Every year my family travels with our best friends to the beach for a week. We always have a wonderful and very relaxing time and I want to make sure this year is no different. But there are some goals I want to achieve before our trip at the end of May so that I can relax and feel I’ve really earned my vacation. Some of these goals are personal and some are professional. But one thing I know from experience is that it can be hard to achieve your goals without a regular reality check. So in the month of May I’m going to be blogging and twittering about how I use Microsoft Outlook to help me stay on top of my goals and achieve them – read on to find out how.
First of all, I think it would be helpful if I state my goals (feel free to give me a hard time if I don’t stay on top of them).
- Bill $3000 every week in May (except vacation week) – I have the business lined up, now I just need to make sure I get my hours in! My initial thought when I increased my business concentration on consulting was that I have 40 hours of my time a week to bill – like a regular job. Well, that is 40 hours a week if I never answer emails or phone calls or go to networking meetings or lunches, etc. I’m really counting on Outlook to help me with this one!
- Fruit fast the first 3 days of every week in May (except vacation week) – yes, I could stand to take off a few pounds, but that really isn’t the point. My diet has degraded over the past several months and I’d like to get back to my Sugar Busters lifestyle again so that my mind is sharper and I have more energy. Not feeling totally humiliated when I put on a bathing suite might not be bad for my morale either.
- Run at least 3 times/week every week in May (especially vacation week) – I’ve committed to run the Marine Corps. Marathon in October in honor of my father who is a Marine Corps. veteran and who is currently very ill. Official Houston Fit training starts at the end of May so I need to be ready!
- Have at least one new client lined up to start in June – Some of my current business will spill over into June, but it is important to keep that pipeline fed with prospects at all stages of the sales cycle so I can’t slack off on my business development responsibilities either.
- Pick up kids early one afternoon per week every week in May – Some great prospecting activity in the first quarter left me slammed with business in April and May which means not a whole lot of sleep which means a grouchy mommy. I’d like to do something special for my family to let them know they are still the top priority in my life.
- Contribute at least one new blog post per week every week in May – I pretty much slacked off in April so it is time to get back in gear for May! This week I promised to blog about my Twitter strategy and HuntressRealtor (a customized version of HuntressPro specifically for residential Realtors).
- Complete newest release of HuntressPro, HuntressLite and Huntress Pipeline – We are so close on this one so hopefully it will be complete early on in the month. Then we can worry about the 2007 and Vista versions in June.
OK, so how is Outlook going to help me with all of this? I’ll be blogging about this topic throughout the month of May to show you how I’m using the Outlook Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, Journal, and Inbox folders to help me stay on track to accomplish my goals. But first, let me show you how I will be using a custom folder called “Goals” to visualize my progress.
- Create a Microsoft Word document with an Excel spreadsheet embedded within it that lists my goals and gives me a place to update my percentage progress in meeting them.
- Save the document as an .htm fie
- Create a folder in Outlook under your Personal Folders or Mailbox called “Goals”
- Set the Word goals document as the home page for the Goals folder
Each evening when I’m reviewing my tasks for the next day, I’m going to keep that home page running in the background – any non-critical tasks that don’t contribute to accomplishing those goals goes on the back burner. Click the thumbnail below to see what my Goals home page looks like in Outlook.
Next week I’ll show you how I use my Tasks and Calendar folders to plan my days and weeks so that I can meet these goals. In the mean time, please feel free to leave me comments with your ideas, encouragement, or constructive criticism regarding my plans and be sure to follow me on Twitter where I will be making regular posts regarding my progress.