Thursday, July 24, 2008

Achieve your dreams by underachieving

Yesterday I was reading and ran into a new twist on goal setting and achieving anything you want out of life: UNDERACHIEVE!

You heard that right, live your dreams and make huge goals happen by underachieving. Let me explain with an example. Let's say one of your goals is to be healthy & energetic (who doesn't want that???) The average person would go about it like this - especially at New Year's Resolution time:

Goal: become healthy and energetic.
How to achieve it: eat only bran flakes and wheat grass in the morning, an apple for lunch, and a salad and 4 ounces of chicken or fish for supper and work out 2 hours a day for 6 days a week.

What happens with this? Your second wheat grass and bran flake breakfast or the first night your friends want to go out to see a movie with you after work, you missed your goal, your plan is shot, and it is back to life as usual.

Here's the underachiever way:

Goal: become healthy and energetic
How to achieve it: work out 10 minutes 3 times a week. Eat 1 serving of vegetables a day.

Chances are much, much better you can hit those goals, feel good about yourself and most likely hit some bigger and better goals (I worked out 10 minutes! Why not go nuts and shoot for 20??)

Instead of setting big crazy goals and try to go from not doing anything to move toward your goals to doing everything you possibly can, set little goals and take it one baby step at a time. Be consistent, move toward achieving your goals, and it can happen!

This idea came from a slightly unexpected source: Robert Kiyosaki's book Cashflow Quadrant. This little gem of advice was crammed in there with financial advice along with how and why you'd want to be a business owner or investor. He gives credit to Raymond Aaron talk called "Goals: Crossing the Goal Line" for the idea.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My current planner setup Feb 2008

I've been asked about my planner setup, so here goes. I found myself messing around with the calendar part of my planner too much and decided to replace a 1 inch Circa Junior size notebook with a 3/4 inch notebook and a "large" 5x8" Moleskine weekly + notes calendar.

I'm still using the Dayrunner binder I purchased off ebay for $15 early in 2007. The front pocket is handy for storing a flash drive and a fountain pen that I like but doesn't quite fit in the pen loop.

Dayrunner binder from ebay

I switched out the Levenger discs with clear & blue Rollabind rings. The front pocket works great for business cards, papers folded in half, and Post-It Durable Tabs to divide major sections.

Moleskine + Circa

I still have the tabs set up in a way fairly similar to what David Allen recommends with a couple minor changes. Of course the big one is my calendar is a different notebook from the rest of my planner. This allowed the front section of my notebook to become notes instead of a calendar. I also don't have a regular tab for my address book. I have a pocket divider after the "Someday" tab and then I have my address book after that. One tab I did add: Goals. I have some things I want to do that are too big for me to consider projects but break down into different projects. One example would be "Be Healthy" which breaks down into get down to a healthy weight, exercise often enough, etc.

Circa tabs & Moleskine

Here's the big change in my planning system. This is a standard large 5x8" Moleskine Weekly + Notes calendar. Calendar on the left for stuff that has to happen at a certain time. Stuff that needs to be done on the top right page, and a lined Super Sticky post-it with my Goals for the month on the bottom right.

Moleskine weekly + Post-It

I just use regular Rollabind refill pages for notes with a Levenger pagefinder to mark my current spot.

Circa Notes

I keep two writing instruments in my pen loops. Unfortunately the pen loops are small so I had a very limited selection to work with. I ended up with a Hero pen from and a mechanical pencil - a Pentel P205.

Someday maybe writing

I'm still using the Circa-magine notebook cover as my cover.

Still using Circa-magine

And finally, in the back of the binder I keep an extra index card or two for quick notes.

Back of Dayrunner binder