On Thursday, I wrote in my column on Real Simple’s website about a few goal-setting systems that might not currently be on your radar screen. Today, I wanted to talk here in more detail about my love affair with one of the programs I mentioned, Lifetick.
As the tagline on the website mentions, Lifetick is “Goal setting. Made simple.” And, after a couple weeks of using the service, I have to agree that it is simple. It’s also well designed, stable, and extremely useful.
When you first log into the system, you are asked to set up your core values. I based mine on the main areas of my life I address in my Strategic Plan. (For example, three of my core values are health, marriage, and career.) After you establish your core values, you then create goals and tasks for these areas of your life. Each time you create a goal, the system prompts you to write a task and provide a deadline to help you achieve that goal. I also like that the system then asks if my goals are SMART.
If you’re unfamiliar with the SMART philosophy, it states that goals are easier to achieve when they are: S-Specific-State what the goal will achieve, M-Measurable-How will you measure if you have achieved a goal, A-Achievable-Can the goal actually be achieved, R-Relevant-Is the goal relevant to your life’s values, and T-Time Specific-When do you want to achieve the goal?
One of my goals was to plan a weekend getaway with my husband. I assigned it to my marriage core value, and then created tasks for how to plan the getaway. One of my tasks included calling the resort and finding out their weekend availability, another task was to sit down with my husband and coordinate our schedules, and the final task involved calling the resort to make the reservation. When I finished the tasks, the program asked me if I had completed my goal or if I needed to assign new tasks. I clicked the button saying that my task was complete, and it gave me a gold star. Who doesn’t love a gold star?!
You can also set Lifetick to send reminders to your e-mail account before tasks need to be completed, and it will also drop you a note when you’ve failed to complete a task on time. It’s a simple nudge to keep you on track, and keep you involved with the service. It syncs with iCal, Outlook Calendar, and Google Calendar, too, so that task items automatically appear on your daily schedule.
I initially thought that I would just use the system for personal goals, but I’m starting to use it for some of my Daily Grind work goals, too. Since it pushes data to my Google Calendar, I don’t have to enter tasks into multiple locations. Also, it’s helping me to remember that some of my work is done for a larger purpose than just keeping my head above water.
There is also a Lifetick application for the iPhone, and you can keep a private Lifetick journal to comment on your progress with your goals.
You can sign up for Lifetick and create up to four goals for free. If you want to work on more than four goals at a time, then there is a $20 a year charge. I suggest starting with four and seeing if the program helps you to keep on track with your goals. I really like the program and am enjoying putting it to use.
The screen shots used in this post were courtesy of Lifetick. I felt weird about putting up my personal goals for all the internet to see, and they happily supplied me with generic alternatives.