Lately I have been really slacking on my routines and goal setting... I know, I know, what about all that big talk about the importance of keeping those routines?! Well, remember when I said they can be hard to keep and even easier to break? Well, I have been fighting to get back on track for 3-4 weeks now, and have finally gotten back on the horse.
I sat down yesterday on my lunch with my trusty padfolio (check them out on our site) and began making myself a list. Oh, the importance of lists for a couple of reasons: 1- I can be forgetful and 2 - simply sitting down and putting something down on paper feels like a small accomplishment.
As I bled ink all over the three pages I word vomited upon, it reminded me how important it is to physically write something down. I started with a to-do list for that evening in the shop, and spilled over into the month's to-do's. Not only was I making lists for Lost Penguin, but I also found myself making a list of personal goals for the month.
While I was taking notes and making my lists, I remembered a couple quotes, meme, motivators, or whatever they call them today....
" A dream becomes a goal the moment you write it down. A goal becomes a plan the moment you break it down into doable steps. A plan becomes a reality only when you take action."
" A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true."
While these quotes seem fitting for big picture goals and all, I do think they are quite applicable in the everyday. I feel like we take the small steps for granted a lot of times, and they are easily overlooked.
My point? We all want to be successful in something, we all want accolades, and achievements. When it comes down to it, however, are we willing to put in the effort to reach them? I am guilty myself. It is very easy to get caught up in a cycle of seeing so many great leather makers out there and start wishing for their success. With social media this has become far too easy for almost anything: money, wealth, cars, boats, leather work, woodwork, engraving, needle point, and on and on and on.
We must get over our "dreams" and turn them into goals. I promise, those that you envy aren't wasting time on IG or Facebook, they're in the shop,they're studying, they're grinding it out!
What is my process?
As mentioned above, I started making my lists and notes. I always prefer to physically write them down. Then I will transfer any to-do items to my Google calendar. For example: I will list out the projects or thing I need to work on for that evening/day. By laying these items out, I can generalize times for each. By assigning a time period to each, I can easily plug them into my Google Calendar.
That works fine for to-dos in the shop, but for my Goals I do a couple things. Again, I physically write them down. Typically I will keep this page in my Padfolio for daily reference (I don't go anywhere without my padfolio! Check them out on the site). Second, I have duplicated that list from time to time so that I can hang in somewhere I will see it often. And lastly, some of the goals that I can set a date to, I will add to my google calendar, with periodic updates leading up to it.
Digital lists are great and I know many folks that they work great for, but personally, the feeling of grabbing a nice sharp point black Sharpie and striking through a to-do or goal is wildly fulfilling! Does everything get marked through? Absolutely not, I drop the ball often, and I probably always will. Do I see these as little failures? Not necessarily, they can always be added to a new list, and worked towards later.
I believe that the little successes and achievements between a big goal are the greatest. Think of building blocks working together to build a great structure. It can become easy to overlook them as achievements, but if you can look at them as little 'wins' in between, you will slowly build yourself up over the course of reaching your set goal.
Well.... if you have made it this far, thank you! I encourage you, if you don't already, to give it a try, make yourself a list. Set a goal: write it down, put a date to it, and make a plan! Need reminders? Post-it notes are great! While in Grad school, our house looked like a Post-it factory, they were stuck everywhere in the house and in the car. Throw a Post-it on your bathroom mirror, keep yourself reminded.
And finally, if you really have made it this far down my gibberish, Have an amazing day! You deserve it! Also, leave us a comment below and let us know what you think, or add your thoughts or techniques to to-dos!