I’ve come to the realization that many, including myself, are currently unhappy with some element of life. It’s unfortunate, but it’s also reversible and changeable. When people accept the negative aspects of their life (instead of fighting it by creating change), that unhappy element remains, and becomes part of their new reality by absorbing into their 'normal' state. That can create a lot of baggage! Here’s an easy way to get yourself out of the unhappy ‘normal’, and become who you want to be by setting short-term ambitious goals and tracking progress which holds you accountable.
The first step to maximizing life is to understand what that means to you, by putting your priorities on paper. When you think of your current state, you’re most likely able to identify what you can immediately start doing to make life better. It might be to start going to the gym, or spend more time creating content, or reading a book, or going out to social events and making more friends. You know what would resonate most with you, so put it down on paper. We're going to be creating a system that will allow you to commit to the solution with your own priorities.
List around 10 immediate actions (Small, Medium, or Big) that will help you get closer to your goals. Here are mine:
Drink Tea Daily
5 Fruits + Vegetables
Read a Book
As you can see, these are not my long term goals. You can however, transform long term goals into short term actions to get you closer to that goal. For example, if your goal is to make more money, you can have 'Spend 15 mins looking for job postings' or 'Think of startup idea'. It's all about turning those big hairy goals into small digestible bits.
The next step is to think of some key words of who you want to become, qualities you want to possess, goals you want to achieve, or any other words which resonate with you. I recognized multiple key words with my priorities and ambitions for the future. They are: Location Independence, Meditation, Positivity, Health, Fitness, and Social Events. This is more than enough to start with immediately achieving (even on a small scale) some progress. It's good to have these words printed and hanged somewhere on your wall, or set as a screensaver/desktop. This way you are constantly reminded with those words, which allows them to influence your daily decisions.
Now we're ready to start!
This system is similar to a weekly planner where there are daily check boxes for the actionable events we determined earlier. Every day of the week has actionable and mostly simple little things to inch you closer to your goals.
Let's go back to the immediate actions we determined earlier, and give each item a points factor which resonates how important that priority is for you. Generally, the easier and quicker actions deserve less points. If you are less likely to do something, or if something seems hard, give it more points. Preferably, all the points should add up to 100 (so you can easily see your progress as a percentage), but that's up to you. Here's how I allocated my points:
Create Something (15 Points)
Read a Book (15 Points)
Run/Yoga/Gym (15 Points)
Attend a Social Event (15 Points)
5 Fruits + Vegetables (10 Points)
Meditation (10 Points)
Eat Breakfast (5 Points)
Drink Tea Daily (5 Points)
Sauna (5 Points)
Positive Quotes (5 Points)
Now that we realized the actions you can do to immediately make your life better by getting closer to your ultimate goals, it's time to create the system. I've uploaded a template you can edit at the bottom, but here's an example of how my weekly goal tracker looks.
When you complete a task, check it off. At the end of the day, you can add your points and see how you did for the day. Because the values and actions have been determined for yourself, your progress is a direct representation of YOUR goals and YOUR achievements. The objective isn't to get 100% every day, but to get as much as you can daily. Instead of forcing yourself to stick to unrealistic goals, tracking your progress and becoming aware of your daily accomplishments can allow you to naturally want to achieve your goals. Here is my thought process on how I allocated my points:
I can eat breakfast, drink tea, eat fruits, and look at some positive quotes. All those things seem simple and quick, and doing that daily will add up to 20 points. If I do this daily, I know I will improve my life for the better. Reading a book, Creating something, or going to the Gym will earn me 15 points each. These tasks take a bit more time, therefore I allocated more points for these tasks to motivate me to do them. I've allocate more points to tasks that I know I rarely do, even if they are easy, because I prioritize it higher than the rest. An example on my goal tracker is eating fruits and vegetables. I can get 10 points easily just by eating fruits and vegetables, so I will do this daily to get my points up easily. I don't eat enough of them, but after using my goal tracker, I've immediately seen a positive change in my food consumption.
Now when you wake up, you will be surrounded by your key words to inspire you to strive for your goals. You will have the Goal Tracker on your mind, checking off the mini accomplishments as you achieve them. The key at this point is tracking the analysis, and identifying trends in your accomplishments. At the end of the week, I like to fill out a Weekly Progress report. If enough people request it, I can upload an excel file with formulas that automatically calculate this based on your results.
Filling this out is a great way to identify what days of the week you are more successful in achieving your goals, and tweaking your behavior on certain days to maximize your success. An example is if you find that on Fridays you are less successful with accomplishing your goals, make it a habit to wake up 1 hour earlier and do something beneficial before you start your day.
Now that you have identified your priorities, created a plan, and are actively tracking your plan, it will be easier to change your life. This program is inspired by meditation and mindfulness, where the practice of becoming aware and observing your body and behavior allows you to gain insight on yourself, and become more in touch with your mind and body. By actively tracking your progress, you are constantly reminded of your goals, and are forced to become an observer of your daily life. This is the most effective way to facilitate positive change in your life, and achieve the results that you desire.
As time goes on you will become more familiar with your current goals, and your goal tracker should evolve as you do. When your priorities change, you can always tweak the points allocated to each event. You can remove and add additional tasks as you please. This is your planner, so take advantage of self-improvement and start living a better life today!
If you would like, you can set up a reward system, activated when you hit a certain amount of points daily/weekly. This is not mandatory, because the point of this program is to observe and become aware of your daily tasks, and see how you progress towards your goals.
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