I went Olympics and Paralympics-tastic this summer. It was no coincidence that I gave up work just before London 2012 started! My daytime freedom meant that I was everyone’s chosen +1 to events.
I went to the beach-volleyball, football, weight-lifting, athletics, road cycling, triathlon, wheelchair basketball and hand-cycling and I watched the TV coverage all day every day and all of the round-up programmes at night.
I whooped and held my breath and cried several times a day. And I was inspired. Massively inspired by the athletes, their sacrifices and their commitment, all for a shot at glory four years in the making.
Don’t get me wrong. I think they’re all bonkers, but there is something in that unrelenting pursuit of goals that struck me as a universal truth.
keep clear goals, track progress
Keeping your goals clear and tracking your progress is, according to all the gurus on success (be it measured in weight loss, wealth, sporting prowess, political influence, pairs of Alaïa shoes), the surest way to achieve those goals.
Some people shy away from setting goals, especially if their dreams are financially motivated. If your goal is to make loads of money, then go for it. There’s no crime in making money. Unless you’re making the money from crime. In which case this leads to an awkward moral dilemma and makes me question if I even want you reading my blog.
My goals right now are below. In my own to-do list, I use these goals as a header and list out the steps I need to take to achieve each one (see first example below), with a deadline. I find this helps my focus, which otherwise tends to wander.
Note that one of my goals is a “pleasure” goal. To me, the whole point of this lifestyle change is to enjoy experiences. I don’t use these pleasure goals as a reward for doing the business stuff. Instead I just try to build them into my life, so I get the balance right between focused activity and focused inactivity.
1. Set up the first simple online business that’s still at ideas stage now, before India trip in November.
- interview web developers – by 30 September 2012
- compile brief for site functionality and look and feel – by 14 October 2012
- test projected site traction and SEO – by 21 October 2012
2. Relax on the beaches of Goa and the backwaters of Kerala.
- bit of yoga
- pakora o’clock, followed by fresh tandoori red snapper and the best Bombay potato known to man
3. Earn enough from the first business in the 6 months from launch to finance next business idea.
I’ve chosen to blog about my progress, as a way to keep me on course. Other people prefer to use personal finance markers or task completion milestones that they’ve set for themselves. Personally, I need the accountability that comes with making a very public commitment.
If an idea dies in a forest but there’s no-one around to see it, etc., etc.
You get my drift. Tell a handful of people who you respect what your goals are. And be as specific as you can. Trust me, it’ll make it much easier to keep them, when they’re not just your dirty little secret.
Alternatively, you can post them here in the comments section, if you want to, and I’ll do a little cheerleading for you. Just please don’t post anything that you need to keep secret. Or that is moronic. I have a reputation to maintain, after all.
Team GB, Team GB, Team GB, Team GB!!!!!!