Growing up we dream of becoming the next Neil Armstrong to Walk on the Moon, become the first Female President, or win the Nobel Peace Prize for discovering the cure for cancer. Training and education bring us one step closer to achieving that long-term life goal. Planning keeps us on that path.
I was in the third grade when I wrote my first story. Six pages of blank copy paper folded and stapled to look like a book. Illustrated with pictures of ants big as houses, drawn in red crayon wearing armor and carrying laser guns. I knew at that moment I wanted to write.
Nothing would stop me. Graduating with my Bachelor degree in Journalism and a Masters in TV, Radio and Film production, I was going to write the next Oscar-winning screenplay. I had direction.
The Fork In the Road Scenario
Obstacles along the way can challenge us, family, health, financial distress, etc. Therefore, a decision must be made that could take us off course and move us in another direction. The “fork in the road” scenario.
In the Fall of 1998, I was working part-time for a CBS affiliate in Myrtle Beach, SC as a video editor for the five o’clock news. I was forced to make a decision to quit my job, because of financial reasons. To pay the bills I took a part-time job working at the front desk at a Hampton Inn. Two years later I moved to Charlotte, NC and was hired as the Front Office Manager of a newly opened hotel.
For over 16+ years I managed limited service hotels and loved it. But deep down I felt that I should be doing more with my life.
The thought of quitting and looking for another job felt reckless and irresponsible. I had a mortgage, bills, a car payment. It was drilled into my head by my parents ” not to quit a job unless you have another job lined up”.
I began to search and apply online, but I felt as though my primary responsibility was to my current position and employer. Unfortunately, the management company that purchased my hotel did not feel the same way.
The Path to Success in 90 Days: My Inspiration
I first heard about setting 90 Day goals after listening to a podcast on Stitcher Radio titled ” Your 90 Day Game Plan to Crushing Your Goals” by Jonathan Milligan of Blogging Your Passion. Listening to him explain how he put together an action plan over 90 days to accomplish his long-term goal I did not feel lost anymore.
On his website, he offered a worksheet. I downloaded it, printed it and filled it out. That worksheet inspired me to create my own 90-day Path to Success.
Breaking down the list into smaller, manageable sections, made finding a job less stressful.
Three Ways to Keep On Task
Suffering from Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) working day-to-day from home was difficult.
To stay on track I came up with three ways to keep focused.
- Timer – I added 1-Click Timer to my Chrome Browser. It functions like a stopwatch on my desktop. Individualized tones can be assigned to each task. It is free and can be found in the Chrome Webstore.
- Calendar – Sunday mornings I put together my weekly calendar for the upcoming week. I set aside blocks of time for exercise, meals, research, social media, and reading email. I downloaded Rainlendar2, It places a graphic representation of my weekly calendar and a box with hourly and daily tasks to my desktop. The software is easy to set up and the lite version is free.
- Whiteboard – I am a visual person. Over my desk is a whiteboard. I list five personal goals I would like to achieve daily for five days. At the end of each day, I make notes of any obstacles I had to overcome to complete each daily goal.
These three steps work for me. They might not work for someone else. I work better with structure. Without a calendar, a stopwatch with a nerve jarring alarm on my desktop, and a visual incentive I would accomplish nothing.
Finding My Direction
Research what works for you. Each person is different. To be better organized, keep focused, and stay on task these tools help me move towards my long-term goals.
Each Monday morning I wake up at 7 a.m., check my calendar, take down the whiteboard, and set my desktop timer. I am ready to take on the day, the week, and the next 90 days and work towards my goal. I am pursuing my dream of becoming a writer and no matter what I will follow this path to the end.