Have you noticed how life is all about goal setting these days?

I’m not complaining! It suits me because I am all about goal setting too. I like a target generally, but it’s particularly important as a busy, full-time author with a tight schedule. Without setting out clear goals of what I need to achieve and when, it would be easy to either let time slip away from me, or to get completely overwhelmed by it all. Either way, not much gets done.

I’ve always been a list maker. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as making a solid To Do List at the start of the day and ticking things off as you go, so that by the time you go to bed you have a tangible record of what you have achieved.

But a To Do List might not help you with hitting your goals. For that, I find you need to apply a little more thought. It’s not enough to simply decide what you want to do. You need to also know how you are going to achieve it in simple incremental steps.

“Give us an example please, Imogen,” I hear you cry.

Okay. So, say my goal is to write a bestselling book. ( I know. I’ve done that several times already, but bear with me! ) In order to achieve that goal, I’d need to break it down a bit. To be bestselling, it needs to sell more copies than the competition. That means it would probably need to be quite good, so I might want to do some courses on the craft of writing, read some bestsellers in my chosen genre and then, chapter by chapter put pen to paper and write. And this is when I need something more focussed than a To Do list.

So I’ve been using a Daily Goal Setter which I was kindly sent to test. It started ticking boxes for me as soon as I opened it because it’s such a beautiful object, nicely bound with a tactile cover and thick creamy paper. Gotta love stationery!

Anyway, it has sections for me to write down my long, medium and short term goals – so in my example, the long term goal would be to write a bestseller, a medium term one perhaps to do a course on how to structure a book, and the short term to complete module 1 of the course this week.

I’ve found that breaking things down like that makes them feel much more achievable because I’m slowly moving step by step towards where I’m trying to get to rather than trying to eat the elephant all in one go.

I’m told that it’s also important to remember to be grateful for what we have rather than merely striving to get something else all the time. The planner encourages me to list three things each day that I am truly grateful for. This took a bit of practise, but once I got the hang of it I’ve found that it makes me feel more content. It’s amazing how much I do have to be grateful for, even when I’m at my lowest ebb and all my goals look hopelessly ambitious. Setting out a daily affirmation for myself is similar. It felt a bit contrived at the start, but now I find that it sets the tone for the rest of my day.

I’m just getting to the end of the first month and the planner has space for me to review each week and month to see how I did. Obviously, some things get missed. I have to confess that there has been one item on my list of goals from the start which I’m still moving forward week by week! But at least each time I see it, unticked off, it reminds me to attend to it. And I will . . . eventually!

Mål Paper daily goal setter

So, have I found the Daily Goal Setter useful? Yes. I really have. It’s helped me to focus my precious time more effectively as well as working out exactly what I should be giving my attention to in order to take me closer to my goals. And it’s a beautiful object, lovely to handle and discreet but elegant on my desk.

Thank you to Mål Paper for sending it to me and for making me rethink something that I already thought I was quite good at. But that’s how life works, isn’t it? There’s new stuff to learn every day!