So, I did my first quarter review on Monday. No surprise there, I’m a big fan of the review process. And in the past, I’ve written a lot about my quarterly review process and how I use it to move forward successfully for the rest of the year. I’ve done a few of these because my organization and review process is ever evolving. I’m always learning new things and discovering new tools. Then, of course, sometimes a tool I was using gets discontinued because someone decides to stop working for themselves and get a day job.
For those of you who know I’m talking about Lisa Jacobs, that sounded a lot snarkier than I mean it too. If you didn’t read her explanation of why she’s gotten a day job I highly suggest you do so right away. The last lesson she taught me was that you’ve got to put your family and yourself first and that your needs and wants are going to change over your life. I thank her for that, and for having the courage to take that sort of leap.
However, that and a few other things caused me to completely rethink how I set goals for 2019. I’ve been trying these new tools out, and I like them. So, here’s how I’ve been planning differently.
The Bullet Journal Method
And by this I mean the book by Ryder Caroll. If you haven’t read this, you probably should. Mind you, I’ve been doing Bullet Journaling for three years. I’ve read everything online, seen all the videos, and nothing struck me more than this book. It got me back to basics with my journal, but at the same time freed me to be more creative in the pages. I read this, and I immediately started changing how I journaled and planned.
The most powerful change is that I’ve been writing down my daily to-do list instead of keeping it on an app as I have for years. Mind you, I think the app I was using was great. It did everything I needed it to do and gave me a clever wrap up at the end of the year. I loved that. But let me tell you what happened when I started writing down my to-do list every day.
- I started being a little more critical about how I was spending my time. I thought everything I was doing was essential. Turns out it doesn’t feel like everything is as essential when you’re rewriting it every day.
- I was more clear about all the little tasks that take up time. Like my morning, evening and afternoon routine. These routines take roughly half an hour and are essential for my well being. They include a small amount of promotion, a medium amount of home care, and a large amount of self-care.
- I finally tracked all the minor weekly chores and made a chart. So I know what I’m doing every day.
- Finally, I became aware of exactly how much I was trying to do. Before, tasks would vanish as soon as they were done. While this is satisfying as Hell, it leaves nothing behind but the things that aren’t done yet. So I don’t get that emotional boost of a long list of things I’ve actually done. Also, I find that I suffer from depression when it feels like I haven’t done enough. It’s a problem, I know. But if I feel productive, I feel better. It doesn’t help me feel productive if my completed tasks vanish. Having a list on the page that shows exactly what I’ve done today helps a ton.
The Erin Condron Goals planner and budget
Since I didn’t have the Lisa Jacobs planner this year, I was casting around for a different one. What I landed on was the Erin Condron goals planner. This book, let me tell you how much I love this book. Basically, you pick six major projects. Then, you do a weekly check on, with what tasks need to be done for that project that week. At the end of the book, there’s a great introspective review process. At the start of the book, there’s a group of great goal setting questions.
I also got a budget book. I’ve been terrible at tracking my spending my entire adult life, but this budget book is helping a ton. Mostly because it’s fun to keep track of things in it. There are stickers. It’s easy to pull out the little book in the morning and write down everything I spent the day before. By the way, not a sponsored post. I just really like Erin Condron.
For that matter, though, you really don’t need either of these books. I just advise having no more than six projects, tracking weekly progress and keeping track of your spending. Just do those two things, and I bet you find that you’re succeeding more.
The 19 for 2019 list from the podcast Happier
This is not exactly the same as the 19 before 2019 or the 18 before 2018 lists from Lisa Jacobs. This is a list inspired by the podcast Happier by Gretchen Rubin.
Here’s how it works. The 19 before 2019 is a list of things to wrap up in the last quarter of the year to move into 2019 on the best foot. But a 19 for 2019 list is nineteen things you want to accomplish in the year 2019. As such, they can be more long term and grander. Gretchen also suggests adding things not just to feel accomplished, but to make you happier.
I can’t share all of my 19 for 2019 list, as some of it is sensitive. But you know I like to be public with my goals because it keeps me accountable. So here’s what I can share with you. Expect occasional updates
- Make progress on the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps.
- Finish the last draft of Station Central. (Already done. Episode one will launch on April 13th. Unless you’re signed up for the PBW Update. Then you already got the first episode on the first.)
- Finish the second draft of the new fantasy novel, Falling from Grace.
- Finish the second draft of the other new fantasy novel, Wolf’s Eye. It was last year’s Nanowrimo novel.
- Finish the third draft of Falling from Grace and give it to my beta readers. (I’m currently looking for beta readers if anyone’s interested.)
- Write a new novel for Nanowrimo
- Finish the third draft of Wolf’s Eye and give it to beta readers. (Again, if you want to be a beta reader, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Write the rough draft of a new science fiction novella.
- Publish Station Central online and in e-book form. (August 30th)
- Strengthen my meditation and yoga practice, until I’m practicing every day.
- Read 25 books
- Get a literary agent
- Read the essay from Simple Abundance every day.
- Use the Kona Marie method to declutter my life.
- Have wonderful holidays, even little ones like Labor Day.
- Grow succulents and herbs.
- Find ways to limit my waste, especially plastic waste.
Stay tuned each quarter for updates. And, of course, I want to hear from you! How do you clear out old business and get ready for new business at the start of each quarter? Want to share your 19 for 2019 list? Feel free to redact a few as I did. Let us know in the comments below!
Station 86 is shocked when a Khloe assassin begins killing members of the all powerful council. Officer Sennett Montgomery and Councilman Godfrey Anders swear to find the assassin after Godfrey’s wife is falsely accused. But the killer, and the council itself, are not what they seem. Neither, as it turns out, is Sennett’s daughter.
Station Central starts on April 13th. But the first episode was available today if you’re subscribed to the PBW Update. Sign up here now.