to yield results. An elite group fashioned this knowledge into their own personal goal-setting strategies and quickly mastered the art of getting things done. Around 43Things, such all-stars are known as Champion Goal-Achievers.
To help you improve your New Year's resolution batting average, we asked Champion Goal-Achievers to share a few of their life list-making principles and practices. Here's their advice for making good on your pledges for 2013.
When selecting a New Year's resolution what qualities are important?
The most important quality is that the goal is realistic. If it is what I consider to be a "big" goal that might take a long time to complete, then I break it down into smaller goals to make it more manageable.
A good example for this is the goal to lose weight. Rather than having the goal of lose weight, which is vague, I would adopt the goal lose 5 pounds. If you want to lose a large amount of weight, looking at a huge number each time you review your goals isn't likely to inspire you. Using an incremental approach by selecting smaller weight loss goals is a steadfast approach for achieving success.
How do you manage goals on your list?
I define goals as short or long-term and then label them as high, medium or low priority. Using these categories I organize my list in the following order:
At the top are the high priority short-term tasks, such as write a resume.
Beneath those are high priority long-term goals. An example is sell my house.
Following these goals, I place high priority life-long goals like take care of myself.
Then I list goals that keep me on track and prevent me from procrastinating. A good example is stop procrastinating.
Next are longer-term activities such as remember my mother.
At the bottom add low-to-medium priority goals or new goals.
— N.I. (over 121 goals completed in 2009)
How do you stay focused and maintain your momentum?
I try to check into 43 Things daily. I love to give cheers and I try to regularly return cheers to those that have cheered my goals well as cheer people with similar goals. It is always interesting to see what other people like me are working towards and reminds me what I am working for. Cheering people with similar goals and reading others' accomplishments and posts helps me stay motivated.
— I.N.I (over 112 goals completed in 2009)
What tactics do you find to be the most effective for completing goals?
In addition to announcing my goal to a friendly person who has similar interests, I track progress with a diary, put daily tasks in a calendar and regularly review my list.
— V.A. (over 135 goals completed in 2009)
How do you overcome pitfalls while working on goals?
The best thing to do if you feel stuck or get bogged down while working on a goal is to take action. Get up and go complete some quick and easy task that is meaningful to you. Cleaning or organizing tasks can be really activating.
But make sure not to select too large a task like clean the entire house because often you'll get sidetracked or start procrastinating. Choose a small task like wash the dishes, which is short and gets you moving. Once you're done washing the dishes you'll find that your energy level is up and you're ready to move on to the next task.
— S.B. (over 162 goals completed in 2009)