This month we discussed various strategies to put goals into action. I chose the words “execution strategy” to introduce my techniques but the gallows humor of these words is not lost on me. It can feel like torture to do the work necessary to achieve your goals but ultimately we hope to get to a point where we don’t mind the work as much. Perhaps we learn more about how to do something and it is easier or faster for us to do. Perhaps we commit the new action to routine and we just do it without thinking about it. Perhaps we don’t find the task as awful when we know the great results it brings or perhaps something in our life changes for the better and we don’t need to do the dreaded task anymore.
Below are the 6 execution strategies we discussed this month:
1) Get in the right mindset. Examine your words and behavior to make sure they are supporting and not sabotaging your goal.
2) Document your progress. Use a calendar, online tool, or my free printable checklist.
3) Restart. If you are experiencing a perfectionist hang-up about how you have failed in the past at your stated goal, “fuhgettaboutit” and make the same goal again today.
4) Practice. To get better at anything, there is no getting around the fact that practice and repetition are necessary. In our mental planning, aiming to practice more than necessary can be a great way to see faster changes.
5) Surround Yourself with People Who Inspire You. Look not only to those in your “real” life but on the Internet as well.
6) Minimize Distractions. If you are going to fit in time and energy to change your life with a new routine, you may just need to eliminate something else. For me, it was too much Internet browsing.
There were many excellent comments this month and I enjoyed reading all of them! One that was particularly humorous was this one from Lou. On the “Restart” post, I used a screenshot of a blue screened Windows computer as the image at the top of the post. Lou commented:
“. . . I thought the blue message at the top was for real and happening to my computer. Twice I shut down to see if it would go away. Then I finally scrolled down . . . . oh my, no wonder I’ll only ever own a go phone.”
I sincerely apologize for any confusion and hope it did not cause anyone else this problem!
I also received a great comment on a post I did on spring cleaning rituals. Blogger Margaret Cook indicated she used it as reference for her spring cleaning ritual on her Victorian-themed blog, where she is attempting to live like it is 1865!
Ruly Ruth continued the healthy eating series for the year by testing a healthy Crock-Pot stew for us. We also learned a little about the health differences in meat choices.
Organizing in the News
We looked at an example of online organization by reviewing how the first-time ever online SuperBowl broadcast fared.
Republican Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum squared off this week in primaries in Michigan and Arizona. The Washington Post had an interesting article about the organizational style differences of the candidates.
“When Mitt Romney arrived for a rally in this Detroit suburb, he needed a crew of roadies to unpack him. . . . The big pieces of Romney’s stagecraft are always impressive: the DJ, the American flag as tall as a house. But his campaign also does the little things. The folding chairs are tied together with zip ties, so you couldn’t unstraighten Romney’s rows if you tried. . . .The Romney people even brought their own doughnuts: 35 dozen of a Detroit favorite called paczki (“punch-kee”), in flavors including strawberry, rose-hip and prune. . . .
Santorum, by contrast, uses a modest campaign to espouse deeply grandiose ideas. . . Rick Santorum does not provide doughnuts. He does not provide music, either. Or flags. Or chairs. . . . [T]he candidate brought a sweater vest. Three of his children . . . And a banner that wouldn’t stay on the wall. . . . His premise is that only he — a man who lacks the logistical wherewithal to rustle up snacks — can manage to rebuild the nuclear family and save freedom itself.”
–David A. Fahrenthold, “Two Michigan rallies reveal Romney, Santorum flaws,” The Washington Post, February 25, 2012.
It will be interesting to see how organization figures into the political campaigns. From the above two examples, there is a clearly a connection between an organized appearance and money. In this particular matchup, more organization seemed to have an edge but it was also interesting that the votes were extremely close. Would a small organizational (and expense) tweak like providing snacks have made the difference?
Today is leap day, a reminder that this year we get an “extra” day to achieve our goals. Tomorrow we start a new month and a new theme. Please check back then to see where we are headed in March.
P.S. An extra reminder to my Facebook fans that, as I mentioned in my “Minimize Distractions” post this month, I am going to make Facebook my vehicle for posting monthly summary updates only. If you would prefer to receive more frequent updates as each post is made, please join my e-mail list or Twitter feed.