Tuesday, July 31, 2018

55. Plan with me...August 2018!

July Goals Review

Goals in green were met. Goals in purple were almost met. Goals in blue were total misses.

Teaching Goals
  • Finish coursera courses
    • I am currently trying to make my way through three coursera courses relevant to my teaching. 
      • University Teaching: made it through week 1 of the course
      • eLearning Ecologies: made it halfway through week 1
      • Teaching Online: made it through all of week 1 except the assignment.
        • I think that aiming to finish all of these courses in the month of July was an unrealistic goal. Thankfully, coursera allows you to push back your start date if you fall behind. I may also just have to accept that I don't have time to do these assignments right now and just resign myself to the reading material, videos, and quizzes. At least this way I'm still learning but not over-taxing myself with work that doesn't mean much--I'm not purchasing the course certificate so this is just for learning purposes and not for credentialing. I imagine that if I do decide to do these courses for a credential, I could join another session and actually complete the assignments. For now, it's enough just to do the reading and lectures. 
Research Goals
  • Submit Jessica Jones paper.
    • I was able to submit an abstract to a scholarly journal. Woohoo!
  • Take one step forward on all projects.
    • Womp Womp. I was not able to do this, mostly because my teaching load was pretty heavy in July. 
  • Work on my novel everyday Monday through Friday.
    • This was a total miss. I think this was an unrealistic goal based on everything else I was trying to accomplish.
Service Goals
  • Set up an EDS Iowa meet-up in my area.
    • Done!
Business Goals
  • Write business plans for two business goals.
    • I worked on my business plans but didn't finish them. Again, I think it was unrealistic to think that I could completely finish these plans because business plans take a lot of time and research. I will still continue to work on these business plans but with a more realistic approach. 
Personal Goals
  • Exercise three times a week.
    • Done! I'm looking forward to doing more in August.
  • Read Bible everyday.
    • Done! This is now a habit--part of my morning routine and something I plan to continue.
  • Start my Youtube channel. 
    • Done! You can view my channel here. 

Shareable August Goals
Teaching Goals

  • Continue to work on coursera courses.
  • Finish grading by Friday.
Research Goals
  • Take one step forward on all projects.
  • Finish data collection for one project.
  • Brainstorm about a new article.
  • Work on novel at least once a week.
Service Goals
  • Recruit a new board member.
  • Set up EDS Iowa meet up.
  • Presentation for my department.
Business Goals
  • Go public with Youtube on Twitter.
  • Launch new business focus for Love Works photography.
  • Strategic plan for calendar line.
  • One step forward on each business plan.
Personal Goals
  • Start leash training Dinah.
  • Start Muldowney exercise protocol.
  • No spend month.
  • Plan Deep Clean 2018 Project.
Let me know down below how July went for you and what you are working on in August!


Saturday, July 28, 2018

54. Five Tools for Planning, Organizing, and Time Management

Meeting goals doesn't just happen. It takes planning and good organization tools to get there. Below are my five favorite tools for planning and working toward my goals.

1. Calendar
This one seems obvious but there are a lot of different calendars you can use. I like to use a small calendar that has a monthly view and then a daily view. It's also small enough to keep in my purse so that I can refer to it when there isn't wifi to access my phone.

You don't have to spend big bucks on a calendar if you don't want to. There are tons of free printable layouts available with a simple Google search. The important thing, as always, is to find a calendar system that works for you.

2. Google Calendar
I also recommend using an electronic or web-based calendar of some sort. It doesn't have to necessarily be Google. I use Google calendar because my work, small business, and personal email accounts are all through Google Suite, and I sync each account's calendar. I also have a Google calendar app on my smartphone that I can use on the go (if there is wifi).

3. Bullet Journal
Bullet journals can feel overwhelming when you first start learning about them. So many bullet journalists are highly creative and artist in the way to set up their journals. Your journal does not necessarily have to be highly artist. You can use a simple bullet journal system. My own bullet journal is really simple, but I credit my bullet journal for my ability to stay on track with everything I'm trying to accomplish.

4. Toggl
Toggl is an app that allows you to track how you are using your time. You can break your work sessions down to clients and then specific projects for clients. Using this app allows me to keep tabs on how much time I'm spending on different areas to make sure I'm not neglecting anything. I don't micromanage my time with this. For example, I don't track things like brushing my teeth or non-work time in general. I keep the categories large like "teaching" which encompasses a lot of different activities. I've found that if I try to get too specific with my categories, I spend more time managing the app than working and then it becomes counterproductive.

5. Tomato Timer
The tomato time is a website and app you can use to break up your work time with break time. This is typically called the Pomodoro technique and I like to do 45 minutes of work followed by 15 minute breaks. You can set the time for any chunk of time which means you can easily make this method work for you however you need it to.

So, that's it! Five tools to help you with planning, organizing and time management. If you use any of these tools, let me know how they go for you.

If you're interested, here's my video post on the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrrL9oA5wjw


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

53. Five Ways to Get Started with Goal Setting

I hear a lot from people in my circles about how they would rather "go with the flow" than set any goals. I've heard the argument that goals are too restrictive and you can't really plan out what happens in life so goal setting is futile. 

While I understand where some people may be coming from with these arguments, I think they have missed some of the fundamental attributes of goals. One of the first is that having goals helps you take control of where you are headed--you can still go with the flow of a day but do so with purpose. That, to me, leads to a much more fulfilling life. To move from drifting to purposeful is to embrace your own agency and power to make a difference your world. 

Goals are also not necessarily restrictive if you set them knowing that your goals can evolve as you do. You might have a the goal of being an Olympic gymnast but find that as you grown and evolve as a human, you might actually enjoy coaching more than competing. Goals, in this way, are not restrictive but liberating. You are giving yourself the freedom to aim for something that makes you happy and that also helps you create a life filled with meaning rather than happenstance alone.

If I have you convinced of the value of goal setting, but you've never done it before, here are some tips for getting started. 

1. Understand your purpose.
The first step to setting any kind of goal is to understand your purpose. Personally, I read two books that really helped me begin the process of finding mine. The first book was Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. I wrote about my experience with this book in a previous post. You can read that post hereThe second book was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen. R. Covey.

Reading these books helped me figure out what I feel like my purpose is. Even if you don't have this figured out, you can still set goals! Start by thinking about what your perfect day would be. Then understand what needs to change for you to have that perfect day and write those down as your starting long term goals. Keep in mind these can, and probably will change as you continue to figure yourself out. 

2. Consider writing a personal mission statement.
Stephen Covey recommends developing a personal mission statement. This mission statement can help guide you as you are setting goals. You can write your mission statement in any way you want and, like your goals, your mission statement can change as you do. You can see my own person mission statement here

3. Start with your long-term goals.
Once you have some of these big life, deep ideas figured out and set some goals, think about your long-term goals with a timeline. Long-term goals generally have a timeline of 5-7 years. 

4. Break long-term goals down into short-term goals
Once you have your long-term goals set, you can start breaking them down into smaller more manageable goals that will lead you to those big goals. Short-term goals typically have a timeline of anywhere from a month to a year. I like to set both yearly and monthly goals. 

5. Be SMART about it.
SMART is an acronym many people use to set goals. Some people break it down to mean "specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound." The version I work with is "specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, recorded, and realistic, and time-bound." I like to use "actionable" as the "A" because goals often work best when set using verbs. 

When you work through these steps, let me know what goals you've set! Telling people about your goals makes it more likely that you will meet them!

Happy goal setting!

Jess d'Artagnan

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