I would consider myself an extremely organized individual which is why I love routines that help me stay on top of my ever growing To-Do List! Some would compare me to Monica from Friends. Her OCD behavior around the cleanliness of her house, her need to have everything in its place at all times, and her inability to function if all of the above are not in order. Yup, that pretty much sums me up in a nutshell. I could write an entire blog post on “Mise en Place” (which means “putting in place”). In fact, I believe in it so strongly that I think I will! Check back for my thoughts on that one. Anyway, I digress…
So, outside of keeping order in my house to allow my brain to function properly, I like to stick to a few nightly routines that help push me closer to reaching my professional and personal goals. Below are a few of my current goals and how I’m working to attain them. You probably have different goals in mind, but the point is to properly allocate the time each day to push yourself closer to your goals and getting on a schedule makes it that much easier!
1.) Learn Spanish
My boyfriend’s family is Spanish and if it weren’t for my Spanish lessons in high school I would be completely in the dark! Unfortunately, not having a need to speak Spanish since high school (8 years… gosh time flies!), I’ve had to heavily brush up! I use a free app called Duolingo. It’s interactive, fun, and it uses data analytics to figure out how YOU learn a language and tailors lessons to your needs. I take about 30 minutes each night to get myself through a few lessons in Duolingo. In order to really learn a language you have to practice daily.
2.) ‘Q&A A Day’ Books
I discovered these books while roaming the streets of San Francisco in September but you can now find them in almost all Anthropologie stores and, of course, online. I have two of them: a ‘5 Year Journal Book’ and a ‘3 Year Journal For 2 People.’ Each day there is a new question and there are 5 (or 3 for the second book) spaces for a new answer each year. I’m already looking forward to looking back on my answers in a few years time to see if my goals and aspirations have changed or remained the same. Answering a new question each night forces you to stop and think about what you value in life. A very neat exercise in my opinion.
3.) Read a new business book every two months
I’m part of two Mastermind Groups. For those who aren’t familiar, I’d highly recommend joining one with like minded friends. The groups help me grow both professionally and personally. As a group we push one another to meet goals that we have set and to advance in our careers. I meet bi-weekly for both and each meeting consists of active discussions around current affairs, the business world, innovative ideas, articles we’ve read and books we have read/hope to read. In order to meet my goal of reading a new business book every two months, I need to make time to read each night. Sometimes it’s much easier to pop the telly on or get sucked into social media for FAR longer than I expected, but then I remember what I value and get myself back on track rather than admiring my new celebrity obsession on Instagram!
4.) Constantly read articles!
I live on LinkedIn (if you didn’t gather that from my last post)! Most of my article reading comes from the Pulse section and from posts companies I follow schedule. I also have subscriptions to Inc, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Recode. Living so close to the tech industry I have a fascination for up-and-coming companies and innovative products so I geek out on those magazines and articles. Twitter also provides a real time update of news that I want to stay on top of. Almost every great company now has a Twitter account so it’s great to scroll through my feed and get a wide selection of news.
Staying on top of your goals isn’t hard. All you need is a schedule and a little prod to get you going. I use an app called Coach.me. It keeps me on top of my goals and reminds me of tasks I need to complete (even outside of this list) when my brain is a bit like mush and I struggle to remember everything I need to do.
What goals are you trying to attain? How are you reaching them?