Getting back to Basics-Setting Goals

This morning my eye was drawn to an image for a post I made. The post was about focus. I gave an statement on what I wanted to focus:

I wish to make a living as a creator, writer and artist whose work is based on the principal of fostering uniqueness and creativity in a world that values conformity.

Since I made that post I have moved to a new state and started  a new job that is quite demanding.  So naturally I began looking into productivity tools to help me manage this demanding overflow of tasks.

One of the first question that comes up about focus and goals, and what the difference is. I was particularly drawn to the definition given by Peter Bregman

“A goal defines an outcome you want to achieve; an area of focus establishes activities you want to spend your time doing. A goal is a result; an area of focus is a path. A goal points to a future you intend to reach; an area of focus settles you into the present.”

Working in an Office, reaching defined goals such as getting the end of month financials wrapped up by a certain date makes a lot of sense. The next action is dependent on that goal being met.  This is not always the case. One painting can be left to sit or “incubate” as they call it in project management terms, while another is completed. The process is much more about the journey.

I thinking on this I started thinking about the various kinds of journeys.  I have hiked with very goal driven people, who want to get from here to there. I have also hiked with people who were content to sit and sketch or watch a ladybug, or to just stand and watch a fox up the path.  I have also been on hikes with some of each type in the group. The two can blend or they can conflict. What I am thinking about is how do I help myself maintain focus while also achieving goals.  What tools would you use for this?




Ready, Set Goal II

Dragon Mask and Costume Tee

Originally published

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been thinking a lot about goals and how to achieve them. As I start to prepare for Nanowrimo, I am taking stock of other goals that I have for October, November and December.   The fourth Quarter of the year.

It is a very busy time of the year. A time to prepare for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.  Yet smack dab in the middle of all that, I choose each year to participate in a pair of creative challenges, Nanowrimo, and Art Every Day Month.  I also have managed to blog every day during those challenges, even though I do not participate in the official blog every day challenge.

So October is a month of planning, and making socks.  November is a lot of doing, with December close on its heels getting ready for Christmas.

Then comes January when most people are setting resolutions. I tend to do my basic long term business planning in January. I take out my business plan and review it and update it.  That is generally it. This year I wanted to figure out how to carry that November momentum into January without having burnout from overload.

As I was lining up my plans, it occurred to me how odd it was to be doing some of my most detailed planning in the fourth quarter.

Why am I not spending some time in January planning for January, February and March?  The Same would be true of April and July for the other quarters.  I just put an appointment in the calendar to make that quarterly review in January. I think this will help me focus on my goals and put the more detailed planning into those months.  The more detailed and focused a goal, the easier it is to reach.