An underlying theme of Seeing What I Need to Do (The Sklar Process™) is the value, the importance, of setting goals. By setting goals you maximize your productivity and your potential to live life fully. For some reason I’ve always been a goal setter. Perhaps it represents the optimistic dreamer of my creative spirit. However, for the first 40+ years of my life my executive functioning deficits got in the way of my consistently accomplishing anything. I had lists of goals but not much to show for them. Once I finally figured out how to support my brain with external time management strategies I began to get a lot done!
As I pursue my mission to help people change the lives of the time-challenged, I’m always looking for more tools to help people make significant behavior changes. I’m also looking for ways to make my own life as balanced and productive as possible. As we fine tune our lives, it boils down to our daily habits, our choices, made minute by minute. It isn’t enough to write down the goal. You have got to take action to make it happen.
For the past 12 weeks I’ve been experimenting with keeping my goals insight, written down, in a journal*. I have been keeping daily tabs on behaviors, on specific habits I want to incorporate into my life. It has been a very interesting process. I’ve been getting up earlier. Taking shorter showers. Remembering, finally, to take my vitamin D. I can now jog 3 miles. I lost 3 pounds. And, I’ve exceeded my monthly income goals!
How does this work? There are two reasons I can readily identify. By having a chart listing my desired behaviors and goals in sight, I’m keeping those items in mind. I’m activating my metacognition to notice what I am doing. I think I’ve lost the three pounds, not by dieting, but by recording each morning what I weigh. My goal was to be a certain weight four days out of seven. This awareness has me noticing portion sizes and opting for smaller ones. I was amazed when I started loosing weight! So I lowered my target weight the next week and voila!, I’d hit the lower weight! The other reason is that I record my actions each night and registering that little “x” in the box has become important. I think the daily check-in is a tool for personal accountability. I’m keeping faith with myself and what I want to do. Honoring my word to myself feels really good. It is of course a little by little process to change habits. See if you too can improve time management by keeping track of your goals.
It takes time to create positive habits to reach goals, but over 12 weeks I can already see the difference. What wonders will the next 12 weeks bring?
*The journal I’m using is Darren Hardy’s Living Your Best Year Ever available at www.Success.com
Marydee Sklar is the president of Executive Functioning Success and the creator of the Seeing My Time Program®. She is an educator and author of three books on executive functions, as well as a trainer and speaker. Marydee has more than twenty-five years of experience working with students and adults with executive function challenges.