A Life Changing Book
I am an advocate of setting goals and achieving them. I am often asked if I have a “system”. The answer is yes. However, it is more a method than a system and I can not claim ownership of its origin. In this post, I am going to share just that. I am going to do so by giving you and overview of a book. The book is the method. I highly recommend that you buy a copy of Alan Lakein’s How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life (Signet). I suggest you read it, highlight it, do the exercises and refer to it often. You are likely curious as to why I feel this is such a great book. I shall satisfy your curiosity by outlining the book’s method. It is not my intent to reveal every detail of this book. I am simply giving you an overview so you can decide whether you should buy it or not. Frankly, I feel that if you wish to learn goal setting and planning then you should buy it. I am not alone on this thought, it is rated at 4.5 stars with 73 reviews at Amazon.
It Starts with Goals
In my opinion, all planning and achievement begins with setting goals. I feel that this must be a conscious action which produces a written list of goals. Anything less is insufficient. If you make yourself aware of your goals, you have taken the first step to achieving them. By writing them out, you can pro-actively achieve them. If you are unaware of your goals, you will spend your time reacting to whatever life throws at you. In the end, you’ll achieve something from your reactions. In other words, goal setting puts you in greater control of your life.
Step Two – Prioritize You Goals
The book next teaches you a method to prioritize your goals. Goal setting is exciting. If you do it right, your goal list will exceed the time you have to achieve them. “Big eyes” syndrome is often where individuals fail in goal achievement. A real world example of such is a young ambitious fraternity president who showed up to the chapter’s planning weekend retreat with a typed 83 page agenda! I am not trying to criticize the young man’s ambition. However, given the fact that they had roughly 48 hours including sleep time, the realism should be obvious. In fact, I cite this example because it is likely that you will end up with a similar dilemma. Unless you seriously lack ambition which is unlikely if you have read this far, you will end up with more goals than time. Setting goals is good but failing to set priorities for their achievement will do nothing more than overwhelm the goal setter. The book has a great method for prioritizing and narrowing down your goals.
Once You Set Goals, You Need “Doable” Task
Goals, prioritized and written out are great but you can’t schedule a goal. (You can set a date you wish to achieve it by but that is not exactly the same.) You can schedule an activity or a task. The book has exercises for doing just that. Again, buy the book get the details.
Of Course, There is More
The reason I like the book’s method so much is because it is not a set in stone method. It offers advise that works for many. What the rest of the book is about I shall not go into. I will tell you that it is packed with much more information than the core concepts I shared with you here. I feel I have provided you with a more than ample reason to buy it.