I like self experiments. But I have my failures—like the time in the 90’s when I didn’t wear my glasses for a year in an attempt to improve my distance vision. My eyesight didn’t improve and I spent a lot of time in my car lost. (Reading road signs was sort of important pre-GPS.)
However, recently I started a goal management experiment that’s changed my life in ways I hadn’t expected. Since I’ve started the experiment, I’ve stopped dwelling on the past. I don’t worry about the future (as much) and I’m focused on the now. And the great thing about this experiment is that it’s not hard to do.
Here it is: think of your life in terms of days of a year rather than days of a month.
February 16, 2016
Okay, you’re not going to abandon your Days of the Month calendar. That’s how life runs. Instead, you’re going to add in a Days of the Year calendar. When you do, really cool things are going to start to happen.
For example, I laid down some hefty goals for 2016—like launching this website. On February 16, 2016 I was overwhelmed. It was taking more time than I thought it would to build a WordPress website.
I regretted not starting this website five years ago–and some serious mission creep set in. I saw myself looking for another project to start. Because if I got involved in another project, I could pretend that I hadn’t failed with my website, and that it was just on hold.
But as much as it was February 16, 2016, it was also Day 47 of 2016. And when I put my situation in a Days of the Year context, I was only on day 47 of a 365 day year. Huh, that didn’t seem so bad.
So I picked Day 61 (March 1) as the official launch day of the website. I had 13 days to get it done and if I got it done, I had 304 days to get my other goals accomplished. Suddenly I felt myself laser-focused on the now.
The “should have done this five years ago” still popped up occasionally, but I could quickly kick that thought to the curb because I now saw it as an obstacle to accomplishing my goal.
Allows You Time to Make Adjustments
In years past, I sometimes missed accomplishing goals because I didn’t adjust fast enough. For example, one of my yearly goals is a work/money goal. Since my income comes from more than one source (massage, teaching, massage business, writing), I can adjust the amount of time I give to a source of income to affect how much money I make during the year.
Using a Day of the Month Calendar I would sometimes get close to the end of the year before I realized that I was going to miss a work/money goal. At that point, any adjustment I made, like spending more time on my private practice to quickly bring in money, would be too late for me to reach my goal.
But now, by thinking in terms of 365 days, I’m constantly reminded about how many days are left in the year for me to reach my goals. My guess is that the shot of adrenaline that moves me to make an adjustment now is ultimately less stressful than the anxiety at the end of the year if I miss my work/money goal.
Puts Everything in Perspective
Lastly, the Days of the Year Calendar can reduce generalized anxiety caused by daily life. For example, birthdays are reminders of our age—and, at the risk of being a downer—our mortality. The Days of the Month Calendar can amplify birthday anxiety, as in: “Wow, I’m (fill in the blank) years old!?”
But the Days of the Year Calendar “extends” time. Say your birthday is on August 10. That’s Day 192 in 2016. There are 364 days from this day to your next birthday. That’s a lot of days to enjoy and to get things done.
Easy As 1,2,3
If the Days of the Year Calendar sounds like something you’d like to try, here’s what to do:
- Download the 365 app. It’s a simple app that will let you know the day of the year.
Set your goals according to the days of the year. Go through your digital and/or paper calendar and mark the day of the year that a goal is due. (E.g., 10 new repeat clients by Day 182 (middle of the year).
Know what day of the year it is every day and see what happens.
I’m Not (Probably Not) Nuts
I wonder if my great nephew, Jake, thinks I’m nuts when I send him a text that reads: “1 hour and 46 minutes left in Day 131.” But I can’t help myself. That’s an hour and 46 minutes of his life that he can consciously choose how he wants to spend his time.
Ultimately, the Days of the Year Calendar is not only a business experiment, it’s a life experiment that can put you on track to accomplish yearly and LIFE goals.
Come join me and start your own Days of the Year Experiment. Make it a bite-sized experiment. Pick just one goal and track it using the Days of the Year Calendar.
If you need a little nudge, sharing your experiment and/or goal could do the trick. Share in the comment section below or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s not too late to rock 2016!