#MondayMotivation ‘Design Your Day’ by Clair Diaz Ortiz #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth #Goals #TimeManagement

Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m featuring Design Your Day, written by Claire Diaz Ortiz, a book which has the advantage of presenting a synthesis and discussion of many other books on time management as well as her own contribution to the discussion, the DO LESS method. She proposes strategies to achieve goals in less time by enhanced time management skills, leading to maximum efficiency.

In this enlightening book, she uses acronyms to put forward her suggestions for best time management skills.

Listen to her talk about her proposals in this podcast.

The first acronym is DO LESS:

Decide what you want or need to do for a time frame.

Organise what you will do.

Limit to the essential. Make sure it’s all necessary.

Edit your time. Define your limits and stick to them.

Streamline or reduce your work time based on the 4 hour week principles.

Stop. Take time to pause, relax, detox and unwind.

She proposes a morning routine, because she firmly believes that doing as much as possible as early as possible can make your day more successful, and the acronym is PRESENT:

Pray or meditate to connect with your inner self.

Read something inspirational.

Express yourself by means of journaling.

Schedule your day by careful planning.

Exercise to energise your body and feel better.

Nourish by doing something for yourself, such as a treat or a hobby.

Tracking which she refers to as checking your routine.

She proposes using SMART goal setting to break down your strategies to achieving objectives, and focussing on the following life categories: God, Family, Health, Personal, Work and Money.

She discusses Pareto’s 80/20 rule and the 4-Hour Week as well as Parkinson’s Law which states that work expands to fill the available time for completion. So the longer you plan to do something the longer it will take.

Essentialism: A Conversation on Setting Human-Centric Goals With Grace for the Season Ahead - with Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Author, Speaker and Innovation Advisor - Rank & File Magazine

This books’ advantage is that it is unpretentious, short, practical and clear. It includes ideas put forward in many other personal growth books which she discusses.

The main new idea she proposes is to aim to do less by planning more efficiently and delegating where necessary.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth

#MondayMotivation ‘3 Steps to Choose your Word of the Year 2021’ #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth #Goals #TimeManagement

Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

I love the number three; I think it’s magical. When I plan my goals, I always do it in threes, so instead of one word for my 2021, I’ve identified three!

I plan and revise my goals regularly, at least every three months, sometimes every month, but I’ve never chosen a word, or three words for the year. This year I’m linking my goals to my three words of the year.

You’re probably wondering why now? Well, two things happened.

I first read about his in Claire Diaz Ortiz’s book, I’ll be telling you about it shortly, called Design Your Day. In the first chapter, she proposes we start by choosing our word for the year based on what you want to achieve. This word will give us a sense of direction for all our goals for the year ahead.

Secondly, I was intrigued by the idea, so I did some investigating online and found plenty of videos and webpages, including Everyday Gyaan, where you can find a link-up so you can read other words of the year and share your own.

The idea sounded powerful and practical. Focussing on a word, or three, to bring together and permeate all my goals convinced me and I thought, if it works for so many other people, surely I can benefit too, so here’s what I did.

Step One, following Michael Hyatt’s advice in his book Your Best Year Ever, which I featured in my blog last week, was to identify which aspects/areas/domains of my life are most important to me. Hyatt identifies ten, but I’ve narrowed it down to five aspects where I have specific goals I want to achieve: Mind, Body, Soul, Career and Hobbies.

Step Two was to identify specific goals for each aspect of my life.

I’ve identified 3 goals, for each aspect.

It helps me to add the reason, why it’s important to me, so that I remember the motivation behind the goal, to keep the momentum going.

I also add a basic strategy, what steps am I going to take to achieve the goal. This can be specific, general, or just the first step. This will help me focus and work toward my goal, because we all know that a goal without a plan is just a wish!

Here’s an example of my goal-planning for my ‘Mind’ goals.

 

MIND
Goal 1 Study neuroscience and neurolinguistics
Why I’m interested in learning more about how the mind works and how languages are learnt.
Strategy Register for a free three part online course at Harvard. https://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/fundamentals-neuroscience-part-1-electrical-properties-neuron?delta=0 There are plenty of these free and reasonably priced courses online on hundreds of topics.
Goal 2 Learn German
Why My daughter, her partner and son live in Germany
Strategy Read short stories, study vocab, practice with app, watch easy german videos on youtube.

I’ve bought the books, downloaded the app and identified the youtube channel ‘Easy German’ which has regular learning videos.

Goal 3 Read 2 books a week
Why To keep my mind active and improve my writing skills.
Strategy I make a TBR lists with various headings such as personal growth, romance, thrillers, psychology and learning, etc.

