The self-development niche is full of advice about planning your life, having a five-year plan, setting weekly goals, journaling daily and a lot more, similar tools you can use to your own benefit.
While it’s almost a cliché, it really helps me. That could be, because I’m a very conscious person – but there’s more to it.
“I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.”Lord Kelvin, “Lecture on “Electrical Units of Measurement”“
According to this blog post, this quote is the source of the simple quotation: “What get’s measured, get’s done.”
This has to do with the stories we tell ourselves about who we think we are. But all too often those stories don’t match with reality. We think we eat healthy every day, but once we start to track what we eat, we realize that we eat pretty unhealthily. Or we think we meditate for 10 minutes every day but in reality, we only meditate for 8 minutes, which seems insignificant on its own, but adds up quickly over time. Thus we need a way to track our progress, which means we need goals to measure against.
Specific goals help us direct our lives towards something meaningful. They can also be intimidating as they set up conditions for failure. That’s the reason why we like to keep goals as unspecific as often (and why deadlines often compel us into action). Think about the alternative: if you don’t have goals when do you fail? The answer is not never, the answer is all the time. Because without a goal you also can’t succeed, you don’t move forward you don’t progress in life. You simply exist.
Once I realized that I started to set goals and then track them. Additionally, I used Jordan Peterson’s Self-Authoring-Suite to develop a vision for my future which serves as a reminder of my priorities, purpose, and focus (this is by far the best purchase I’ve ever made in 2018. If you find yourself in search of meaning or direction, I can’t recommend it highly enough!). Thus I developed the routine of setting monthly goals and reviewing them at the end of the month to stay on the path.
Now, with the why out of the way, I want to walk you through my review process, in the hopes that you can find something useful!
A bad cold roughly two weeks before New Year’s eve and a subsequent fever with more malady at the beginning of January made for a rough start in 2019. Additionally, my sleep schedule had been a mess, which leads to unfocused and unproductive days. I hadn’t worked out since October, wasn’t consistent with my ketogenic diet, wasn’t meditating regularly and my master’s thesis wasn’t progressing as I had planned. Finally, I still hadn’t launched this blog and was posting irregularly on social media.
In short: the foundation of my life was off.
So, in January I focused on re-establishing a solid foundation to turn it up in the months ahead:
I made a more consistent sleeping-pattern a high priority, turned in the expose for my thesis, and studied more consistently. I launched my blog, wrote weekly articles for it, and posted daily on social media. I meditated more regularly, ate very cleanly for the majority of January, and read The Gulag Archipelago as well as re-read half of 12 Rules for Life again. Finally, I consistently worked out again two days a week without fail.
I also improved my negative-self talk dramatically by applying a lesson from Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, which helped me become extraordinarily consistent in my studies, in my work on this project, as well as in my other daily routines and goals. It’s been a long while since I’ve been getting after it so consistently (more on that in another article).
Going forward I want to turn it up in February.
My #1 goal is to get a full 8 hours of sleep at least 6/7 days a week for this month, while still waking up early. I want to finish the first draft of my master thesis with the notes I’ve compiled in the last few months. The plan is to have March to read more and back my thesis with additional arguments and have April to review and improve it, to turn it in in May. Thirdly, I want to stay consistent with this project which means to at least publishing one article per week and posting daily content on all three social media platforms.
Besides improving my sleep schedule, I want to improve my health by sticking to two workouts per week, reintroducing daily cold showers, and adapting my diet to gain weight in order to bulk up.
This will be accompanied by keeping myself accountable through sharing my experience with you, on social media, and in my own daily journaling.
As February is the shortest month of the year, this is quite a lot to do, but with the past weeks being extraordinarily consistent and productive, I want to set my goals high and see how far I can get.
Finally, the purpose of this article is twofold: on the one hand, it keeps me accountable, and on the other hand, I can open up a little bit more about my process with you. If you want to track my process, my social media channels (especially Facebook and Instagram due to their story features) are a great place to look – and while you’re at it say hi after hitting the follow button!
That’s it! I’m excited about this month and will update you on how it went next month, of course!
I’m curious: What are your Goals for February?