So how did your October go? Were you as productive as I was? Let me tell you, I got ZERO goals completed, but I'm totally okay with that! Check out the video here or keep reading to find out why!
If you've followed along with me on my yearly planning or goal setting video, then you know I believe in being realistic about what you can accomplish. The most important thing about my planning method is starting each month with a blank slate so I'm NEVER behind! We just don't need more guilt in life, am I right?!? You can use this same planning method with any planner or even just a notebook, but if you want our digital or paper planner with pages like you see below, you can find that in our shop here.
In October, I was just coming off of working a ton on our huge annual virtual event here at GOHQ, so my goals centered around taking more time off work, more rest days, self-care, tackling some home projects, relationship goals, etc….but that didn't exactly happen. I couldn't have predicted it, but not long after our virtual event, the job roles at GOHQ started shifting a bit, and more tasks and responsibilities landed back on my plate.
Here's what my goal page looked like for October:
Even with all the extra work surprises, I still only had so much time in the day. When things change, something has to go. For me, I chose to take care of the work responsibilities and let my other goals slide. And that's okay! I'd make that same decision over again.
Here's my process each month when I sit down to do my planning for the coming month:
- Review how I did in the last month. This part should have ZERO guilt attached. We are NOT beating ourselves up for what we didn't get done. We are objectively looking at what we did and didn't do, and then asking ourselves why. For me, my answer was my extra work responsibilities. I did not bemoan the fact that this was the first time I haven't accomplished ANY of my monthly goals. I'm wasn't a failure in October– I just chose different priorities when new opportunities came along.
- Set your new goals with a blank slate! Each month is a brand new beginning and a clean page. I NEVER automatically carry over last months goals to the new month unless that's truly my priority that month. This is why I don't sit down at the beginning of the year and map out all my goals over the course of the whole year. I KNOW I can't predict the future. My goals may change, or life might throw me a curve ball. I want the freedom to adapt without the guilt of not accomplishing what I set out to do.
- Be unemotional about your achievements last month. Don't beat yourself up!! This does not serve you. You can and should ask why you didn't do what you thought you would. Certain goals might just not be important to you. It's good to evaluate if it's something you still want to do or if it's time to shift your focus. The life and home goals still are important to me, but they weren't as important as keeping my work life on track this month, and that's okay. I'll still be able to decorate that dining room wall sometime in the future when work is less demanding.
- Be realistic about what you can actually do in the coming month. It's November. Holidays are approaching. This month always requires some extra time and energy for that. So do I want to add a bunch of other extra things to my plate this month? Um, no. I also can't carry over all the goals from last month to this month without taking something off my plate. Do I want to let some work stuff slide to accomplish the stuff from last month? For me, that's also a no. So realistically, this is another month focused on work responsibilities and a few other goals like my mastermind conference. The rest of the stuff can wait. You are one person with only 24 hours in every day.
Here's what I remind myself of when I'm trying to be more productive than is humanly possible: I will still get the same amount of things done no matter how many goals I set. The difference is whether I set my expectations too high and then get left with the guilt of not accomplishing my goals. Setting more goals than is realistic does NOT mean you get more done. It just means you feel guilty about what you couldn't do. But your productivity level doesn't increase. Be realistic and give yourself some grace! It's all about being intentional and deciding what your true focus and priorities are for the month and then setting your goals accordingly.
I'm all about letting the past (and any guilt associated with it!) go. Each month is a fresh start. Something random I always do in my monthly planning session is to clean all my tech screens– my phone, ipad, computer monitor. I stare at them all day for work, and I just start to look past the grime but never notice it. Cleaning my screens is a little ritual I've started every month. It gives me a visual representation of the fresh start for the coming month. Here's to the clean slate that comes with each new month!!
Organization that actually sticks for busy, happy lives