The three daily Ps to achieving your goals
Founder Friday is a weekly guest post written by a founder who is based in or hails from the Silicon Prairie. Each month, a topic relevant to startups is presented and founders share lessons learned or best practices utilized on that topic. April's topic is goal setting.
Many people think about goals as big achievements 10 to 15 years away. That's great, but that's only half the battle. The other half is actually working – day in and day out – to complete those goals. I'd like to share 3 simple habits I've followed over the past few years that have helped me achieve my goals.
1. Poop Sheet
Sure, the name is a bit odd, but it's the most vital of all my habits. Keep a list of your life goals (I only have about six) on a piece of paper (right) in your wallet/purse (or spreadsheet). Adjacent to each goal, write the next major milestone you must complete to move closer to attaining that goal. Review this daily. I review mine when I use the bathroom – hence the name of this "P". This list of goals keeps you focused on what's important to you, even when other "fires" are burning out of control.
Why is this the most vital habit? For a little more proof, read why 3% of Harvard MBAs make ten times as much as the other 97% combined.
Keep yourself at your best. Figure out what things give you productive and unproductive days. Keep a log for the next 2 weeks. Did you wake up early? Did you sleep more or less? When did you exercise? Who are you around? What did you eat? These factors (and more) build your platform. Give yourself ample time to "build your platform" every day. My platform: a good night of sleep, healthy food, 1 hour of exercise, and an empty inbox.
DaVinci once wrote, "Every once and a while, go away and take a relaxing break, and then when you come back to your work, your judgment will be better – because remaining constantly at work will hinder your power of judgment."
Big goals (like marathons) are, well, marathons. Nobody ever won a marathon by trying to sprint the entire thing. Run intelligently. Adjust your speed as you go. Sprint when you need to. Build water breaks into your day.
For example, I've noticed I tend to mentally stall halfway through my day – between 3pm and 5pm. Instead of fighting it, I've scheduled a "half time" to take a break and do something else that I enjoy. The result: I come back for the "second half" with a much more refreshed mind and am just as productive on the whole day.
Credits: Photos courtesy of Ryan Tinker.
About the author: Ryan Tinker is the technical co-founder of Leap, a startup building the best way to do what you love. He hails from Kansas City and loves making products that help people live happier, healthier lives.
Tinker can be found on Twitter, @ryantinker.
Founder Friday is brought to you by the Heartland Technology Alliance
Thanks to our Founder Friday series sponsor, Heartland Technology Alliance, a nonprofit working as an advocate for innovation and competition in technology and communications across much of the Silicon Prairie and throughout the Upper Midwest.