The Productive Woman 006 – Overcoming Obstacles to Achieving Our Goals [podcast]

_podcastTemplateEven if we go through an intentional process of setting our goals, we might face obstacles in our efforts to actually achieve them. Being prepared for those obstacles helps us overcome them. In this episode we continue our discussion of goal-setting, looking at some of the obstacles that may interfere and some of the things we can do to overcome those obstacles.

Tip of the Week: Use a timer to motivate yourself (or your kids?) to get started on a task you've been putting off, or stay focused on one task when many others fight for attention.

Tool of the Week: Lift.do – a website and app (iOS and Android) to help you develop good habits that will move you toward accomplishing your goals.

Topic of the Week: Obstacles–and how to overcome them

  1. Choosing the wrong goals.
  2. Fear (of failure . . . or of success).
  3. Overcommitment.
  4. Perfectionism and unrealistic expectations.
  5. Disorganization and/or poor time management.
  6. Lack of support (or self-sabotage).
  7. Physiological issues.

Some general steps to help keep you on the right path:

  • Review your goals regularly — several times a day.
  • Schedule an appointment with yourself each week to review and re-evaluate your goals and the progress you've made — celebrate even the tiniest step in the right direction!
  • Keep yourself motivated
    • Put a note on your computer screen or bathroom mirror:

What have you done today to make your dreams come true?

    • Collect inspirational quotes – create an inspiration/motivation board on Pinterest. See some quotes I like on my Inspiration board and my Food for Thought board.
    • Find an accountability partner.

Your turn: What obstacles do you struggle with when trying to achieve your goals? Can you share a tip — something that helps you overcome one of these obstacles and make progress?

Don't forget to subscribe to The Productive Woman in iTunes or on Stitcher, and join the conversation at The Productive Woman on Facebook.

I look forward to getting to know you!

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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom
Email me

The Productive Woman 005 – A Step by Step Process for Setting Goals [podcast]

Continuing our series on goal-setting, this week we talk about a step-by-step process for setting goals.

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Tip of the Week:

Don't rely on your memory. Make it easy to write things down when you think of them, so you don't have to use energy or attention trying to remember or worrying about forgetting.

Tool of the Week:

Drafts for iOS. A great app that lets you quickly capture any thought or idea and either save it for later processing, or send it immediately to your calendar, task manager, or any of a dozen other places. It's for iOS only, but there are some Android-friendly alternatives to Drafts.

Topic of the Week: A process for setting goals

  1. Choose a time (or series of times) when you can spend some undisturbed time focusing on this process.
  2. Gather some materials – notebook and pen, calendar, beverage of choice, notes from your session spent identifying your key roles and relationships, your guiding principles (listen to episode 2 for more about this).
  3. Spend a few minutes praying, meditating, or whatever you do to calm, quiet, and focus your mind.
  4. Review your priorities/guiding principles–the areas you've identified as important. Look at the long-term objectives you've identified.
  5. Consider your calendar. Given your schedule, commitments, and obligations, how much time can you realistically devote to pursuing new goals?
  6. In each of your key roles/relationships, where do you want to be a year from now? Convert the general objective into a SMART goal.
  7. For each of these long-term (year) goals, brainstorm steps to get to the outcome you want.
  8. Take a break, then come back and review your list. Which goals to you have the resources (time, energy, enthusiasm, money, etc.) to pursue now?
  9. Choose no more than 3-5 goals to focus on at a time. Try for balance–don't focus on one area to the detriment of other priorities, but respect the season of life you're in.
  10. Make sure you have a meaningful why for each goal you choose: why this? and why now?
  11. Save the list of the others; you'll come back to them later.
  12. Write them down and keep them handy, so you can review them daily, refine them as you go along.

A helpful resource: The Front Nine: How to Start the Year You Want Anytime You Want, by Mike Vardy.

What about you?

Can you add to or improve the goal-setting process I've described? Share your suggestions, or your questions, in the comments.

 

Remember to “like” The Productive Woman on Facebook, and subscribe to The Productive Woman in iTunes or on Stitcher. And you can help others find The Productive Woman by leaving a review in iTunes.

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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom
Email me

The Productive Woman 004 – Setting Goals That Matter [podcast]

_podcastTemplateFollowing up on our look at the big picture in episode 2, this week we begin a short series on goal-setting. This episode looks at what a goal is, and how it differs from a dream or an objective, and suggest some ways to set yourself up for success.

Tip of the Week: Keep a gratitude list, a list of both large and small things you are grateful for. This helps you remain grateful for your present even while you're working toward building the future you want.

