Brionna’s List-Making and Goal-Setting Strategy
I set quarterly, monthly and weekly goals for myself, all anchored by an effective to-do list making technique.
I love making lists. Lists for what to buy, who to email, what to pack, what to pick up at the farmer’s market—everything! One of my greatest regrets? Missing the 2011 “To Do List” exhibit at the Morgan Library. In the latest episode of my podcast Books My Job Gave Me, I delve into about the magic and power of setting effective, non-intimidating goals via to-do lists. I’ve outlined my strategy and created an example list sheet. Oh, and in the episode of Books My Job Gave Me, I go even DEEPER into my process.
How To Get Started - Write down what 3 things are important to you this year. Getting a grasp on the college application process? Paying off debt? Finally starting that passion project? Write out your top 3, and use it as a base for the goals you set each quarter, month and week.
Quarterly Goals - What’s the theme of the season?
Is it “Service?” “Learning?” “Networking?” I give each quarter a theme--an overarching purpose--and consider it daily, especially hen I'm making decisions about how to invest my time. When I’m taking on new responsibilities or opportunities, I ask myself if they’re in line with my quarterly theme. If not, I can focus on them in a later quarter!
Monthly Lists and Goals - I'm just being honest!
Monthly goals are mostly about keeping me honest with my quarterly ones.
At the end of every month at the top of the month, I do a “remix," looking back at what I accomplished the month before, and what may have fallen through the cracks.
Instead of judging myself, I ask, why did it fall though? Was I procrastinating? Is it something I honestly don’t want to do? If it is, I allow myself to release it.
Weekly and Action Lists
This is where I start getting granular. I break my weekly lists into categories that capture where I already spend a lot of my time, and what I care about. These are general ones—as always, adopt and adapt based on your needs.
Examples of Brionna's Category Action Lists
Personal – Small personal tasks (like getting my phone fixed, picking up sunscreen, etc)
Professional – Are there any professional/ job-related tasks I need to focus on?
Home and Joy – This is the newest category! For all things home, happiness and joy. Creative projects, gardening, roommate hang-outs, everything!
Service – Volunteer obligations, serving at church, New York Association of Black Journalists networking events, etc.
Spirit – Listening to the latest sermon podcast, reading a daily devotional
Financial – All things money! Tasks like paying credit card, paying phone bill, change saving’s direct deposit, etc.
Podcast – Send out emails, write and post blog posts, social roll-outs for episodes, what book do I want to read this week?