The team that I’m a part of at the university has certain outcomes that we are trying to meet and several that we try to help instructors meet. We want to make sure that our workshops and short-course offerings provide opportunities to achieve or at least make progress on those outcomes. As part of this, somebody created a table with the outcomes along the top and our offerings along the side to help give us an idea of what outcomes we were hitting a lot, and which we weren’t.
I was thinking about this the other day in relation to my own “outcomes”. In a recent post I described how I’m scoring myself on my Manifesto to see if I’m living, or at least making a valiant effort to live as the person I want to be. This is pretty subjective, and I often wonder if I’m being too easy or too hard on myself. Where’s the evidence?
This was where our table at work gave me an idea. I pulled out a sheet of paper from this giant pad of dotted Rhodia paper (16.5 x 12.5 inches) I have and created a table. Along the top I listed the ten items in my Manifesto. Along the right side I wrote “habits”, ” projects / outcomes / actions”, “needs work”, and “notes” then drew the appropriate lines to create space for each item on the right under each item along the top.
I then went through my current list of habits that I track and noted which ones help me to live as I’ve indicated I want to live for each item in my Manifesto. Then I looked at my list of current projects and did the same, along with regular actions that I take such as calling my parents at least once per week. Once that was done I looked for gaps and filled in the boxes for “needs work” so I see where I need to make changes, be more consistent, and / or try something new.
This process made it clear to me why my habits are so important and will be handy when I’m faced with decisions about new projects / opportunities.
While this method was something that I was familiar with so it’s helpful for me, something else might be useful for you, but you should try something like this, something that will help you clarify who you want to be, what you’re doing to live that way, and where you might need to make some changes.