Tool of the Week: Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results,  a great book by Stephen Guise.

Topic of the Week: Setting Goals That Matter

  • A goal is more specific and action-oriented than an objective or a dream.
  • Good goals are SMART
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable (or Attainable)
    • Realistic
    • Time-bound
  • Be smart and strategic about setting goals
    • Focus on your highest priorities, and choose only 3 to 5 goals at a time to work on
    • Have a meaningful why for each of your goals–knowing why you're pursuing a goal will help you keep going when you get tired or distracted
    • Make sure your goals align with your values
    • A goal can't contradicts your other goals
    • Be balanced in your goal-setting – remember the roles and relationships we talked about in episode 2, and choose goals that reflect those various priority areas

In the next episode we'll talk about a step-by-step process for identifying and prioritizing goals. Send your questions, comments, and suggestions to feedback@TheProductiveWoman.com, or leave a voice message by clicking on the pink tab at the right-hand side of the website.

Remember you can subscribe to The Productive Woman podcast in iTunes or in Stitcher. Click on the links here, or on the icon in the right-hand sideboard of the blog.

And don't forget to join the conversation at The Productive Woman on Facebook.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom

Email me

The Productive Woman 003 – My Top 10 Tips for Managing Your Day [podcast]

Little things can make a big difference in managing the demands on our time. This episode is a quick flyover of the things that help me on a daily basis. Here are my Top 10 Tips for Managing Your Day (more details in the audio, of course):

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  1. Write it down.
  2. Get a head start.
  3. Do your most dreaded task first.
  4. Turn off distractions.
  5. Take breaks.
  6. Eat breakfast.
  7. Get some exercise.
  8. Delegate.
  9. Say no.
  10. Batch process.

Tip of the week: Make your calendar work for you.

  • Use it only for time-bound commitments
  • Get all appointments into it
  • Use one calendar for all appointments (personal, professional, etc.)

Google Calendar 2014-07-23

 

 

Tool of the week:

shared calendars (e.g., in Google Calendar) – If you'd be interested in a short video tutorial about how to set up shared calendars in Google Calendars, let me know in the comments or send an email to feedback@theproductivewoman.com.

 

Some resources for more info:

Getting Things Done by David Allen

On the question of whether multitasking is a good idea, check out my post on Lifehack.org: “The Ability to Multitask Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be.”

 

Next week we'll talk about goal-setting. Please send your questions to feedback@theproductivewoman.com or leave a voice message by clicking on the pink tab at the right side of the website.

 

What about you? What are your best strategies for staying on top of your busy days? Share your tips and suggestions in the comments, or join the conversation at The Productive Woman on Facebook.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom

Email me

The Productive Woman 002 – The Big Picture: Priorities & Guiding Principles [podcast]

_podcastTemplateWhen people think about productivity, they often think about calendars and to-do lists and project management, and all of those things are a big part of what we will discuss in coming episodes. But there's a big difference between being busy and being productive. True productivity requires a purpose to guide the activity. In this episode we talk about a process for coming up with principles to guide our decisions in such a way that our activity is consistent with our true values.

A brief summary of the basic steps:

  1. Set aside a time when you can be quiet and undisturbed. Gather your calendar, your to-do lists, paper and pen, and your favorite beverage.
  2. List/describe the roles you play in life, and the relationships that are part of your life.
  3. Taking into account your personal values, prioritize these areas of your life. Don't forget to make your physical, mental, and emotional health a priority.
  4. For each role, answer this question: “What kind of ______ do I want to be?” For each relationship, ask yourself, “How do I want this person/these people to remember me when I'm gone?” Spend some time journaling your thoughts about what each role/relationship would look like if it was all you want it to be (your part, not theirs!).
  5. Honestly evaluate where you are today in each of these areas. Write it down.
  6. What will it take to get you from where you are to where you want to be? Write down two or three specific steps you could take in each area to move in the direction you want to go.

Tip of the Week: Back up your digital data.

For more info, check out this article from the University of Pittsburgh's IT Department on Backing Up Your Data

Tool of the Week: Some great options for online backup services.

Resources:

Next week's episode will be a discussion of my “Top Ten Tips for Managing Your Day,” and another upcoming episode will talk about setting achievable goals. If you have questions about either topic, please leave a voicemail message by clicking the pink tab at the right-hand side of my website, or email your questions or suggestions to feedback@theproductivewoman.com. You can also join the conversation at The Productive Woman's Facebook page.

I look forward to hearing from you, and welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions.

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Greenville, Texas
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Legal Blog: Real Estate Law Blog
Twitter: @LauraMcMom
Email me