Yesterday was Day 1 of dotnetConf 2016, an annual conference, and my first time attending. If you hadn't already noticed this is one of many virtual conferences you can attend...
- I’m going to take my larger goals and break them into simple steps. Then I’m going to break those steps down even future as much as I can. That way I end up with something like ” Exercise -> Same Time Every Day -> Be Dressed at Ready by X -> Do X number of Sets -> Do 10 Push Ups – Etc.”
- I’m using automation to help me remember what needs to be done and when. I have a few calendar alerts setup to send emails and even a few IFTTT applets that send me text messages.
- I plan out the next before bed. That way I don’t have to think about what needs to get done tomorrow because I have a handy list.
- I also use tools like Asana, Wunderlist, and Evernote to capture things and keep track of things.
Resolutions are fine, goals are great, but as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry so famously said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” So are you a wisher or are you a doer?
Even if you use the smart goals method to outline your goals in an achievable way you still need an actual plan, or structure, in place to make sure you’re achieving something daily that moves you towards a goal.
I’m going to demonstrate all this using my own 2017 Goals so you might want to take a moment to go check out the explanations for each goal to get a better understanding of what I’m talking about.
This is going to be my last fluff piece for a while, after this I’m going to start focusing on my life as a developer and the issues I’m tackling. Feel free to tell me what you’d like to see in the future. I mainly deal with Microsoft technologies but I plan on branching out a bit beyond that this year.
Finding low-sodium recipes is simple, I set a calendar event to remind me that I need to add three recipes to my PlanToEat collection. This way I get an email every Friday letting me know it’s time to make sure I have this done. Another part of this structure is having a system, like PlanToEat, that I can use to quickly capture recipes and store them for later use.
Every night before bed I fill two water bottles and place them on my desk for the next day. When I wake up and eventually start work I have I have 52 of the 64 oz I’m going to drink that day already there and waiting for me. It’s simple enough to fill the 20 oz bottle in the evening and have my water intake for the day finished. Again the key here is preparation beforehand.
2. Exercise and Health
One of the most difficult things about losing weight is motivation. So I set up a system that overrides my motivation and forces me to work on this goal. The first step was making a commitment that I would be dressed in my workout clothing at a certain time EVERY morning. Just the act of controlling that one little aspect, that one little mini-goal, helps me maintain my larger goals of exercise and eventually weight-loss. Take the larger goal and breaking it down into smaller easily achievable goals is really the key here.
Of course, weight-loss has a lot more to do with diet than exercise so I also make it a point to always start meal planning on Sundays using PlanToEat and MyFitnessPal.
I’m still working on making a system for this so I have nothing to report yet.
I schedule the same time every day to look for jobs and take my time to research the company before that way I can write better cover letters. I also apply for at least 5 jobs a day. With those limits in place, it makes the process much easier since I know what is expected.
5. Increase professional knowledge
This is another example of scheduling time to sit down and learn. I use the same time every day to learn about Angular and different forms of SQL from different sources and to practice. I have a set amount of time I spend doing that every day so it makes it easier to know how much learning vs working I can fit in that time-frame.
There are several more professional goals but it’s mostly all just a rehash of scheduling my time to actual research something or setting alerts reminding me that I need to do it.