As promised in my last post, here I am sharing with you the first of my 3 transformational goals for 2022. This follows from my earlier post, 5 Guaranteed Steps to Your Transformation, in case you’ve missed that, I’ll encourage you to give that a quick read first for better reference.

In this post I’ll only share the first of the three goals I’ve set for myself, and will write about the other two in my next posts. This is to keep the information bite sized and crunchy.

Some of you may have felt what I felt and be aspiring for a similar transformation in life. I share my journey here hoping it applies to you, and proves useful. Additionally you can also read Medhaji’s article on SMART techniques for transformation, posted earlier this month.

Without further adieu, I share with you my transformational goal for the year and my approach towards it.

The Process

  1. Keep it simple – Clear and easy definition of what the goal is

      2. Break it down – How I plan to achieve my set goal

      3. Schedule it in –  When I want to work on it

      4. Accountability group – For those nudges and reminders when motivation runs thin.

      5. Monthly Reviews –  No goal is a goal if there are no timelines fixed to it, hence reviews to keep on track

1. The goal (Keep it simple, know the why’s and the how’s)

‘Make 2022, my year of upskilling and professional excellence’

Why this goal – For sometime now, I’ve been thinking about what I can do differently at work. How can I add more value ( both to the company and myself) how can I be more consistent with my standards. To sum it all, the self doubt of am I doing enough? Add to this the isolation of working from home and the lurking instability that Covid brings.

Reality is that I have a great job, I am valued and I enjoy the opportunities my work brings, so all that needs to change is the story I’m telling myself. That is what needs to change and I am willing to make it a priority this year. I’m sure some of this resonates with you. Truth be told, our profession or what we do for a living accounts for a significant portion of our life, and we better make it a priority.

My vision of me, when I achieve this goal – Feel more empowered, confident, valued, happier and positive.

2. How I plan to achieve this (Break it down)

Work more efficiently

  • Applying the Pomodoro Technique – The Pomodoro Technique is a tried, tested and effective time management system that works brilliantly when applied right. It involves working in 25-minute blocks (called Pomodoro sessions), followed by 5-minute breaks. After 4 such pomodoro sessions you take a half an hour break and then go on repeating. Use the breaks to Step away from your desk, clear your mind, stretch your legs or grab a refreshment. DO NOT go onto social media or pick up your phone. So what I have started doing is, list out the important tasks that need my maximum focus in the day and set myself these Pomodoro session timers and just get to DOING IT.  In addition I suggest you read this book called Deep Work by Cal Newport, there are some useful tips there as well.
  • Eat that Frog – Swamiji had written this very important blog titled Eat That Frog which stresses on the importance of getting to the actual hard work part rather than day dreaming and visualizing about it. He talks about the importance of doing the important task first, the one we want to usually avoid and push for later. So yes, I plan to eat that frog of mine in the first half of my work day, EVERYDAY.
  • The no procrastination rule – This one is simple. A promise, that nothing from today’s to do list, goes into tomorrow.

Continuous Learning and Upskilling

  • Walk The Dragon – I’ve started with Swamiji’s leadership course called Walk The Dragon. Been enjoying this virtual retreat so far. Feels like a refresher to my MBA from years back, and like having a mentor walk with you and pull you up when you feel beaten down. There are a bunch of book recommendations that I’ve purchased and some I have on Audible ( I listen to them when working around the house or on my walks) which again are perspective changers and great teachers. Having Swamiji quote from his life lessons and share his insights towards business is motivating to say the least.
  • Harvard Business Review – Signed up an unlimited yearly access to the HBR, and make it a point to read at least one article thoroughly everyday. Literally make notes, mark words and try and apply the information where relevant.
  • A short Course that’s helpful – Have enrolled for a few courses on Udemy that I think will add to my skill and efficiency. I’d done a few Google certification courses earlier, which helped expand my understanding of a few areas that may not be directly relevant to my current role, but good to know none the less. There are so many online courses available, just pick one that’s useful for you and enjoy learning 🙂

3. Scheduling it in the diary

This again will vary for each but for me what works is a dedicated two hours of learning where I go through the Walk the Dragon course, go through one HBR article and spend 45 minutes on upskilling. If I have more time I read a little or listen to audio books while walking around the house or during evening walks.

It’s also important to know when we’re scheduling these learning hours. For me, after work suits best. I’ve tried mornings but it’s too much rush. I used to end up getting so engrossed in learning/reading that the hours would spill into my work timings. In the evening I know it’s a hard stop after two hours as I need to finish a quick meditation session and go to bed.

4. Accountability Group

What do you think was the idea behind sharing it here 😉 So yes, you guys and also my family.

5. Monthly and Daily Reviews

I’ve sent myself calendar invites on the first Saturday of every month, to review progress on each of the above, and my other two goals (to follow in my next posts). I also have a bed side diary, where I journal my day and tick against each of these goals. 

It’s important to be honest here but also equally important to be kind to ourselves. There will be days which are not as productive as the others. It’s ok to cut ourselves some slack sometimes, as long as we quickly get back on track. This exercise also helps to double click on any trends that seem to emerge, which dilute our focus. Once we know what these are, easier to nip them in the bud the next time.

So here it is, my transformational goal no. 1. Hope it was worth the read for you and gave some useful tips that you can apply. I wish us all the best to be strong, work hard, and together become better versions of ourselves. 

With Love and Peace to all,

I offer this post at the lotus feet of my Swamiji,