If you are anything like me, then you will be what I call a goal setter (funny how it sort of rhymes with go getter). I set myself goals on a regular basis and as such I am also an incessant list maker, because with every goal comes a set of actions to add to my to do list. It is not uncommon for me to start feeling overwhelmed by my own to do list.

Goal setting gone mad

The feeling of dread is not helped by some of the information out there on setting goals. I recently read a list of the types of goals one might consider making:

  1. Major goals for the year
  2. Travel goals
  3. Financial goals
  4. Spiritual goals
  5. Mental goals
  6. Physical goals
  7. Social goals
  8. Business goals
  9. Future goals

I read this list and went from feeling excited about getting setting to completely overwhelmed in the space of about 60 seconds. This is goal setting gone mad. This is where being driven to achieve goals and do ‘stuff’ becomes an affliction for me and actually hinders rather than helps my progress.

The affliction

I don’t think I’m alone on this one. If I feel like I have too much to do I will start to feel overwhelmed which is likely to then cause me to procrastinate.

Feeling overwhelmed + Procrastination = Inactivity.

Procrastination is the cancer of to do lists.

A potential cure

I recently decided that it would help me to achieve some of my plans by setting myself five key goals to achieve each month. The month was April and the goals were:

  1. Launch blog
  2. Pay off credit card
  3. Lose 7lbs in weight
  4. Save £500
  5. Brand ‘Life is Limitless’

I achieved goals 1 and 4 and made a good start on 3. Which got me thinking about the number three. I think it just might be the magic number. Five things did feel like a lot to achieve in a month, three things felt just right to me and so I’ve started to test it out.

Each day rather than pore over my ‘long’ to do list I set myself three work things and three personal things to achieve each day. I now set my self three goals to achieve each month and I have three big goals to achieve for the year. The beauty is that I allow myself the pleasure of keeping the long to do list but I only look at it to pick three things to do each day, which so far seems to stop rising panic in its tracks.

The report

My plan is to monitor my progress with this theory for the next month and report back to you with the results.  Feel free to join me with this exercise and let me know how you get on.

In case you’re wondering, my goals for the month of May are:

  1. Lose the extra 4lbs in weight to reach my original half a stone target.
  2. Write and publish a minimum of four blog posts.
  3. Complete three (I always use this number now) fear-facing challenges (more to follow on this).

If you like this post, please do at least one of THREE things:

  1. Do the ‘power of three’ experiment over the next month and send me your results.
  2. Leave a comment on this post with details of any tips around goal setting, list making and getting things done.
  3. Scroll to the bottom right hand corner of this blog and subscribe to this blog by typing in your email address, to receive an email whenever I publish a new post.