Use 30 Days of Getting Results to Help You Reach Your Goals for 2015

imageSeveral Summers back, I used a 30 Day Improvement Sprint to share my best insights and best lessons learned on getting results.  I called it 30 Days of Getting Results:

30 Days of Getting Results

It’s timeless advice to help you be YOUR best.

The overall goal of the site was to help you master productivity, master time management, and achieve work life balance.   The idea was that by spending a little time each day, you would get back lots of time and energy and produce better results.  And we all need an edge in work and life.

Rise Above Productivity, Time Management, and Work-Life Balance Challenges

Here are the key things that I tried to help you with:

  • How to set yourself up for success on a daily basis
  • How to create a simple system your can use for getting great results in work and life
  • How to use proven practices to master time management, motivation, and personal productivity
  • How to embrace change and get better results in any situation
  • How to triple your personal productivity
  • How to focus and direct your attention with skill
  • How to use your strengths to create a powerful edge for getting results
  • How to change a habit and make it stick
  • How to achieve better work-life balance and spend more time doing the things you love

So if you’re struggling with any of the above, you might find just the piece of advice or the one or two ideas that help you find your breakthrough.

The Making of 30 Days of Getting Results

Behind the scenes, when I wrote each of the 30 days, I gave myself a 20-minute time limit (a 20-minute timebox for you in the know.)  I would then write as if writing to somebody where I only had a small window of time to help them as best I could to achieve better results, in any situation.

It might seem like the first few days start slow, but things pick up from there pretty fast.  Also, it’s self-paced so you can hop around to any particular day that you think you need the most.

I’ve had many people tell me that it was the course that they needed that helped them set and achieve better goals, while also helping them make new habits and break bad habits.   It’s also helped them find more energy as well as enjoy more of the things that they do.   It’s also helped them find ways to spend more time in their strengths and do what makes them come alive.

I will say that the user experience isn’t that great.   The site was a test and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on the site design.    That said, it’s pretty straightforward.   When you go to the home page at 30 Days of Getting Results, you’ll see a brief intro and overview, and then you can dive in from there, by either starting with Day 1: Take a Tour of Agile Results, or  by clicking through the 30 Days on the left-hand side of the menu.

30 Days of Getting Results at a Glance

Here are all the days at a glance for your convenience:

  • Overview
  • 30 Days at a Glance
  • Day 1 – Take a Tour
  • Day 2 – Monday Vision
  • Day 3 – Daily Outcomes
  • Day 4 – Let Things Slough Off
  • Day 5 – Hot Spots
  • Day 6 – Friday Reflection
  • Day 7 – Setup Boundaries
  • Day 8 – Dump Your Brain
  • Day 9 – Prioritize Your Day
  • Day 10 – Feel Strong
  • Day 11 – Reduce Friction
  • Day 12 – Productivity Personas
  • Day 13 – Triage
  • Day 14 – Carve Out Time
  • Day 15 – Achieve a Peaceful Calm
  • Day 16 – Use Metaphors
  • Day 17 – Add Power Hours
  • Day 18 – Add Creative Hours
  • Day 19 – Who are You Doing it For?
  • Day 20 – Ask Better Questions
  • Day 21 — Carry the Good Forward
  • Day 22 – Design Your Day
  • Day 23 – Design Your Week
  • Day 24 – Bounce Back with Skill
  • Day 25 – Fix Time, Flex Scope
  • Day 26 – Solve Problems with Skill
  • Day 27 – Do Something Great
  • Day 28 – Find Your One Thing
  • Day 29 – Find Your Arena
  • Day 30 – Take It to the Next Level
  • The course is free.  Hopefully that doesn’t de-value it.   It has a lot of the lessons you would learn in some of the most advanced productivity and time management training.  

    The Structure of the Daily Lessons

    The structure of each day is the same.  It includes an outcome, a lesson, and an assignment.  And right up front, I include a relevant quote and picture.   Here is an example of Day 24 – Bounce Back with Skill:

    Quote: “Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.” – Anonymous
    Your Outcome: Your Outcome: Bounce back with skill and roll with the punches.  Learn to draw from multiple sources of strength and energy, including your mind, body, emotions, and spirit.
    Lesson Welcome to day 24 of 30 Days of Getting Results, based on my book, Getting Results the Agile Way.  In day 23, you learned how to design your week with skill to get a fresh start, establish routines that support and renew you, and spend more time on the things that count for you.   Today, we learn how to bounce back with skill.  Bouncing back with skill helps us roll with the punches, refuel our bodies, and keep our spark alive.  It’s how we keep our engine going when the rest of us says “we can’t” and it’s how we “shut down” or “turn it off” so we can bounce back stronger.
    (For the rest of the lesson, see Day 24 – Bounce Back with Skill … )

    Today’s Assignment

    1. Find one of your past victories in life and add that to your mental flip book of scenes to draw from when you need it most.
    2. Find one metaphor to help you to represent how you bounce back in life.
    3. Find one song or one saying to have in your mind that you can use as a one-liner reminder to take the right actions when it counts.  For example, one that some people like is “Stand strong when tested.”

