Well, it’s once again time for Mary and I to create our Annual Goal List to chase our dreams – and, along with it of course, fill out a to-do list every day to make it all happen.
And we wouldn’t have it any other way!
It is amazing how putting goals and dreams down on paper can help turn them into reality. And even more, how creating a daily to-do list can keep it all on track.
In fact, for us, it has worked like magic.
The Power of Dreams, Goals And A To Do List – Making Life Happen
If you really want to simplify life – think about this:
Without dreams, you have nothing to work for. Without putting a few goals in place to reach those dreams, you have nothing to work towards.
And without a daily or weekly to-do list to follow, you have no way to know if you are making any progress.
But when you put all three in action together, and work at everything a little each day – the magic begins.
#1 It All Starts With A Dream
We all have a dream somewhere deep inside. Think for a few seconds, and I am sure at least one or two will come to you.
It doesn’t matter how old we are. Nor how little or how much we have accomplished to this point. We still all have dreams!
It might be to write a book, learn to play an instrument, or learn to be a 5-star chef.
Maybe it is to live debt-free, or go back to college. Or perhaps it is to travel the world, build a house, or climb the tallest mountain.
Whatever it is, it really is possible to make it happen.
But two things are for sure. One, it won’t happen without a plan. And two, it certainly won’t happen without working at that plan a little every day.
Our plan all started with our first Annual Goal back in 2011.
#2 Creating An Annual Goal List
Beginning in 2011, we decided to create an annual goals list together.
We had always talked about doing so many things “someday”.
Growing a big garden. Raising chickens and honey bees. Building a barn and a house on a little plot of land. Planting a little orchard or a small vineyard. Traveling more.
Perhaps even writing a blog or a book.
But life kept us busy, and we just never seemed to accomplish any of those “someday” goals.
So as 2010 came to a close, we decided to try do something about it. And as we always try to do – we decided to have a little fun with the process.
That year, separately, we each took time to write down 24 goals we wanted to accomplish for us. We chose 24 because it worked out to 2 each month.
And we figured if we could just work at them a little time each day, we might be able to start making the dream of our little farm happen.
When we look back now at the very first list from 2011, it is incredible to see those initial farm building goals.
Things like building our first compost bin, planting 4 apple trees, or creating the first chicken coop seemed insurmountable at the time.
But with a little work every day, and a list of goals posted smack in the middle of the refrigerator to inspire us, we stayed motivated to make it happen.
I think the real story is that none of it probably would have ever happened without first putting down on paper what we wanted to accomplish.
Life is a journey of small steps to make big ones . The thing is, you have to know what you want before you can do it.
And our Annual Goal List placed on the fridge kept it front and center every single day.
But it was our daily to do lists that really helped us check of those 24 goals!
Working At Your Dreams Every Day – The Power Of A To-Do List
We can’t always complete goals in a single day. In fact, most days we can’t even come close to completing even 10 percent of a goal.
But it doesn’t mean we can’t get started on it a little at a time. We call it “15 minutes a day.”
And quite honestly, it is how we built this little farm and the life we love.
One day, we might work for 15 or 20 minutes to cut a few pieces of wood for a project. Perhaps the next day it is 15 or 30 minutes devoted to reading on how to build our latest project.
But every day, we just keep trying to each do something toward our list.
Think of it this way – if you simply spend 15 minutes each and every day this year toward a goal or a set of goals – it comes out to 92 hours a year. That’s just shy of (4) 24 hour work days, or (12) 8 hour work days. That is a lot of time to get things done!
And to keep those daily 15 minute sessions on track – we use a simple 49 cent spiral notebook to create a daily to-do list
The Notebook – Creating A Daily To Do List
Every single morning, we each take five minutes to jot down a few things to accomplish during the coming day. We use a little inexpensive 3 x 5″ notebook that is easy to keep nearby. See : Accomplishing Daily Tasks With A 49 Cent Notebook
Everything from picking something up at the store to perhaps mowing the yard or painting a section of fence.
We each keep our own notebook to help keep our day on track. Product Link : Tiny Notebooks
Every time an item is completed, it is crossed off.
It takes seconds to do – and keeps every single day right in front of us.
The simple act of writing down a task, or crossing off a completed one keeps you connected to the day. It forces you to see what else still needs accomplished as well.
What doesn’t get accomplished gets transferred by hand to the next day’s list. That process is wonderful as well.
Trust me when I say if you write the same task a few days in a row – you don’t want to write it again. So you do it!
Yes, we could keep a list on our phone or computer. But by writing and crossing them off by hand has a strange way of motivating you.
Maybe our whole crazy goals and list process seems strange to others – but I tell you this – it works!
Here’s to a great new year to all! And accomplishing all of your hopes, dreams and goals!
Jim and Mary