How I Wrote Down my Top Goals and Daily Actions for the Next Quarter
In a previous article, I shared how I visualised my goals for 2022 by creating a desktop wallpaper.
These are my top-level goals, which means they are unlikely to change. My sub-level goals, however, can change every week, month or quarter — influenced by what I’ve learned or experienced.
As I’ve been going through a lot of changes recently (a major one being that I started a part-time job), I felt the need to visualise my sub-goals in a way that makes them more top-of-mind and clear.
I didn’t want to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to work towards what I truly want to achieve. That’s why I wrote my most important sub-goals for the rest of the year down like this:
A valuable aid for planning my day 👁️
As you can see, I divided the visual in two categories:
📅 (Near) daily actions
🎯 And 2022 goals
The reason I wrote them down like this is because I want to get reminded every day of my most important recurring priorities, so that I don’t forget about them. I also want to be reminded of where these daily priorities lead to — why I’m doing them. Knowing which goals these daily activities will lead to, will help me shape my daily activities so that I will keep doing the right things.
And yes, I know this visual is incomplete 🙃
I don’t just want to work out, for example. I also want to hang out with friends, play guitar, read books and listen to podcasts. But those things are much easier to fit into my life at the moment. I don’t have to prioritise them, because I’m already doing them.
Plus, the impact of working out is massive: I feel more energised, I get more ideas, I feel better about myself and my health. It’s what Charles Duhigg would call a ‘cornerstone habit’ — a habit that has a positive influence on many other things in your life. So when I plan my day, working out is the first thing I want to think about. “Where does it fit in my schedule?” I want to prioritise it.
Sharing content is another one of those activities that I have to plan for carefully. KREW and e-learning, on the other hand, are much more integrated into my daily planning already so they are lower down the list. Not because they are less important, but because they require less deliberate planning.
Of course, there are more than 4 daily actions I need to think about. But the ones that are not on this list are either more automatic already, or they are simply not my current priority.
To achieve the things I want, I need focus.
Connecting my daily activities to my top goals 🎯
I summarised “the things I want” as my 2022 goals. While these seem like my top-level goals, they are still sub-goals.
Writing a book I’m proud of is part of my “help others grow by sharing free content that I’m proud of with as many people as possible” top-level goal. And creating a new e-learning solution is part of “turn one of my passion projects into a profitable business with a team of five”.
Down the road, I may decide that writing a book or creating an e-learning solution is not the way I am going to reach my top-level goals. And that’s OK. But for now, I feel they are the way and that’s why I want to give them the attention they deserve.
I drew an arrow from my first goal to my second, because I think that writing a book could give the input I need to create the e-learning solution. It’s a way to indicate that the e-learning solution is a more long-term goal than the book, which again helps me with prioritising my daily actions.
Speaking of daily actions… sharing content and developing my e-learning skills are directly related to my goals of writing a book and developing an e-learning solution. But of course, to make that connection work I can’t just share any content or learn any skills. The actions I take need to get me closer to realising my goal.
I will need to revisit this visual often to make sure that I’m still on track and that my daily actions are still directly leading me towards reaching my goals.
The North Star that guides me 🌟
As you can see, I like the interplay between top-level goals that largely stay the same and sub-level goals that can change. There is something in between, though. Or above it all. I’m not exactly sure.
But I’ve noticed that as I try to create these big solutions like a book or an e-learning tool, I am guided by the following desire:
You could call this my ‘why’. And as Simon Sinek has showed the world, starting with why can be incredibly powerful.
And while my ‘why’ may not exactly fit in the Simon’s golden circle framework, it does inspire me to keep creating. Whether it’s a book, a tool or something else… it doesn’t matter in the end. I just want to help people make personal development easy and fun.
Because it isn’t easy. Nor fun 🤷
There are a ton of valuable books you can read, but not all of us can say we truly love reading. I love the insights I get from reading, sure. But is it my favourite way to learn? Not at all.
The same goes for e-learning. I mean, you need tremendous willpower to select and finish an online course. Unless your boss tells you to take it. Not everyone has that kind of willpower or determination to learn something new.
I struggled with personal development for a long time myself as well. I wanted to learn by doing, but I neglected courses and books. They didn’t appeal to me. I could force myself eventually (and I’m glad I did) but I know there are so many others that don’t have the means, the mindset or the environment to be able to do the same.
So this is my North Star 💪
And having written it down gives me a sense of progress. I can see it in the sky. I know sort of where I’m going. But I can’t see the road ahead of me. I may take many wrong turns. Heck, maybe the book or the e-learning solution is one of them. But in following that North Star, I will get closer with every step and eventually I will reach it. I’m sure of that.
Visualising your own goals 🖌️🎨
If my story inspired you to visualise your own goals, I’d say: go ahead!
It’s a lot more inspiring to me to be able to see them like this, rather than to have them hidden in my notes somewhere. I will put these goals on my fridge, so that I’ll get reminded daily about what I decided is important.
And deciding what’s important isn’t easy. I know that.
But once you picked your North Star it gets easier. Just keep it simple. Change the visual as much as you like. Share it with others to get feedback and feel more secure about what you’ve created.
But most of all: just trust your gut 🌟
I believe we have intuition for a reason, so we should use it. I have no idea whether all of this what I wrote down will lead me to where I want to go, but no matter what anyone else tells me: I know I’m trying. I know I’m making progress somehow.
And that’s the person I want to be. Someone who believes in something and keeps trying to reach it no matter what. I don’t want to be a dreamer who never takes action. Or someone who looks back at his life and regrets all the things he didn’t do.
I want to take action. So I pick my focus. I write down my goals. And I move forward in the way I believe is best. Good luck!
P.S. If you visualised your (sub) goals too, I’d love to see them and get inspired. You can share a link to your goals in the comments below. Suggestions and advice are always welcome too 🙂🙏