Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
Post Reply
LiberateMind
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:18 pm

Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by LiberateMind »

Setting goals and tracking it has proven very well techinique for me. But I try to track too many things like how I am spending my time, am I following my habits, spending , refining mindsets on character,career, noting thoughts , beliefs and feelings. So most of the days I miss tracking one or two things which is still not a successful day for me. If I track everything then its a successful day for me, doing continously so leaves me drained.More importantly, I fail to derive useful conclusions or patterns from the data collected, which is the main reason i collect data.Compare reality with your goals and set your goals so that you can improve your reality little by little. So how do you plan and progres in your goals without being obessive about it?

walker
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:46 pm

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by walker »

Kudos to you for being so mindful -- that probably puts you ahead of most.

I hear you on how easy it can be to get obsessed with metrics. I like to track just the 2-3 habits that have the most effect on the rest of my day. For example, if I don't get up fairly early and don't exercise, I tend to lose focus and waste time throughout the day, so I track those on a free app (HabitBull, in case that's helpful).

Tracking spending is key to my FI, so I do that pretty religiously in Excel. Ideas for businesses, projects, books to read, etc. go in Evernote, if I remember. I figure if it's that important, I'll either write it down right away or think of it again later.

And as you point out, it's important to make time to review tracked data and note the patterns. This doesn't have to happen often -- can be every month or quarter. Mastermind groups (if you're into that), time with a supportive SO, or even an ERE forum journal are all great for this.

George the original one
Posts: 5368
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by George the original one »

LiberateMind wrote: So how do you plan and progres in your goals without being obessive about it?
A little obsession is what it takes for me if something is not already a habit. When I wanted to lose weight, I had to be focused on it. When I wanted to build a plan for FI that took into account probability of success, I had to be focused on it. Things that I don't focus on go their merry way and likely won't change, so being careful to pick & choose my battles is how I progress.

vexed87
Posts: 1493
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:02 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by vexed87 »

I'll echo the sentiment that a little bit of healthy obsession and tracking helps nail down new habits and meeting goals, it definitely helps being INTJ!

The beauty of habit is it's a behaviour that you no longer think about, so once it's nailed down, just move on to the next. There's some great books on developing habits, but in a nut shell as long as the motivation and the plan is there, stick to your plan and you'll get there.

I also agree that 2-3 habits is about the most you can work on at any one time, willpower is finite after all!

Dragline
Posts: 4436
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by Dragline »

Keeping a journal with goals and progress, or lack thereof, tends to work for me most of the time. But I agree a little obsession often provides some necessary impetus.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2576
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by C40 »

ahh the "personal finance lessons" that I started writing a month or two ago are about this question exactly. Sorry, I don't have them ready yet :-(

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 13080
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by jacob »

Tricky! I usually have a web of goals (goals that are tied together and mutually reinforcing). How that web looks like is determined by some vision I develop of how things "should" be done. It can take quite a while to develop this "vision". Then I live according to these goals, that is, my behavior is compatible with the goals in have in my vision. Achieving the goals just seem to fall into my lap serendipitously then. The hard part is that I seem to have little control over whether and/or when that happens. Basically, I'm playing with probabilities the size of which are dependent on my behavior. The frustration here is that on a day to day or week to week basis seems like nothing has been accomplished due to the lack of step-wise progress. In retrospect though, looking at the past year, a lot will typically be accomplished.

It's not easy to give a single answer here. It depends on whether your goals are simple or complex; whether they are predictable or probabilistic?

I guess my overall goals are probabilistic and complex. For simple and predictable goals e.g. going from known A to known B, I just do it step by step and check that I'm on track, obsessively. (If it isn't worth obsessing about, it isn't worth doing, eh? ;-) )

tzxn3
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:35 pm

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by tzxn3 »

I tend not to have goals.

RG1
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:39 pm

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by RG1 »

I agree that less is more. I think of a goal ladder, where a perfect day is a ten, and try to get improvement week over week. With dieting for example I will still have the occasional junk food, but its about having less of it and less often. If I'm eating junk every day I set a goal to drop to go every other/twice a week/once a week. Once that's in place I can track a different food goal, like vegetable or fiber. With exercise I might track miles or minutes or speed, but again only one at a time.

