Many of us have goals, if you’re anything like me; you keep a list of your long term goals as well as your short term goals.
The short term goals are usually the ones that make it on our “To Do” list. I write my list for the next day in the evening and then review it and make additions first thing in the morning.
Oh man, we can get a lot done if we look to our lists. As a mother of many, people are always asking me how I get so much done. It’s because I write all my tasks down, I tell them, that way I don’t forget.
Such is the power of lists.
The problem with lists is that sometimes we get so busy doing our short tem goals (blog posts, articles, press releases, soccer pickups) that we can lose track of our long term goals.
A friend of mine has tried an approach of prioritizing her lists and putting down only the top 5 things she wants to get done each day. I tried that for a bit but it only left me with a slew of many unfinished and undone “to do’s”. A typical daily list of mine often runs into double digits.
With so many items on a daily list the result is that long term goals can get pushed aside and before you know it, weeks and months can pass with no progress made on those goals.
I, myself, am guilty of this. I have a book manuscript that needs to be finalized. I have to create a standardized proposal and then I have to get that sucker out there to agents. It’s a long and complicated process.
But articles and marketing copy is what brings in the money so I focus on those for my daily tasks and before you know it, the day has ended and the manuscript still sits unedited and alone in a file on my computer.
Last weekend I was reading How Come That Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not? By Robert Shemin (I find it highly ironic that I got this book at a yard sale for 50 cents). Although much of the book is about real estate investment (that’s how you get rich according to Shemin) I did find one nugget of advice that made my investment of time reading the book worthwhile and it was this:
to ask yourself “What three things have I done toward my long tem goal today? “
Isn’t that beautiful? It makes it so simple. If I follow this advice then my long term goal becomes part of my daily goals and not just something I work on when I have the time. It becomes a part of my daily activities instead of something that I hope to achieve someday, somehow.
I’ve taped a note card to my wall with this goal question on it. It stares at me while I do my work. There is no escaping my responsibilities to my long term goal now.
And there are no longer any excuses for not working on a daily basis toward it.
About the Author:
Wendy E.N. Thomas is a freelance writer and Instructional Design Consultant for High-Tech Businesses She is located in New Hampshire, U.S and has over 25 years experience in the High-tech field as a Technical Writer/Instructional Designer.
Wendy has been published in national magazines, newspapers, e-zines, and blogs. A features writer, interviewer, and columnist, Wendy frequently contributes to local State news and political media. She has been involved in blogging for, writing press material and speeches for national and state politicians.