Many weeks ago, I wrote about going on a grand adventure to make my life more inspired. I neatly copied the Writer’s Digest checklist of tasks into my journal with my best penmanship and waved my magic wand told the universe to “make it so!”
As you can tell from the lack of daily updates, I did not succeed. I choose to do these tasks during a very busy week which gave me very little wiggle room to do anything creative much less digest any of my experiences in a meaningful way. I liked the idea of an inspired life but made no plans on how to execute the tasks. I’ve seen friends and creative partners do this when they decide they want to accomplish something but end up burning out because they didn’t plan the execution beyond having a shiny, new idea.
As I write this, I am gainfully unemployed and enjoying handouts given to me by government. I recently met with a nice man at the unemployment offices to talk about my job search. Before the meeting, I took a critical look at my search and realized I had no plan. I was mostly throwing resumes and applications around willy-nilly hoping something would stick. I was reacting to what was in front of me instead of creating smart, measurable goals. As the Content Editor for A Closer Look Radio, it is my job to take notes and summarize the conversation between Pam and her guests. By doing so, I get a free education on how to run a business, sell my services, and stay ahead of the game. As the Content Editor, I did not apply any of these lessons to my job search and creative goals and instead did everything the guests said would lead to failure. It was quite the cold bucket of water on my head.
When we create measurable or SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) Goals it helps us focus our intention and create benchmarks on our progress. If I want to lose 20 pounds by my 40th birthday, I have to plan to exercise 5 times a week for an hour each day in the late morning (because that’s when I’m awake and ready to exercise) using cardio and weights in my routine. After a month, I’ll asses what is and isn’t working and make changes. I might even meet with a trainer for guidance. Same thing with my job and freelancing efforts: I plan to apply for a certain amount of jobs each week, find at least one networking opportunity each week, and spruce up my portfolio by a particular date. I will also set a bench mark to re-asses everything after 3 and 6 months. Much easier than saying, “I want to find a good job” and having no plan and getting frustrated. I use an application called Wunderlist to help me stay organized and sort out my tasks by project and date. It lets me know when a tasks is overdue and what I have coming up. I really enjoy it and it’s free!! No, they did not pay to me write that.
Think about your own goals and your plan to achieve them. Are you like me and go for the shiny object without a plan or do you stop and actually think about how you’ll accomplish your tasks? Drop me a line and let me know. I’ll open the comments for three or four days but I will have to close them after that. The spammers have been on overdrive lately and I’ve been spending too much time deleting offers for cheap purses and designer coats.