I’m on audible, Scribd and Amazon. I usually take notes as I read and share my opinions on the books I read my blog.

I’m doing the same process with every aspect and goal. It’s vital y to write it all down in an orderly manner. That doesn’t mean it’s written in stone, in fact it should be regularly reread, revised and updated.

I have set all my goals and I have my ‘whys’, but I haven’t finished completing the strategies part yet for all of them. It’s exhausting and time-consuming, but worthwhile.

If you’d like to see the rest of my goals, let me know in the comments. I wouldn’t want to bore you with a breakdown of all my goals and projects.

Step Three: Introspection.

There’s just one question which will help me find the answers I need:

  • What do I need more of to move on in my life?

First, I’d like to look at the things I already have.

I have Time.  I am retired, so I have so much time that I must organise it.

I also have plenty of intrinsic and extrinsic Motivation for each goal. They are all things I’m passionate about doing because they are meaningful in my life and bring me joy.

So, what do I need to achieve my goals, that I currently lack, or don’t have enough of?

1- I need to organise my time effectively with daily morning and evening Routines, because I know from experience that if I don’t create habits and schedules, I’ll never have enough time to do it all.

2- I also need to Believe that I can do it, because sometimes it all gets too daunting. Life gets in the way and I don’t think I can do it all, because I’m not clever enough, or talented enough, or simply good enough, so I need to believe in myself.

3- Finally I want to add a third word, which is Gratitude, especially after this tough year we’ve all experienced. Gratitude for the love, support, health and happiness, creativity, I have received and given because I want it in my life this year and every other year, too.

Now that I have my three words, what to I do with them?

Firstly, I need to take these words as seriously as my goals. 

That means 1- organising and adhering to a routine that works for me, 2- Investigating strategies, such as affirmations, to build self-confidence and belief in myself, 3- remembering to be thankful by keeping and rereading my gratitude journal.

It also means repeating them every day and applying them to each of my goals.

I write them in big, bold letters, on the first page of my journal and make sure I’m invoking them every time I revise my Goals Journal, where I carefully write all this down and add notes to keep me on track.

I’m also doing something else which is new this year, I’m creating a Goal Book. I got the basic idea, which I’ve adapted to my own style, which works for me, from Marissa Peer,  who tells us all about making a Vision Book or folder, instead of a Vision Board. But more about my Goal Book in another post.

I hope to have it all sorted out by the end of January (although I’ve already started with some of my goals, such as learning German). Next year I’ll have to start in December!

What’s your word or words of the year for 2021?

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth

#MondayMotivation ‘Your Best Year Ever’ by Michael Hyatt ‘Setting #Goals for #2021’ #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

Today’s book is very appropriate for this time of year, because it’s all about Setting Goals for 2021.

I read Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever in 2018 and used it to plan my 2019, but I haven’t used it this year. I took careful notes, as I always do, and remembered that he included useful strategies and questions to help us look back on the previous year, and our lives in general, in order to make and plan goals for the following year.

Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals by [Michael Hyatt]

The first stage is taking the Lifescore Assessment Questionnaire in the book, which I’ve now found online as an online tool, which I had used in the book and scored 75% in 2019 and this year I scored 89% which is even better. You can take the test yourself here. 

I have had a complicated year, but the complications have developed favourably, so I am fortunate enough to feel fairly satisfied with this last challenging year. It hasn’t all been due to my efforts, I’ll admit that I have been lucky, or perhaps I’ve attracted luck through my visualisation and positive attitude. I have also adapted well to the imposed changes in our lives because of covid-19 and especially confinement issues. I believe that the vast number of books I’ve read and am sharing with you on #MondayBlogs and podcasts and videos on personal growth, time management and goal setting have helped enormously and I hope some of these books and authors will also resonate with you.

Returning to Michael Hyatt, he suggests that we divide our life into ten domains: Spiritual, Intellectual, emotional, physical. Marital, Parental, Social, Vocational/Professional, Vocational/Hobbies and Financial. At first I thought they were too many, but as I read on and applied them to my life, they started making sense, with some minor adaptations. The questionnaire is based on these 10 domains.

Then he suggests we follow these five stages to achieve our goals:

  • Recognising and Overcoming limiting beliefs
  • Leaving the past behind in order to move into your future.
  • Use a SMART(ER) framework to plan goal implementation. This is an excellent chapter on strategies to achieve your goals.
  • Understand why you want to achieve these goals.
  • Using activation triggers to overcome hurdles.

