I think an important part of goals is having a constant reminder to inch you towards your goal. For instance if your goal is to take a vacation next year, you should break that down into two or three smaller goals so it is less intimidating and easier to hit.
Then along the way it is nice to get reminders about these goals. Say you need $2500 for your vacation 18 months from now, so you need $600 every few months... You could then break that down to needing $50 a week for instance, as it is easier to set aside $50 than $600 or $2500. And if you get alerts by email, or on your phone, it will help you keep it in mind.
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Can you share more details on why you feel it is the easiest goal setting software you can find? Have you looked at any of the others I mentioned to compare? How long have you been using it? Pros/Cons?
Based on what I see, the others I mentioned also allow you to create sub-goals, among other things. I do like the fact that two of them includes visualization via pictures and text as well as numerous reporting tools, the ability to create a calendar for the day/week, etc, as well as one of them having a mobile app to help you stay 'connected' when away from the office.
In 2006 I did a body for life 12 week weight loss /body improvement challenge.
I lost 32 of fat and put on 16 pounds of muscle (went from about 24% bodyfat to 10-8%)
I have a friend who is badly overweight. I worked on and worked on him and finally got him interested in trying the BFL program. (it's free BTW). In any case, Shawn (not his real name) came up with all kinds of things to modify, change and improve the program before even starting it. Several times I told him to read Chapter 2 of the book and do the exercises - the are about clarifying to yourself why you are doing the challenge.
Shawn made all kinds of excuses and then one day was sharing with me how his friend Anna said he should lose 34 lbs - she is fat overweight etc and I had dropped to 10% bodyfat. (You are only supposed to aim for 24 lbs or 2 pounds per week.)
I said: "look just follow the instructions. do exactly what they tell you and don't try to put you ego in there to modify change or improve it - just do it."
He wanted to program an iphone app for tracking.
I feel people get far too hung up on 'toys' - apps etc. It allows their ego to hijack their success.
My thoughts are read Chapter two of the book and do the Q&A in writing. Find pictures for you vision board that match your goals. Make the goals a stretch but realistic - measurable and with timeframes. Have a schedule for each task that is aligned for your goal with time estimates. Have subgoals at the right time frame (e.g. don't measure your weight each day -just at the end of the week -so recording your activities each day = match your schedule, a weekly review of activities and perhaps a 2week measurement of trading goals against results).
Neither Lifetick, nor GoalsOnTrack, nor Single Step (your third option) supports multiple levels of goal => sub-goals
Lifetick and GoalsOnTrack support a single level of goals => tasks
Single Step support goals => actions (similar to tasks)
Only GoalEnforcer truly supports infinite levels of goals => sub-goals => sub-goals => sub-goals ....
In order to set and achieve goals you must:
- Know what you want
- Motivate yourself to achieve it
- Know/plan how to achieve it
If you don't know what you want, you might get some benefit from GoalsOnTrack and Single Step as they both include a wizard-like sequence of questions that can help you narrow down your goals.
But when it comes to getting things done and breaking your goals into sub-goals, GoalEnforcer excels by far.
I've been using GoalEnforcer for 3 years, my original goal setting tool was a spreadsheet. A simple spreadsheet is OK for small goal setting plans, but it gets really awkward to work with once your goal setting plan gets more complex, involving hundreds of sub-goals and sub-tasks (because that requires a lot of moving and re-arranging spreadsheet rows). It's also harder to keep track of sub-goals with a spreadsheet (indentation levels).
Keep in mind that even if you have a small number of goals, let's say 3, your goal setting plan will eventually translate into hundreds of sub-goals and tasks.
GoalEnforcer makes it very easy to deal with moving and re-organizing goals and sub-goals because of its particular graphical interface.
Regarding keeping yourself motivated: I personally use a digital photo frame (very cheap these days) and keep it on my desk continuously displaying pictures related to my goals.
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