How To Accomplish Your Dream Life, Part 5

reviews

For our last chapter, its time we look at what we have accomplished and what we have failed at.

In order to stay on top of your goals and all the steps involved, you need to setup a system of evaluating what you have done and if you are still heading in the right direction.

Where Can You Improve?

During the week, you need to take a hard look at what you have done and ask yourself, “Where do I need improvement? What could I have done better?”.

Personally, I like to do my review on Sunday.

I don’t waste time listing every single detail of my wrong doings from the week. I simply pick the biggest areas I want to improve in and list them. I generally list no more then 3 or 4.

This gives me focus on what I can improve and if I need to develop a new habit around it.

Here is an example I wrote down recently:

  • Didn’t keep VA busy enough. Need to assign more work to prevent task gaps.
  • Plan out blog post better. Need routine schedule.
  • Need to nail down hotel for the next conference.

I will more than likely create some new habits that involve overloading my VA with work every day and also dedicating 45 minutes to an hour writing “bits and pieces” of blog posts so that over 3-4 days time, a post is finished and ready.

What Turned Out Well?

Now the fun part.

List out the top things what are going well for you in the week. This helps build confidence and momentum when you see the steps getting complete and will help you move forward.

Here is a sample of 4 things that went well for me recently:

  • SaaS tool moving forward quickly with partner after giving him more authority.
  • Productivity is up with new phone system/method.
  • Split tests are signing up more readers to the blog.
  • Speed reading tips are helping me finish more books.

Focusing on what is working well helps build your strengths. Don’t neglect this step.

Planning Ahead

While doing my review, I take some extra time to plan out the week ahead of me.

You need to plan ahead so that when you are ready to start working on Monday, you have a plan of action and all the steps lined out to make your goals a reality.

I list out my goals for the week, and all the steps needed to ensure they are reached by Friday, exactly the same way I listed out in Part 2 of this series.

Some of these will be “new to me” goals, but several will be the next stepping stones in my monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals.

You do not want to wake up Monday morning and not have a plan of action.

Clearing Things Out

Having a cluttered work environment ( or mentality ) can really drag you down.

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I take my review time to also “clear up” anything that has been neglected or is going to slow me down. Examples of this are:

  • Clearing out my email inbox. Sending all replies and forwards that are needed.
  • Clearing out my Evernote inbox. Assign tags/labels and move to the needed notebook.
  • Cleaning up my desk ( papers, trash, etc ) and laptop ( files saved on desktop, fingerprint smudges, etc )
  • Getting my head clear by relaxing and reading.

This is also the perfect time to look ahead on your calendar and notice if any meetings or appointments are coming up next week you might not have planned for.

In Conclusion

Taking time to review what you have done will let you know the area’s where you need improvement. Planning your week ahead of time will help ensure you stay on the right path to accomplish your goals. Making the time to do this weekly is critical.

If you want to ensure you reach your goals and have a more fulfilling life, don’t make promises or resolutions with yourself. Instead, design and develop systems to ensure you actually achieve your goals.

This series was written to help you create such a system. To take small steps towards your goals every day until you reach the goals you set out to achieve.

Tell me what you think and share your goals with me in the comments below.

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Hi! I'm Jason Brown and I’m a 36 year old digital marketing intrapreneur living in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky. I've been involved with the Internet since 1996 and have personally made millions online with my creative marketing tactics and persistence. I blog about marketing, money, and motivation. Thanks for stopping by!

5 comments

  1. Niko   •  

    I read this article series and wanted to say that I am very thankful for taking the time to write this.

    It’s always interesting to read the thoughts of someone that has made it when you are trying to get your life together.

    I have read a lot of productivity books and blogs and you have definitely taken all the good parts of GTD, Agile Results, Eat That Frog, Pomodoro and a few others and combined them together nicely.

    It was also very nice to see that you encountered the same problem that I am facing. Lack of time. I also have 3 children so I face similar time restrictions. Your solution of just doing it early and quickly perhaps is the key there.

    I do like the not to-do list, which is something I have not implemented and I believe it will be of tremendous value.

    I do have a few questions though. In a way they are my sticky points.

