I was listening to This American Life this week, and one story was about a man who acted out his dreams at night, to an often hilarious or scary result. His doctor told him he was missing a key chemical in his brain that signaled his body to stay sleeping while he was dreaming.
Think about that for a minute.
Our bodies produce a chemical that keeps us physically controlled while we dream. Sure it is for our own protection, but what happens when we wake up?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much some of my own dreams have been safely hidden inside a still body during my waking hours. Sure, I do a few things to move my dreams along, but not nearly what I could be doing. I’m specifically talking about this blog and making it into a bigger and better resource for people seeking a life change.
After thinking on this I came across a post by Darren Rowse of Problogger. He showed a Google Calendar of activities to author and promote a successful blog as part of one of his posts, and a lightbulb went off in my head.
You can use the same method to set out daily/weekly/monthly tasks to complete your goals, even if they have nothing to do with blogging.
How to set up a Google Calendar
If you don’t already have a Gmail account you will have to set one up to access the calendar (it is free). You can also adjust these instructions to make your calendar in Microsoft Outlook or on plain old pencil and paper.
- Set up a Gmail account or log in to yours (www.gmail.com).
- At the top of the screen, click on Calendar.
- On the left you will see your calendar options. Click “Create” to set up a new calendar for each goal you want to work on (this will color-code the activities).
- List the daily/weekly/monthly activities you need to do to reach your goal, whether it be exercise, education, networking, etc. You can set up recurring activities by clicking “Repeats” in the event details and selecting the frequency.
- When you are done with your calendars you can click on each one to “activate” it in your current view.
When you look at your calendar now you should see a color-coded view of the steps you need to take to reach your goal. You can see Darren’s sample calendar here.
I just put mine together this week, and it is much more comprehensive and consistent than the editorial calendar I had been using. I’ll let you know over the next few weeks how this is working out for me.