We all struggle with focussing on actions that get us closer to our goals. That is just a matter of fact for 99% of all people in the world of distraction. We are all kinds of busy, but it is difficult to be busy with the right things.

I am no different and I decided to eat the elephant in pieces: Currently I have 5 goals — not more, not less — that I am pursuing. There are relatively simple in nature, which doesn’t make them any easier to attain.

While I keep many things in OmniFocus I do not have these goals in my trusted GTD system for the simple reason that they neither represent a single project (most of the goals are supported to multiple projects), a single action nor can they be consolidated by a folder.

Frankly speaking I will also not forget them since they are important to me and fairly simple. But, yes, I have them written down as a note in nvALT and review them during my Weekly Review.

Recently I have read a great post by Srinivas Rao of The Skool Of Life that inspired me to further improve the way I go about my goal focus and ensuring desired progress.

In his post Srinivas summarises the essence of the ‘Pick Four’ book, an updated version of Zig Ziglar’s legendary goal setting methodology

You pick four major goals (hence the name) and you work on each of them every single day for 12 weeks. At the end each of day you record what you’ve done to accomplish each goal.

It could not be easier, couldn’t it? The simplicity and compatibility with my journalling workflow got me hooked straightaway.

Most days I use Day One — either on Mac or iOS — to record at least one experience, observation, feeling or thought I had.

Now I can reflect on my progress against my 12 weeks goals every day by recording in Day One what I have done that day that contributes to them.

What strikes me is that it really hurts if you need to write "nothing" under a goal for a few days in a row. This is extremely effective to either push yourself back on track or reconsider the importance and relevance of the goal (since you not doing anything about it).


Thanks to Day One’s integration with TextExpander on all platforms I have created a simple snippet that — by entering my shortcut ,goals — pre-populates my current Day One entry with a markdown formatted list of my five 12 weeks goals allowing me to update on daily progress for each of them.

It makes a hell of a difference.