Confession Tuesday

My journal. Click to enlarge.

For a while, I have felt like I  needed a life coach. I've needed someone objective to come in and give me some direction and recommendations on what I should be doing. Well, in the absence of Dr. Phil, or a boatload of money to hire a professional, I opted to meet with my dear friend, Tom last night to help me to get some clarity on a few things.

Tom is one of my closest friends--we've known each other for more than 20 years (yikes). We've always been list-makers. So he and I sat down at Starbucks to give each other feedback on our goals. I have to say, while I was skeptical about the method that follows, I'm psyched to approach my goals from a different angle.

Pictured above is a page from my journal with a grid. I'm sure there's a name for this technique, but I think of it as a mental model that has enabled me to prioritize my future plans. Here's the breakdown, moving clockwise.

Book August summer camps for kids
Work/life balance
Recharge (read books, exercise, reconnect with friends)
Create a writing space.

Revise second manuscript
Home re-do

Urgent/Not As Important
Clean desk
Kid time

NonUrgent/Not As Important
Schedule upcoming readings
Find guest bloggers

After placing each goal on the grid, I was surprised by the results. You would think revising my manuscript would be my first priority. Compared to other things such as scheduling summer camp in August for my kids, poetry seemed secondary. Yet, poetry is "where I live," meaning the manuscript revision is in directly related to my happiness. So it straddles the line between urgent and nonurgent, bumping it up on the priority scale.

Also a surprise was how disconnected I am from the writing space in my house. I haven't used my desk for more than a year. But I think I've underestimated the importance of having a creative space to work where I can focus my attention without distraction. Making a creative space now moves up in priority.

Then we started talking about how to put all of this new-found organization to work. Tom and I talked about what my life would look like if I did nothing but eat, sleep, and write. Sounds as if I do that anyway but, as you can see, I have a lot of competing goals. But what would my life really look like if I got more sleep (I average about five hours a night), planned meals more mindfully (healthier approach, saved money, better organized), and focused my attention on writing and revising? That means I would have to fit everything else around those three priorities. (Kids are always a priority. Don't go there.)

I don't know if this willl work but I'm willing to try this approach for two months. Tom and I will follow up with each other as a way of keeping us on track (he has a list of goal, too).

Thanks, Tom, for your help! XO

If you have tried a similar approach, or have a way of goal setting that works for you, share it here on Confession Tuesday!


LJCohen said…
Wow--I like this system. Going to try it out on today's todo list. :)
odessa said…
what a great idea! i want to start doing this too.
Jennifer said…
way back when i did this when i got my franklin-covey organizer. with the new-fangled electronic "organizers" there are no guidelines like these...sad. the goal setting/prioritizing works i think so kudos to you jan!!! i think i'll go back to this tried and trueness :)
January said…
Good luck with this method. Let me know how it's working for each of you. :)
Kells said…
Catching up on my reading-- I LOVE things like this. I will have to try this.

I usually make a list then go through and mark the important things as A then B then C - Then I number them. I think it's a Franklin Covey technique. I picked it up from someone, but it helps me know what to do first, then second and so on.

Otherwise, I spin in circles!

I will try your grid though, I like the visual nature of it.

Popular Posts