He goes into each one in great depth individually and proposes practical activities we can do to help us achieve our goals.

I’d like to tell you about Stage Two, Getting Closure of last year in order to move on. I hope it will be useful, now is the time to review the years which about to end.

He proposes we think about and write answers to the following 9 questions bearing in mind the ten life domains:

  1. How did you see your past year going?
  2. What were your plans, dreams, goals?
  3. What disappointments or regrets did you experience?
  4. What did you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?
  5. What did you accomplish last year that you are most proud of?
  6. What were two or three specific things which kept occurring?
  7. What were the major life lessons that you learned this past year?
  8. What are you grateful for that happened last year?
  9. What are you grateful for in your life in general?

Hyatt suggests we write 7-10 goals including all the domains for the following year, based on the results of our test and our answers to the previous questions.

What do we want next year to look like in the 10 domains?

Which goals will help us fulfil our dreams for the year ahead?

Then he asks us to do a very powerful exercise: Visualise the end of the year when we have achieved our goals and describe our life and our feelings. We can also write it down, self-talk about it, or meditate and visualise our new lives.

To summarise and simplify this part of Hyatt’s proposal, I suggest that the following three activities will help us take the first steps in setting our goals for the year.

1- Taking stock of the past as something that has happened FOR us not TO us. We have to grow as a result of past experiences and make a conscious effort to learn the lesson and move on.

2- Setting goals for the year ahead based on prioritising our needs in each domain.

3- Visualising what our future looks and feels like with our achieved goals.

I urge you to read the rest of the book, or other books on strategies for achieving our goals, because a goal without a plan is a wish and we need to make our goals become real in 2021 by conscious strategies and visualisation.

I wish you all the best of luck for the year ahead. I hope you achieve all your goals in 2021.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth

#MondayMotivation ‘168 Hours’ by Laura Vanderkam #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth #Goals #TimeManagement

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m featuring 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, written by Laura Vanderkam, a book which has helped me realise I have much more time than I ever imagined, and although I thought I was good at planning, this books has made me realise I can use my time much more efficiently.

In this brilliant book, the author reminds us that every week has 168 hours, which is plenty of time to do everything we want and need to do, as long as we  follow her advice and find ways to rearrange our schedules to make room for the things that matter most. This book gives us plenty of creative and eye-opening ideas, to do just that.

In the introduction, she suggests, ‘Looking at life in 168-hour blocks is a useful paradigm shift, because—unlike the occasionally crunched weekday—well-planned blocks of 168 hours are big enough to accommodate full-time work, intense involvement with your family, rejuvenating leisure time, adequate sleep, and everything else that actually matters.’

I took several pages of notes as I listened to her Ted Talk first, and  then went on to read her book, 168 Hours, so what follows is a brief synthesis of the ideas I consider most inspiring and helpful, but I urge you to listen to her and read her book, because it will help you to identify the things that really matter in your life, take control of your week and find time for everything you desire.

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by [Laura Vanderkam]

A week has 168 hours, we work for 40 and sleep for 56, which means we have 71 hours left. That’s a long time! Some people commute 2 hours a day, that’s 10 hours less, 61. Let’s subtract say 2 hours to eat and 2 for housework and shopping, that’s 28, which still leaves us 33 hours a week of free time.

The secret to optimising that free time between family, friends, hobbies, exercise, and relaxation, is:

a) being aware of the time at your disposal and how you are using it every week and b) being intentional about how you use this time. 

In order to gain awareness of how we’re spending our time, she recommends using a spreadsheet you can download from her blog My168Hours.com, or create your own.

We should later analyse how we’re spending our time acording to categories such as child care, which can be subdivided into physical care, playing, education, and reading, for example. Housework, which can be divided into laundry, food prep, house cleaning, lawn work, and so on.

Another inspiring proposal is the suggestion that we write a list of 100 dreams and make sure we’re working towards one or more of them every week, and cross them off as we complete them.

Setting goals, prioritising from work to household chores, identifying what’s important, urgent and what can be delegated or postponed, long and short term goal planning, downtime, creating a weekly, block schedule and so much more is contained in these 271 priceless pages.

I absolutely loved this book! It’s useful for everyone and anyone, whether you’re a stressed CEO, a busy mother or father, or a student. There’s so much useful and practical information and food for thought that it’s one of the best and most useful books on time management I’ve ever read.

168 Hours is especially useful at this time of year when we’re more likely to assess our past year and plan for next year’s goals.

If you listen to and read Laura Vanderkam’s proposals, I guarantee you’ll have a greater chance of finding happiness and reaching your goals.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth