Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Start a Monthly Goals Calendar

Image courtesy of Baitong333 /
Several years ago I created a ‘Monthly Goals Calendar’.  The first design was a hand drawn and ruled A3 sheet for each month. I made up a template with a blank space at the top to write the name of the month and three boxes with Health, Home and Job written in them. Under each of these I wrote a specific goal for that month (e.g. Clean out spare room) then I ruled up a square for each day containing three lines with enough space to write in. 

Each night before I went to bed I would write something in each square that I had achieved toward my goal (e.g. packed up a box of books.). It didn't matter if I didn't have something for every goal every night, as long as I had at least one thing to write.

I kept this up for about eight years every day, and yes, it really worked.
  •        It kept my goals short and specific.
  •        It kept my goals in my mind every day
  •        It made me think positive – I had to go over my day and think about what good things I’d done.

When I moved house and changed jobs this calendar habit fell by the wayside, but I've recently started it again, and I've encouraged a workmate to do the same.

My January calendar reads something like this:



Take extra steps

Prepare House for Sale

Increase Writing Income

Took dog for walk.

Signed up to a writing job website.
Started blog.
Walked to Service station and back.

Started painting cupboards

 Walked 2 laps around work.

Applied for 2 freelance writing assignments

Finished painting cupboards. Bought new door handles
Wrote 2 new articles.
Walked 4 laps around house.
Wrote outline for creative writing course 

Applied for freelance writing assignment.
Washed curtains.


... and so on.

I even have a small section at the end to write a quick review of the month. My newer version of the calendar is created on the computer using a Publisher program, modifying the available calendar  and enlarging it to A3 on the photocopier.

While this method of goal setting / goal achieving is not always easy to maintain, I find that most days I look forward to writing something on the calendar and have even found myself at bedtime quickly doing some exercise or sorting out a drawer so I’ll have something to write.

If you persevere it soon becomes a normal part of your bedtime routine.
Like I said – it worked for me for eight years and hopefully will work again this year.

Why not try this idea for yourself? Start with just one goal and go easy on yourself if you miss a few days..