Today I’m in a good mood. I’m doing a very pleasant exercise: writing down things I want to do and don’t want to do this year. This is not a list of projects or down to earth task list. Not at all. It’s more about who I want to be rather than what I’m going to do.
These are mainly my ideas (maybe unconsciously stolen from some personal productivity technique, I don’t know) that are meant to be done for fun. Just to take some time for reflections. To discover things that matter to you.
Disclaimer. If you follow some kind of advanced life planning methodology this is probably not for you. It’s for people like me who have been making only first steps in taking their life into their own hands.
Here’s a formula I use to describe my ideas about the desired life for the next year:
Values → Vision → Goals + Skills + People + Ideas
Now I’m going to explain the ingredients and show you some examples from my lists.
‘Values’ item is self-explanatory, I guess. This is a list of 5 things I believe I value now. They are:
- Calmness / Stability
- Personal Development
I composed such list a year ago and was very surprised how little has changed. I’ve made a few corrections, restricted the list to 5 items and clarified them in my head. This is meant to be your guide in everyday decisions, but I don’t feel much effect yet. But I don’t take it too seriously, it’s fun to check this a year later.
Vision part consists of a few lists that describe more details of the imagined perfect life. Perfect daily routine, Habits and Boundaries are among them. These are also not a strict set of rules, but rather ideas that help draw up a picture.
My perfect daily routine in 2015
(haven’t changed much since the last year)
- get up 6-7 a.m.
- drink a glass of water
- exercise 15-25 min
- run outdoors
- pushups, situps etc.
- meditate 5 min
- drink good green tea
- write and read for an hour or two
Productive and peaceful daytime:
- do my 3 MITS in 25 min chunks with 5 min of rest and exercise
- do my routines
- plan projects, praise and develop my staff
- meet with someone to have a mindful talk
- go for a walk (30 min or more)
- take a bath
- read a book
- go to sleep at 11 p.m.
Good habits I want to have and bad habits I want to exterminate
Working with habits is an essential part of personal development. If you want to see changes in your life, you should change your habits first. I won’t go on in detail here as habits theme is a vast field to reflect on. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I’ve been consistent with working on my habits. I have a Trello board that helps visually track progress or absence thereof. Hope to improve this year.
I’d recommend to try Coach.me app (was previously called Lift.do), read Zen Habits by Leo Babauta or better join his Sea Change Program.
Other Vision lists are not so precise as habits list. They include:
- What I don’t want to do in 2015?
- What I want to learn in 2015?
- My personal boundaries
These lists are there to have a place to store ideas like ‘I won’t be raising my voice’, ‘I will eat mostly plants, avoid meat when possible’ etc. Boundaries list is connected to habits. For example, it features ‘Max 15 min of social media surfing a day’.
BTW, Rescue Time app does a great job of fully automatic time tracking. Basically, it knows how much time you spent on various sites that can be categorized as productive or not.
Goals list is a part of my GTD system in Podio. There’s a lot written on goal setting out there, so I’m not going to expand on this. Frankly, I have never set a clear (or rather S.M.A.R.T.) goal for the whole year in my life yet. It’s going to be for the first time. Time will show how it turns out.
A list of skills I want to develop or improve. Includes writing in English, meditation, SEO and Business Process Management.
People I want to connect with. People who inspire me.
I’m nurturing an idea to set up some kind of a system to remind me to check what’s going on with people I’m interested in, send them a random ‘how are you?’ ping, maybe offer my help.
Things I’d like to do or want to consider this year. This may be posting pic of the day to Instagram or writing a daily journal.
Tune it up!
This ‘formula’ is not a remedy that’s good for everyone. You can easily include lists like ‘Places I want to visit’ or ‘Things I want to buy’. Change it the way you like. But I’d recommend leaving untouched Values, Goals and Habits as they are the most powerful. Just the fact that you had a few quite minutes for reflection and wrote down some ideas for your future is wonderful. I hope it will help you change your life.