MOTIVATION FACTOR #5: The Monthly Goal List

Previous Motivation Factors:

MOTIVATION FACTOR #1: Buy A Notebook, Not A Planner.

MOTIVATION FACTOR #2: Set Yearly SMART Goals

MOTIVATION FACTOR #3: Divide Your Major Goals Into Mini-Goals

MOTIVATION FACTOR #4: Create a Master List

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In the previous factors, we’ve covered two of the five elements of the “Base 5 System”.  As a reminder, the first element was setting ten goals for the year and then setting mini-goals for the first goal you were going to work on.  The second element was the master list.  This is where you write down every single item to work on including your mini-goals.  Now that you’ve got that done, it’s time to use both of them to assess your monthly goals.

Your monthly goals or monthly list works a little different than the yearly goals you set.  (I may be using monthly goals and monthly list interchangeably here, so feel free to call it whatever works best for you.)  If you’re using a college-ruled notebook (which I’ve recommended), I usually keep my monthly list to always 30 items.  So as you look over your previous two subjects in the notebook, you want to list the 30 most important things you’ve got to do for the next 30 days (or 31 or 28…depending on what month you’re in obviously).  You don’t have to list them in any certain order right now, you’re just making a list of those 30 items you want to work on through the month.

Finished?  Ok, now that you’ve got that list down, next to those 30 items, draw a vertical line down the page.  Next to those 30 items, put a date down when you’d like to complete them.  You don’t have to have a date for every item.  For example, if an item carries over to another month or it’s not high on the priority list, you may not want to set a date yet and that’s ok.  But if there’s something that must be completed by a certain deadline, by all means, put that date down.  I usually have dates with about half of the items on the list.

Got that done?  Great…draw another vertical line next to that.  Now comes the prioritization part.  Decide what your top 6 items on the list are and mark them with the letter “A”.  Once you’re done with that, take the next six items, and mark them with a “B”.  Keep doing that until you have A through E marked six times each.  Now that you’ve finished that, go back to your “A” items and number those in order of importance with a “1”, “2”, etc.  Then, do the same with the other lettered items.  So you should now have a list that ranges from “A-1” to “E-6”.  Your month has now begun.

I will come back in a few blogs to this list, but for next time, I will go over the Weekly List.

 

If you do use this system and would like to leave a comment on how it goes for you, please feel free.  Thank you for reading another “Motivation Factor”.

MOTIVATION FACTOR #4: Create a Master List

For previous factors, click on the following links:

MOTIVATION FACTOR #1: Buy A Notebook, Not A Planner.

MOTIVATION FACTOR #2: Set Yearly SMART Goals

MOTIVATION FACTOR #3: Divide Your Major Goals Into Mini-Goals

The fourth motivation factor is very simple.  It’s creating a master list, which means a list of practically everything you’re going to do.  I reserve the second subject of the 5 subject notebook for the “Master List.”  It’s a list of what you do daily, what you do weekly, what you do monthly, and quarterly, and every six months, and….well, you get the point.

The one thing I don’t recommend is hurrying the process up so that you forget something.  You’re putting down a lot of things….I even include sleeping, brushing my teeth – things that are part of my daily routine.  However, make it specific…if your goal is to sleep 8 hours a day, then write that instead of just “sleep”.  Another thing on the master list is to write in the planner every day.  You’re really writing down everything you’re going to be doing.

Think of your weekly engagements.  A simple goal for the week may be to work 40 hours, but you still write that.  It can be anything from attending church on Sundays to playing in that weekly Bingo game.

Think of things during the months.  If you know you’re going to be celebrating someone’s birthday in the next month, write that down.  The one thing that is important about the master list is that you want to make sure it’s updated thoroughly at all times, especially before a new month hits because the things that are going to go on your monthly list come from your master list.

You also want to include the goals that you set in Subject #1.  That includes the big, large goals and the mini-goals.  I also put down deadlines and anything else important that goes with it.  The monthly list is going to be based on whatever you have put on your master list.  The weekly list is going to be based on what you have on the monthly list and the daily list is going to be based on the weekly list, so you can see the importance of the master list.

So, in summary:

Subject #1:  Yearly Goals and Mini-goals.

Subject #2:  Master List

 

Next week, I’ll go more in depth about how the Master List and Monthly Goals work together.

MOTIVATION FACTOR #1: Buy A Notebook, Not A Planner.

When I was in Middle School, I used to grab just regular notebook paper, write down a list of things to do, grab a can of Coke and start working my way down this list.  It was an idea I had borrowed from my 8th grade Algebra teacher who always used to be prepared and organized each and every day.  Test papers would be graded immediately the day after we took it.  Notes would already be written on the board as we walked into class.  Plans would already be made for the week.  I don’t ever remember a time when he forgot something or when he was behind on anything.  And I always thought that magic lied in the fact that he had a drink sitting on his desk.

I started doing the same thing.  I started finishing all my homework immediately after I got home.  I made sure everything was prepared the day before.  I started drinking soda every day (and a couple years’ addiction to carbonated beverages began).  It all went great…until I stopped.

It wasn’t for several years in which I started planning again.  I would do what many people did…buy a planner.  I set out to use a simple planner and began to fill up boxes and trying to literally write 30 things into one tiny box.  Soon, I stopped using it and went the rest of the year without any system at all.

The following year, I decided “bigger was better”…I bought a planner that had about three pages of fill-ups per day.  I was filling out an exercise diary, a journal, a people list and so much more each night for almost an hour daily.  For about 50 dollars, this enormous planner was worth the price, but it wasn’t helping me accomplish much of anything.  So what did I do?

I needed to take a hard, long look and figure out how I was going to do this right.  How was I going to get organized, work on my goals and following it passionately.  I went back to my 8th grade system and decided to simply buy a 5 Subject Notebook.  That was about two years ago and I have not failed to go without it each day.  I’ve taken 30 minutes each day to fill out a day’s worth of goals and accomplished more than ever before.  Here is the system I used:

The 5 Subject notebook allows you to separate one set of goals from another:

Section 1:  Yearly Goals

Section 2:  The Master List

Section 3:  Monthly Goals

Section 4:  Weekly Goals

Section 5:  Daily Goals

I won’t lie.  The notebook is a lot of writing, but I love to write and it has definitely allowed me to work on more things during a day.  I carry the notebook almost everywhere – to work, to appointments, to home, etc.  I’ve found a system that worked for me and it all goes back to the system that I started when I was young.  Who knew?

Planners are great, for people that enjoy to use them, but for people that are on a budget, spending five dollars on a notebook will give you everything you need.

So there you have it.  Motivation Factor #1 is buying a notebook.  Next week, I will talk about how to start using that notebook to plan a great year.