Doing too much usually results in doing nothing. Its not that I didn't care about vegetables before or I stop caring about junk, but if I'm operating at a 4/10 then I need to get to 5, not jump to 10/10.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 13080
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by jacob »

I'd also add the crowbar technique.

http://earlyretirementextreme.com/using ... -fast.html

It's easy to administrate because you never have to make decisions again. Once decided, you can stop negotiating with yourself. It's best used for binary cake or death? decisions like going vegetarian, not drinking coffee or beer, walking instead of talking the bus, ...

User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 1375
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am
Location: India
Contact:

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by fiby41 »

I set a goal, select the best process for it and then forget about the goal for a while and focus only on the process.

This is one way:
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. "After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain."
Source

Just replace writing with tracking for you.

I've been doing something similar since before I saw that post:

Image
Last edited by fiby41 on Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

stand@desk
Posts: 397
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by stand@desk »

Great Thread. I have tried many different strategies and I am always encouraged by something I found on the INTJ personality profile a few years ago that INTJs are very good at setting, achieving and exceeding their goals. So naturally we have quite an advantage compared to most.

What I have done lately.. I cut out a little yellow square piece of paper and wrote on it "What good habits do you choose for your life?" And I have it in my closet and I see it from time to time. So what good habits do I want to have for myself that I am working on?

Morning Routine
-Don't lay in bed too long after the alarm clock has gone off
-Get out of bed, use washroom, rinse mouth with mouthwash and a quickly brush teeth.
-Go back into bedroom and rub wife's feet for a couple minutes
-Make the bed
-Go to kitchen and put all the dishes away in the dish rack, turn on radio in living room.

This has been my focus lately. But from time to time that little yellow paper pops into my head and motivates me to do a little extra set of exercises or drink a few extra sips of water or be a little more kind to people in my day to day encounters.

Also I do the Calendar cross off thing too and I really want to make sure all the minor maintenance things get done, having the right food staples on hand etc. I like taking care of those things.

User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 1375
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am
Location: India
Contact:

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by fiby41 »

The numbers to the bottom left and right show how many hours I've been productive and time spent on everything else respectively.

If anyone is anything like me and gets overwhelmed by bigger goals or bored by repetitive tasks or have a short attention span or poor track record of sticking to one thing or repeatedly does things which are interesting only temporarily or obsesses over interesting activities until they become boring, extending the above to include this might be more useful:

1. Determine how much time T you can make available to goal daily
2. Divided the goal into N number of tasks such that the goal should be reached on Nth day subject to any task being able to be completed in time T
3. Complete one task in time T everyday for N number of days.

And then do that X chain thing whenever you complete a task for that day make a table/list with fields which you fill in when you do the task selected for that day.

If it helps, here's my example:
Image
Click to enlarge.
s@d wrote:Also I do the Calendar cross off thing too and I really want to make sure all the minor maintenance things get done, having the right food staples on hand etc. I like taking care of those things.
Good for you. Personally, I can't be bothered to remember all the little body-up keep / general maintenance things. So tracking the most important ones ensures I don't forget almost all of them completely.

LiberateMind
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:18 pm

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by LiberateMind »

@ walker,
Thanks for the suggestions.I will check out habit bull.Most of the times I carry a small note book to note down stuff and then transfer it to my laptop, to preserve and easy analysis. Double work. I dont have applications or reports to my satifisfaction, so struggling back and forth.

@GOO/ Vexed87/Dragline/Jacob,
Obession/Focus - I am trying to move away from it for quiet sometime, to expand/improve in every area of my life.Its like previously I used to spend entire saturday morning on tracking the money and predicting FI line and one hour daily on reading finance blogs& then having crappy diet (quick& easy foods - here we dont do batch cooking due to sunny climate)& work habits just to increase wealth.I guess I have to find a way to focus without devaluing other areas in my life or have to explore other mindsets and explore crowbar/ vision/ web of goals.

@C40,
I am following your journal, found your consistent goal achieving and ability to predict the future outcome impressive. So one reader is already awaiting for your lessons.

@tzxn3, :-)

@fiby41/stand@desk,
1. Determine how much time T you can make available to goal daily
Morning Routine
Good ideas. I will think of it.

Thanks for the suggestions, that gave me a lot of ideas and content to think about.

steveo73
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:52 pm

Re: Whats your technique to set goals and achieve.

Post by steveo73 »

tzxn3 wrote:I tend not to have goals.
I thought I would go against the trend and state basically this. I think planning too much and having clearly delineated goals doesn't work very well.

Post Reply