Which group are you in, The Hopers, Resolution Makers or Action Takers?

Goal setting

Wishing you a Happy New Year, may 2013 be the most extraordinary year for you.

A big part of the world’s population will be nursing hangovers today, others will be thinking about the year ahead, most will be hoping for an improvement over 2012, many will be making New Year’s resolutions. Very few will be making concrete plans to improve their lives in 2013.

Which group are you in? The Hopers, the Resolution Makers or the Action Takers.

We can hope as much as we like, all the hope and dreams in the world won’t change anything without plans and action.

Most resolutions will be abandoned by January 31.

I have just completed my annual “archive” exercise for 2012. Yes, I did achieve some of my goals in the year, I also accomplished a lot of other stuff that was not in my goals 12 months ago. I failed in other areas. Miserably in some. But I did much better than if I had not set goals, made plans and taken action.

 Two very interesting facts hit me like a sledge-hammer when I did the exercise:

  1. How much time I still wasted on non, or at best minimally, productive activities.
  2. The importance of my goal setting and daily action planning activities.

I do not have time to randomly “surf the net”, but reading email newsletters, email discussion group updates from social media sites, scanning authoritative blogs, email requests to join “your friend xxx on yyy site” and the spam that somehow gets through the filters all contribute to a huge black hole that can easily suck up half the day.

And that’s before important emails that do require action, planned social media engagement and deliberate research.

Even though I carry out a purge of my email subscriptions every 6 weeks or so, new ones seem to proliferate as fast as baby rabbits in spring.

This week is my goal setting and planning week, the exercise is well under way, but with more emphasis on looking critically at every email I receive and a more drastic pruning.

Some of the casualties will be Facebook and Linked In groups, I do not have time to read updates from close to 100 groups. Please don’t feel offended if I leave a group in which you have included me. It is nothing personal, I do not read most of the updates anyway, just trying to save myself the time it takes to click “delete”

The same goes for newsletters.

One of the best tools I have found for keeping me on track is Rescue Time, it tracks every minute I spend on the computer, allocates it to a category which I have set up and rated from very unproductive through neutral to very productive.

It provides a number of reports and emails a summary every week.

The basic system which I use is free, there are upgrades for networks.

Without Rescue Time and my own  written 12 month, 90 day and weekly goals, a daily action plan, a daily gratitude and list of 10 successes the previous day to keep me on track, I would not have achieved a fraction of what I did last year.

What will you be in 2013? One of the majority of Hopers or one of the few Action Takers?

Wishing you success and action in 2013.

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