    1. How do you not burn yourself out? I find myself working, working, working and after a week, a month…3 months I am so burned out I stop working on my goals. Part of me thinks it’s fear of success but I do think it’s a scheduling problem as well.

    You mentioned in one of your posts that you go for 30 days straight, if things are perfect you take a day break. Is that what you did in the past or do you still do that?

    Is the key your daily decompression? Making sure you have an hour or two of not work?

    2. When I set an hour by hour schedule and something unexpected happens I tend to lose focus for the entire day. Do you also have a similar issue or have you developed strategies to overcome this?

    3. Whenever I set goals I always make them too big. So big that they cannot be accomplished. How do you create goals that are more realistic but big enough to make progress? Is it a matter of experience? What do you use to gauge is your goal and timeline are realistic?

    4. Do you ever change your goal mid month or mid year because of a realization? What sings do you look for to ensure that your reasoning is legitimate?

  2. Jason Brown   •     Author

    Thanks for commenting on this. To answer:

    1. The burnout is hard. What helps me is having my tasks/outcomes/MITs for the day set around my goals and NOT just brain dead and time sucking tasks.

    Sure, you have to do the other stuff, but knowing that at least 1 of my MITs for the day is aligned with a bigger goal of mine helps me through the mundane stuff like laundry or meetings.

    Also, you have to take breaks. Work for 25 minutes or 50 minutes and take a 5-10 minute break. Take a longer break after 4-5 of those Pomodoros.

    When it comes weekly/monthly, yes you must take some time for yourself and more importantly your children/family. After 6 days, take the whole day off or do something more relaxing like picking up a new goal like reading so you’re not just working all the time. After a month, take 2-3 days off if possible.

    You for sure need a vacation after 3-6-12 months if that’s what you need. I only need one every year, but you may need it every 6 months.

    2. It happens. What I like to do is when I get disrupted, I do a couple things.

    I make an email to myself so when I get back to the computer I know I need to start working on Project X again, this is like a reminder.

    I set an alarm on my phone for 30 minutes to ring with a message where I need to pick back up.

    If the distraction is huge, like say you just had a death in the family, then remember that you’re not a robot and life happens. Take the amount of time the distraction requires and pick back up when/where you can later.

    For the small things like having a flat tire or unexpected meeting, you need to remind yourself to get back on track, and that’s what emails to myself and alarms do for me.

    3. Your goals should be big ( 1 month, 12 month, etc ). However, they should be big to fit the timeline you give them.

    For instance, if my goal is the travel the world.. I cant set that as a monthly goal as it would be impossible. However, I could set that as my yearly goal and then break it down to 12 monthly goals of visiting 1 country a month. My weekly and daily MITs would need to support that monthly goal since visiting 1 country a month is doable.

    4. Yes I do. Life happens, but I try to stick to long term goals as much as possible. Jumping from new shiny thing to another all the time is a recipe for disaster. However, if you see yourself failing because of circumstances beyond your control, you might need to realign your plans.

    Pivoting is good, but don’t drastically change plans all the time.

  3. djcrunk   •  

    Hey there Jason

    Thanks for dropping some high quality knowledge with great posts in a very clear and concise way. Also I have read your other articles and I can’t help but relate to your story. Being forced to resign my last job, after putting so many hours of hard work (unpaid extra-time even), making my employers richer and landing my boss a promotion, after fixing the mistakes of other two managers before me, making him look good, just to get the boot and a meek check… well it was a very bitter pill to swallow.

    But’s that what pushed me into affiliate marketing, and rethinking my whole life. So I guess in the end it was a good thing, and I should thank them, heh. Maybe sometimes, hitting rock bottom is what it takes. Cause now I’m doing ok but always wanna be better, focused, driven and deadly efficient. But it seems hard now from this point, cause I’m just starting the journey, so it’s very inspiring to read the steps you took to achieve the high level of success you’ve accomplished so far. Besides the techinical quality of the content itself.

    Thanks again and have an awesome & productive day.

    Cheers

  4. Andy Black   •  

    Great series Jason. I’ll be printing these out and going through them with a fine tooth comb. Will let you know I get on.

    Thanks for putting the time into posting these.

  5. Ben Solomon   •  

    Excellent set of posts Jason. Much appreciate you posting these and for linking it up at the FLF. ;)

    Thanks.

    Ben.

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