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Keeping the Big Picture in Mind

One of my biggest challenges in pursuing my goals is keeping track of the context of all the tasks I set myself. It's so very easy to look at my To-Do List and get bogged down. I see only the checkboxes, not the ultimate impact on my life -- and certainly not stepping stones to the life I'll have when I achieve my larger goals.

I use a Franklin Covey planner, but not to its full potential. A task list in isolation is not a "plan." An important part of the Covey discipline is frequently reviewing your personal values and goals, reminding yourself of the "why" behind the choices you've made to put these tasks on your list in the first place. Each task should support your values and goals.

Reviewing goals seems to be a bit like stepping on the scale while working on weight management. Not everyone needs the same frequency. Personally, I need to step on the scale every day to keep myself honest and focused. And although I think Covey recommends a weekly review of goals, I probably need to do it at least once a day.

The force of habit and "the way things are" is very powerful, and I'm still developing my mental-emotional-spiritual muscle around creating fundamental change in my life. My nature is conservative, even though my spirit is not. In order to keep making progress I have to keep reminding myself where I'm trying to go and what the consequences will be if I fail to achieve those goals. I don't want a life that is "more of the same." I want something deeper, richer, and more satisfying.

The only way to get there is doing the tasks, step by step. And the only way I'll stay motivated is to remind myself frequently where I'm going and why and what the rewards will be.

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