I’m a compulsive list-maker. I create daily to-do lists, grocery lists, annual goal lists, Christmas shopping lists. What I really love is checking an item off a list. It feels very satisfying.
But I went through a period where I was getting very frustrated. I couldn’t complete my daily to-do lists. Not even close. Most days I didn’t get through half. I was mentally beating myself up for being lazy and unfocused.
Then one day I went through my daily list and added a time next to each item – how long I thought it would take. When I added up the total it came to 28 hours!
No wonder I couldn’t get it all done. Even if I gave up sleep, eating and spending time with my family I couldn’t possibly complete it all.
Then I got the idea of using file cards for my daily lists. File cards are much smaller than an 8½” sheet of paper so I would be forced to be more reasonable.
Guess again. I just started writing smaller, along the side, on the back.
Then I realized part of the problem was I was making it up as I went along. And I would add new items throughout the day. I decided I needed a detailed 3-month plan. So I created one and got to work implementing it, making my daily lists using the plan.
Better, but I still wasn’t quite achieving my goals. But I wasn’t sure exactly what to do about it.
Then in January 2015 my friend Yvonne told me about the 100 Day Challenge. She’d signed up and wanted me to join her. I hesitated because I’d taken programs before and didn’t really want to spend money with nothing to show for it at the end.
But I reviewed the information about the 100 Day Challenge, did some digging on Gary Ryan Blair and decided “okay”.
So we joined and at the end of my first 100 days I am amazed at the results (see my previous post about this).
I think there are four things that worked here.
- The daily training/motivational videos kept me on track
- The detailed 100-day plan I created
- The focus on getting things done daily.
- The weekly After Action Review and coaching
I really think number four is the biggest change. I’d been madly running along checking off items on my to-do lists without taking any time to step back and see how these tick-marks are helping me achieve my goals.
The weekly check-ins allowed me to stay on track. If I had a week where I didn’t follow my plan – bright shiny object syndrome – the weekly review gave me the motivation to be more focused the next week. I frequently caught myself thinking “no, Andrea, that’s not your priority. Stick to your list”.
Weekly self-assessment also allowed me to make a smart course-correction. I’d planned to start a podcast in March but part way through February I realized I needed to change my focus and put more effort into my list building efforts because the podcast wasn’t going to do as much to help me achieve my goals
Registration for the second quarter 100 Day Challenge is open from April 1st to 10th. If you’re interested in signing up, or learning more go to 100DayChallenge.com.
If you have any questions feel free to get in touch. I’d be happy to talk to you about my experience.
Yes, I will get a commission if you purchase the 100 Day Challenge using my link.