Today I am going to talk about my experience with days 5-8 of the Make Over Your Morning course by Crystal Paine. If you need to catch up, read this post about why I decided to complete this course and click here for my key takeaways from days 1-4.
Goal Setting is Linked to Your Morning Routine
Days 5 and 6 get into the meaty topic of goal setting!
Setting goals is not a new concept. It seems like everywhere you look there is a new article or YouTube video telling you how to set goals and why you should set goals.
The thing I liked about the goal setting lessons of the course was that it links goals directly to a Morning Routine. We are not getting up in the morning just for the sake of getting up early. The reason we are getting up early (or at least before the rest of our family) is to make progress on our goals.
“Intentionally charting a course for each day will help more than just your mornings. It will impact your weeks, your months, and your years!”
Crystal has a great article that walks you through how to setup goals for yourself. You can use her printable to track your goals if you wish. Basically think of the 3-5 areas of your life you want to work on for the year, for example, health, marriage, motherhood, or housekeeping. Then think of 1-2 goals for each area and break those down into specific tasks.
Interval Goal Setting
This year I did something a little bit differently. I read an article over at Simplified Organization that talks about Interval Planning and I wanted to give it a try.
Essentially, instead of developing big goals for the whole year, look at a shorter period of time called an interval. Then think about what you can accomplish in that 6-8 week period of time. There is a rest week in between intervals to refresh and tweak your plans for the next interval. The article recommends focusing on 1-3 big projects to move forward, 1-3 small tasks and 1-3 habits to work on.
I came up with the following list for my first interval:
- Big Projects:
- i Dream of Simple
- Declutter 2 areas of my home
- Create and print photo book for 2016
- Habit: meditate for 10 minutes every morning
Then I came up with tasks under each main bucket on how I would actually accomplish those goals. So for example, under the meditation goal I had things like complete a Mindfulness training, read a book on habits, and download the Headspace app. These are bite sized and actionable tasks that I can work through during the interval.
Developing Accountability is Key
In the course Crystal tells of her experience with texting a friend every morning to hold each other accountable with waking up early. To be honest I have not been good about asking others to hold me accountable. That is one of the reasons I started this blog and I do think that it helps with follow-through!
“An accountability partner will be incredibly helpful to keeping you on track with your goals and your routine.”
I enjoyed reading this extra article from the course. I like how it discusses an accountability partner can help in the business setting as well as for personal goals.
To-do lists are tools to help us accomplish goals
I love to make lists and crossing things off as I complete the task. This section of the course talks about making sure you have the right things on your list. It also emphasizes a to-do list is meant to be a tool to help you make traction on your goals.
“Creating an actionable and accurate to-do list is essential to smoothly running a home.”
The main steps for creating a to-do list can be found on Crystal’s website at this post, summarized below:
- Step 1 – Focus on making sure your family is taken care of – i.e they have clean clothes, food on the table, the basics.
- Step 2 – Pick a few bite sized pieces of your goals to accomplish. Think in terms of 15-30 minute chunks of time.
- Step 3 – Keep your to do list short and simple!
A big takeaway for me here is to time block each task on your list to be realistic on how long it will take.
“It’s better to do less if that means you feel less overwhelmed, have more breathing room, have more time to be present with those you love, and actually start and finish projects!”
My Current To-Do List Process
I have tried all kinds of task lists including pen and paper, bullet journal, workflowy, Evernote, Reminders on my phone, etc. The important thing is to find a system that works for you and then stick with it – whether it’s pen and paper or a digital app. There are a ton of different options and methods out there. Try one or more and tweak the one you like best to work for you.
Right now I am using the Reminders app on my phone. This is what my husband uses as well so we can share lists, etc. I have the following lists: Today, This Week, Blog to Do, Meal Plan, and Someday/Maybe/Brain dump. I also use my iCal for events that are scheduled. And my husband and I share our calendar with each other so we know what is going on with the other person as well.
This may not work for everyone but it’s what is working for us right now!
How did you do on Days 5 – 8?
Did you set goals for yourself? Did you incorporate those into a daily to-do list?
Read the Other Posts in the Series
*some of the links in this post are affiliate links.