Are you a list maker?
No joke, I am pretty sure every notebook I own has a to-do list scribbled in the margins. When I am in class, I make a to-do list of everything I need accomplish over the next week before I’m back in the lecture hall again. When I’m at work, I make a list of everything I need to do that day, that week. And at home, I constantly have two lists running: one of action items I need to do for me personally and one of tasks relating to A Touch of Teal.
If you reconceptualize to-do lists, they are essentially a running log of your super short term goals. And whether you write them on pen and paper like I do, or keep track of them digitally—studies show that writing down your goals makes you more likely to accomplish them.
But writing down super short term goals—the things you want to accomplish this week, this month—is easier than say, writing down your goals for the next year, three years, ten years. Like, have you ever really loved answering the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” If you can answer that question confidently—you have your sh!t together in ways I can only dream.
Recently, I was listening to Lady Lovin’, one of my favorite podcasts, and they had Rich Bitch author Nicole Lapin on as the guest. Her take on goals really rocked my world, and I’ve been thinking about what she said ever since. (Grab the Podcast here if you’re interested—it’s episode #42.)
Though the meat of the Podcast discusses how to manage your finances, a big part of managing your money is thinking about the type of life you want for yourself in the future. You’ll need monetary goals to support that lifestyle, but you’ll also have to determine what exactly your life goals are in order to figure out your financial goals, ya know? (#chickenoregg) And the more specific you are about those goals, the better—for financing them and achieving them.
(Probably why my annual New Years Resolution of “save more money” never works—it’s too generic.)
So what Nicole recommended in this Podcast is to think about your longer term goals in one, three, five, seven, and ten year increments so it’s more manageable and you can better prioritize what you want to achieve. I had never really thought that much about breaking down my longer term goals into shorter increments, but once I listened to this podcast, it was a true aha moment for me. I went home that night and wrote down my goals using her system—it was great to get everything down on paper and reflect on what I am actually working toward.
Some of the goals I set for myself over the next year are to determine whether or not I want to stay in DC long term, improve my photography skills by taking more classes, be more open to meeting new people, and exploring other entrepreneurial and creative ventures I could pursue in addition to this blog.
Of course, happiness is a moving target, and you can always update your goals based on where you are in life. But I’ve found that once I identify my priorities, it will helps me create actionable steps toward achieving them and helps me plan better financially.
How do you keep track of your goals, both long and short? Have you found writing them down more effective in achieving them? Would love your take on this! x