Once you have your goals in a priority order and a rough sense of how long each will take, it’s time to add them to your planner and get to work!
Goals need clear start dates, and ideally clear end dates as well. Once those are established, then the process of breaking down the goals into component parts begins.
The steps to achieve goals can be added to your planner in one of three ways:
- Tasks, either individual or repeating – tasks are ideal for items that need to be completed in a specific time frame, but not at any particular time. With the Uzume app, you can tie tasks to goals, which then enables you to measure your progress toward your goal.
- Calendar items – calendar items are perfect for goals that have actions you need to schedule. An example from my experience is that I had a goal to make sure I saw a couple of friends for lunch once a month. I had a task to reach out to them and schedule, and then a calendar item for the actual lunch.
- Check-in items – check-ins should be scheduled for goals that have neither tasks nor calendar items. One example of this would be something like starting a new diet. To stay on track, regularly scheduled check-ins help you reflect and keep focused. Another example would be a big goal that has no obvious first step, but which you want to keep track of. More on that below.
GOALS THAT ARE PROJECTS – If you are starting with a goal that is a project, consider scheduling one piece at a time. The Uzume App is designed to make this simple, but any planner can be configured to support this process. Determine your first step, set a start and end date for the task, add time to your calendar if necessary. The Uzume app automatically prompts you to set the next task toward your project goal when you have completed all tasks tied to the goal.
GOALS THAT ARE HABITS – When undertaking a habit change, start small. Schedule the goal start and end for a timeframe that feels manageable to you. For example, let’s say you wanted to go paleo. Maybe your first goal is to get through three days. Next try a week, then try two weeks, then a month. After each interval, check in with yourself and schedule the next goal. You may or may not have tasks or calendar items for these goals. Again, the Uzume App is designed to prompt you whenever you complete a goal that’s a habit to see if you want to schedule it again.
GOALS THAT ARE YOUR TOP PRIORITY BUT NOT IMMEDIATELY ACTIONABLE – If you have a really big goal – something that spans possible years, like changing careers or buying a house – but don’t have an action toward that goal to add to your planner, that’s ok. You need a process for keeping track of these goals and keeping them top of mind so that when there is an action you can add, you remember to do so. This is where the Check-in comes in.
What are Check-Ins and why are they important?
A Check-in is time that you have set aside for yourself to look at your goals and review your tasks and calendar items. You might also have an accountability partner for some of your goals and tasks (more on that here) but the check in is really about you checking in with yourself. Depending on your schedule, your goals, and your preferences, you can do check-ins weekly, monthly, or quarterly – the only rule is that the check in schedule has to be authentic to you.
During a check-in, you want to do the things you need to continue your growth:
- Review your values
- Review your top goals, schedule any new tasks or calendar items, reschedule goals as necessary
- Review tasks, clean up the list, add new items
- Update your calendar
- Schedule your next check-in, if not set-up as recurring
Check-ins are tough to commit to, but vital to maintaining any serious goal setting program.