I recently read Leo Babauta's "The Power of Less." Actually, I listened to the audio book, for those who may feel that the distinction is important. This is not a full review, but there were a few important points that I wanted to touch on. The main themes include minimalism, frugality, simplicity; all of which appeal to me these days.
My caveat about recommending the book is that I sincerely feel that Babauta often gives advice on topics that he is far from an expert on. His suggestions on how to handle email or projects would have gotten me fired at any employer I have worked for. His tips on fitness, nutrition and excercise are dubious at best, and certainly aim at the lowest common denominator of health levels. During these sections, I found myself wishing that he would stick to what he is an expert in.
With that bet well-hedged, I will say that he has some excellent tips on goal-setting. Like many people I know, I will get my head and heart all a'flutter with a million things to work on, improve, and adopt. I want to accomplish literally hundreds of goals, and I want to work on them all NOW. The inevitable failure is spectacular, my good intentions blown to smithereens, and the resulting disappointment leaving me gasping for breath and rocking on my heels in the living room. Babauta's advice is simple, as one would expect from the book's title. One goal at a time. This actually works. Determining and focusing on one major goal at a time allows you to give it complete attention. I started the month with a gameplan for the goal, am sticking to it, and write/journal about it at the end of the day. When temptation inevitably comes, I find it much easier to stay strong, as I remind myself that this is the ONLY thing I HAVE to be disciplined about for now.
As it currently stands, I plan on focusing on one major goal per month. After 30-31 days of completely prioritizing that one thing, my feeling/hope is that a habit has been developed, and I can relegate it to "maintenance status." I can then pour my energy into the next area.
Heres my current schedule...at least, as I see it today.
September - Private Goal
October - Becoming an early-riser
November - Minimizing time spent on social media
If you read Babauta's book, you will find at least a few tips that should make a positive difference in your life, assuming of couse that you actually put them into practice. That being said, much of the content seems to be recycled, such as the productivity tips that seem to be borrowed straight from David Allen's "Getting Things Done." I found it to be worth a read despite this, as the goal-setting sections alone were worth the time invested.