You've probably heard the key to success, or at least part of it is to set goals. As I went freelance this year, I knew I needed to keep organised and have something to work towards. So I invested in a journal to track my progress in the form of the Best Self journal. There's a tonne of productivity and goal setting planners on the market but I just happened to pick this one to have a go.
Best Self is set out over 13 weeks to work on shorter term goals and really detailed down to daily timings, weekly schedules and even helps you build in good habits. This kind of in-depth detail was new to me so I wanted to see how well I got on. It was intense but here's 5 things I learnt from setting goals.
1. Clarity on my goals and achievements
Having to write down at least two main goals with 3 progress goals for each, really made me think about the most important steps I needed to take to achieve them. Setting them out like this gave me more manageable actions to spread out across the coming weeks.
2. Tracking my progress is motivating
Although the initial groundwork took a bit of time, the journal encourages you to reflect on the week gone and what could be improved before planning the week ahead. My daily habits like meditation and fitness were being tracked too so the more I did them the more I wanted to carry on.
3. Feeling guilty when I slipped up
There were a few days throughout this time that I wasn't as productive or didn't complete my target of going to the gym that week. This made me feel terrible that I'd been doing so well and I'd not achieved the thing that week. This feeling was probably a self inflicted pressure to be honest and that on top of all the productive people I was seeing on social media smashing it.
4. Getting better with managing time
Having reflected on the weeks where I felt I could have done better, I looked at my time management. There were definitely some parts of the day that I wasn't being realistic about like travel times and allowing for a proper break in the day. I was also taking too long completing certain tasks and I had to assess whether I should allow less time or speed up. It didn't help that procrastination played a part too!
5. Life doesn't work like clockwork
Having silly expectations of myself and how much I can achieve in a day or a week were one thing. I realised that it's ok to 'slip up' and not be 100% productive all of the time. I'm only human and I also have a life to live and enjoy. I know that's easier said than done when you're still trying to find your feet in the freelance life! Something small like a walk in the park, reading a book or going to an exhibition is all it takes to refresh.