Keeping Up With Your Goals

Jan 2, 2015
Joe Buhlig
~2 mins

It’s resolution time! Or not. There are a plethora of articles telling you to set goals as opposed to resolutions. The term doesn’t really matter. They’ll fail without a plan behind them.

Having a system for keeping goals in mind and yourself on track is what’s important. You need three things to do this: your goals, actions for reaching those goals, and a regular review of both.

A list of goals

I keep my list of goals in Evernote. Each goal gets a separate note with the goal as the title of the note. Any motivation or reasoning behind it goes into the body of the note.

The key here is to create a separate “index” note. It’s as simple as making a new note with links to each of the individual goal notes. This way you can see them all at once and easily jump to each one.

Next Actions

I set up a project in Omnifocus for each goal. The idea is to put my time where my head is. I want to achieve something so I better decide what I need to do in order to accomplish it. Those actions go here.

In the notes section for each project, I add the link back to the Evernote note for that specific goal. This makes it easy to jump over and look at the motivation behind the goal and get clarity when I need it.

Reviewing your goals

It’s nice to set goals or resolutions and it’s great to define the tasks you need to complete them, but unless you’re reviewing your goals regularly you’ll forget why you’re doing anything at all.

I look over my goal index note in Evernote every day and I read the motivation behind each goal weekly during my [Weekly Review]. During my Weekly Review I make sure that I have actions each week that will count towards each of my goals. If I do that, I know I’m chipping away at all of them.

Pro Tip

Something that I’ve found helpful is having a quick way to look at my list of goals. I do this using a workflow in Alfred. I invoke Alfred and type “goal,” which opens my goal index note in Evernote for immediate review.

I do this because I’m asked to take on new projects almost daily. Most of the time I know the answer. But there are times when I don’t know if it will help me achieve my goals or not. This is when it’s really nice to quickly pull them up and double-check.

It’s a simple setup. Set your goals, determine actions, and review it all. The rest of the system is there to make it easier to accomplish your goals.