Energy Management – Goals and Planning
June 21st, 2010
The Energy Management blog this week is for the G in ENERGY that stands for Goals and Planning. I think because we are all so busy it is imperative that we are planning not only our time but more importantly our priorities.
Life as we know can get so crazy that unless you actually schedule something to occur it is unlikely it will ever get done. I have found since the birth of my son, Nicholas, it has been even more difficult to get things done. I used to get discouraged because I had many ideas or plans that just never seemed to get off the ground. There was never enough time to take action on these ideas and I was always looking for big chunks of time to work on them. I am here to tell you that the big chunks of time almost never materialize. The dreams I had for myself were always being put to the back burner because of more urgent matters that were sometimes dictated by what others wanted.
A big part of managing our energy is getting clear on what is really important for us. We talked before about embracing our values and making sure we are living a life congruent with these values. A big part of the goal setting and planning is to make sure that what we plan fits in with what we truly want for ourselves. A great way to do this is to write a personal philosophy statement.
Robin Sharma discusses this concept in much of his work (such as The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and Discover Your Destiny with the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari). I also recently heard him talk about the “Big 5”. These are the 5 things you would want to have happen before you die so that you could be truly happy with your life and your accomplishments. I think all of us could benefit from thinking deeply about such questions. What are your big 5?
Another practice that has done so much to move my life to the next level is the weekly planning session. Over the last number of years I have had a ritual that every Sunday night I take 1 hour and plan my upcoming week. I break it down into all my businesses and all the other areas of my life such as financial, fitness, relationships. For each I put an ultimate goal on the top of a blank sheet of paper. Such as to be the most amazing eye surgeon and impact the lives of my patients dramatically… Then I write what I need to do that week to bring me closer to that goal. Maybe it is to email someone, maybe to have a staff meeting, maybe to research a technique for surgery etc…. whatever it is I write it down and then schedule it in Outlook.
Then I get small incremental progress in every area and every business every week. Even if it is only one thing in a given category of my life, as long as things are moving forward and improving I will not stress. I am doing what I can, when I can and enjoying the journey on the way. This also gets me by the mental block of always looking for a big chunk of time to do something. This way I am doing small things in shorter spans of time in a number of areas consistently. It is amazing how this can impact your life over time. You can also review what you have done the previous week and take time to correct any area that you have neglected. Maybe you did all your workouts and achieved some key goals for your business but you did not spend enough time with your family or connect with your kids. You can make sure that this week you do those things. By seeing the positive results this planning can bring you will be energized and able to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
Take out a number of blank sheets of paper and at the top write Week of June 20th to the 27th. Then think of the different areas of importance in your life and your ultimate goals in each area.
- Fitness (eg… I am x lbs, x % body fat and in the best shape of my life)
- Family and Friends (eg… I am the best mother, wife etc… possible)
- Finances (eg… I have a net worth of ….)
- Personal development
- Business (I have sheets for each of my businesses so they are all moving forward)
Then think of 2-5 things in each category that you could do this week to move this part of your life forward. Is it to go to your son’s ball game (schedule it in). Is it to get to the gym 4 times this week (schedule it in). Is it to send a letter to a contact (schedule it in). Is it to read a book (schedule it in). This act of becoming clear on what you want in each area and then setting focused goals to achieve it is life altering and energizing. Let me know how this practice works for you. I think you will find at the end of the week you will be energized by the amount you have accomplished.
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