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7 Step Framework to Craft Holistically Ambitious Goals for 2014

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7 Step Framework to Craft Holistically Ambitious Goals for 2014

This post will teach you how to create goals for this upcoming year that won’t leave you empty when you achieve them.

How to set goals

    This actually happens a lot because “goal lists” are rarely accountable to all areas of our lives that are important to us.

    If you have a bunch of goals that are solely focused on one area of your life (cough work), you’ll probably end up feeling unhappy even if you crush them.

    Below is a methodology you can use to set goals for 2014 that are holistically ambitious. It relies heavily on a 400 year old Buddhist tool called the Bhavacakra or “Wheel of Life.”

    You can use this framework precisely as outlined like I did last year or simply as a guidepost. Remember these are your goals so don’t be afraid to iterate on the process!

    Okay, moving on…

    The methodology is broken into 2 parts: How to Set Goals and Goal Execution.

    How to Set Goals

    1. Identify the areas of your life that are most important to you.

    If you don’t know where to begin, you use any or all of the sections from the “Wheel of Life” personal development tool pictured below.

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    • Health
    • Friends and Family
    • Significant Other
    • Personal Growth and Learning
    • Fun Leisure and Recreation
    • Physical Enviroment (i.e. home)
    • Career
    • Money

    wheel of life

      2. Create high-level aspirations by answering the following questions for your life.

      I want to develop more….

      I want to become more….

      I want to learn or get better at

      I’d like to spend more time…

      Here are some examples of how I might answer these questions:

      I want to develop more financial freedom.

      I want to become more selfless.

      I want to learn salsa dancing.

      I’d like to spend more time with my family.

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      3. Take each aspiration and group them into the corresponding areas of your life that you’ve defined as important.

      Developing more financial freedom -> Money

      Becoming more selfless -> Personal Growth (or maybe family and friends)

      Learn salsa dancing -> Fun and Recreation

      Spending more time with your family -> Family and Friends

      4. Look at all of the areas of your life that you’ve defined as important and answer these questions:

      • Are all of the high level things you want to accomplish there? If not add some and don’t be afraid to get specific

      • Is there an in-balance between my goals and the areas of my life that are important to me? If so, are you okay with that? Remember the goal is to have holistic ambitions

      5. With each aspiration, try to crystallize it into a measurable, completeable goal

      Here are some examples.

      Health:

      • I want to lose weight -> I want to lose 10 lbs and maintain that weight.

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      Money:

      • I want more financial freedom – > I want to put away $500 more from my paycheck every month into savings.

      Goal Execution

      6. Determine how you’re going to measure or verify progress on your goals (if applicable)

      Goal: I want to lose weight -> I want to lose 10 lbs and maintain that weight.

      Measurement System: On the 1st and 15th of every month I will record my weight to have a clear picture of where I’m at .

      7. Schedule a regular goal review and plan implementation

      Remember creating this list is just the first step! Implementation is what really matters and regularly charting/planning progress is the easiest way to get there.

      Last year, on the first and 3rd Sunday of every month I reviewed my goals, updated my progress and planned how I was going to accomplish the remaining ones. I also identified goals that were no longer relevant and added new ones. You can view the public version of this here.

      Important: Your goals are not meant to be concrete! They are simply guideposts that should only be on this list if they are something you continue to want for you life.

      Don’t be afraid to gracefully bow out of an ambition if it is no longer relevant or desireable.

      Optional But Important

      Find a way to keep yourself accountable to completing these goals.

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      This can be as simple as emailing or talking to an accountability partner after you’ve done your regular review or as extreme as posting your progress publicly like I did.

      You want to strike the balance between what you’re comfortable with and what will motivate you.

      If you’re really struggling with motivation, tie failure to complete a goal to losing something that is important to you. Giving money to a friend is a simple example of this. You can also give lambo’s to your favorite bloggers ; )

      I made a pretty pdf of this framework that you can share with friends and will be emailing my personal goals for 2014 to everyone who downloads it here.

      If you’re still feeling a little lost, you can also check out when I first defined my goals using this framework in 2012 here.

      How have you set goals for yourself in the past? Did you do anything to keep yourself accountable that worked really well?

      How to Set Goals for 2014 | life-longlearner

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      Published on September 21, 2021

      How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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      How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

      The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

      In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

      1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

      Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

      But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

      Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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      Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

      Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

      While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

      Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

      2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

      At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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      Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

      Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

      Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

      McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

      From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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      3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

      An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

      McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

      Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

      Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

      Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

      So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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      The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

      If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

      Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

      Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

      Reference

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