Personal Inventory Day
This year I started being more intentional about goals and working towards making them happen. Personal goals, business goals, client goals. Things like consistent meditation, see a friend once a week (I work from home), move blog to Squarespace, budget for part-time help, take weekends off, etc. Aside from consistent meditation (sighs audibly), I've made all of these other things happen. Yay, goals! Here's how: personal inventory days.
Call Your Girlfriend, my favorite podcast, had a New Year's episode called Level Up 2018!. In that episode, Sabrina Hersi Issa talks about how every year when her birthday rolls around, she's disappointed about all the things she meant to do, but didn't. So she created a personal inventory day. It's a monthly date with herself to check-in, write down goals and make a plan. She does it on the day of her birthday every month. The idea is to check in once a month to avoid a yearly freak-out. Sounds good to me! Here's what my personal inventory day looks like.
Step One: List Goals
I list my goals under three categories:
- biz and blog
- work and clients.
In an effort to not spiral into obsessive perfectionism, I limit my goals to 5 per category. It should go without saying that these categories are color-coded. I also have a "To Do" column for things like scheduling vet appointments, buying and mailing birthday cards, getting prints framed, etc. If my brain is really turned on, I'll add an "Ideas" column.
Step Two: List Action Items
I use two sheets of paper, one for goals and one for action items. I use the same color-coded system. For each goal, I make an action item, for example if one of my goals is to get more consulting clients, I'll make a list of potential clients, then list "Pitch [name]" or "Take [name] to lunch" as the action item. Make sense?
Step Three: Transfer Action Items to To-Do List and/or Calendar
Once every goal has a coordinating action item, I transfer the action items to a to do list or my calendar. If I leave all those action items on that sheet of paper, I will never do anything with them. I have to move them to a list/calendar.
Step Four: Ask For Help
I make a list of things I need to ask for help on, like setting up a writing room in my house (heavy furniture had to be moved), updating my contract and raising my prices, or moving my blog to Squarespace, etc.
My birthday is May 20, so I do this on the 20th of every month. I give it about an hour, or as long as it takes to drink a cup of coffee. Once or twice, the 20th has fallen on a busy week day, so I've pushed it to the weekend and taken more time with it. I like rules and routine, so keeping it on the same day every month works for me, but you do you.
Fellow creatives and business owners, how do you keep track of your goals and any progress you're making towards them? I'm only about seven months into this, but it's working for me. I'd love to hear what other people do. Let me know!