    Get Started with 30 Days of Getting Results

    If you want to start off well for 2015, and you have big dreams and big goals in mind, then give 30 Days of Getting Results a try:

    30 Days of Getting Results

    If you want to take it slow and steady, then just try one lesson each day.  If you’re feeling gung-ho, then see how quickly you can make it through all 30 at your own pace.

    To help you stay on track, if you take the slow and steady route, build the habit by adding a simple reminder to your calendar in the morning to go and take the next lesson.    Do it Monday through Friday and take the weekends off.

    Enjoy and best wishes for your best year ever.

    Dream Big for 2015 (my personal theme for 2015)




  • Comments (3)

    1. Mike D says:

      Hi J.D.,

      Over the holidays I discovered and consumed your excellent book "Getting Results The Agile Way".  This is my first week in starting to adopt the system into my routine, and one of my 3 outcomes for the day is to have a better understanding of a couple components in the system that are still tripping me up.

      I think I've got some good starting bullet points for the "Life" hot spot categories (I started with your suggested categories, Mind, Body, Emotion, Career, etc); however, I'm struggling on what to put down for the "Work" and "Personal" hot spots, and finding overlap between those and the concept of "Queues" and "Backlog".  I guess I'm wondering what the major distinctions/differences are between Queues/Backlog and the Work/Personal hot spots?  Is it normal to have all the same projects listed in my "Work – Active Projects" list and again in my Queue?

      Final question – How do you separate your work related stuff from your non-work related stuff.  ie. 3 daily outcomes, 3 weekly outcomes, 3 monthly outcomes, 3 yearly outcomes?

    2. J.D. Meier says:

      @Mike — Hey Mike, hank you.

      I'll give you a quick way to stay on track, but then I'll elaborate on a few of the concepts and your questions.

      Since you're just starting out, let's keep it super simple.

      Make two lists:

      1. list for the week

      2. list for today

      For the week list …

      List out all the stuff you're worried about for this week.  Be as exhaustive as you want.   Make sure your list really reflects everything your worried about for this week for work and for life.  Don't number the list, don't format it, just keep it as a list.

      Next, make some room at the top of your list (just push your list down), and write the 3 Wins you want on Friday.  If you were telling somebody what you achieved this week, what do you want to be able to say?

      Those 3 wins at the top of the list will keep you focused and centered.  Your fill list will be reminders, things you might work on, but the real goal is to nail those 3 wins.

      For the list for today …

      List out everything you're worried about for each day.  It might be reminders, or tasks, or things you have floating around in your mind.  List it out, so your mind is clear.

      Next, make some space at the top, and list out the 3 Wins that you want for today.  If today were over, and you were looking back on today, what 3 Wins do you want to say you achieved?   These 3 Wins will keep you focus, calm, and centered among the chaos of your day.

      I know it sounds simple, but that's all you really need to do to be highly effective (you will get better and better as you learn from your results and feedback.)


    3. J.D. Meier says:

      @Mike — Here is the follow up that elaborates on your questions.

      Now, back to your specific questions …

      I use Backlog as my master list of all the stuff I'm worried about.  I make one for work and one for personal.  It's just a long list in one place of all the things I care about doing.

      I only use Queues if I need to, so that I can make smaller lists, per each project.

      Your Active Projects is just a list of your project, while the queue is a list of the doable things:

      /Active Projects (Work)

      /Project 1 (Queue)

      – doable thing 1

      – doable thing 2

      – doable thing 3

      /Project 2 (Queue)

      – doable thing 1

      – doable thing 2

      – doable thing 3

      In terms of work vs. life, when I started, I used to have a max of 3 for personal, and a max of 3 for work.

      But here's the trick … When I'm at work, I have up to 3 things top of mind, and when I'm not at work, I have up to 3 things top of mind.

      For example, at work, you might have up to 3 big stories you want to tell for the year in terms of achievement.   But when you're outside work, you'll think bigger and it's very likely that one of your stories may be about work.  For example, here's 3 Wins for the Year:

      1. I'm in my best shape ever of my life

      2. I've gained thought leader status in my area of specialty

      3. I've taken the epic journey that was past due on my Bucket List

      As you can see, #2 is work related, but it's just a top-line story that fits into the bigger picture of your life.   And that's what you want … the ability to tell a simple story for your life, and drill into work when required, but keep it all simple.

      The common denominator in all this is you.  You are only one person with so much time, energy, and resources, so focusing on 3 wins will help concentrate your focus.  

      And, if you need to tell others, such as your manager or team, about your achievements,  you can tell easily tell them 3 meaningful achievements versus ramble off a laundry list of things.

      One other tip — keep your lists as simple as possible so they can be easily (re)created or destroyed.  The real value in the list comes from the process, not the list itself, and you never want lists that feel heavy or a burden.

      Lists expire — and a list I make today is far more valuable for today, than a list I might have made yesterday or last week, since time changes both clarity and what's important.

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