Use compass points for better goals

 •  Filed under Posts, Productivity, Nicholas Bate

Goal setting. How many different methods have you tried? Lots? So have I, and every time I tried to use them I failed to reach the goal. Inevitably when I focus on one goal, everything else suffers. A few years ago I tried freelancing at night, however after month I was flat out exhausted and I the time I had to spend with my family also suffered. At the time I focused on the goal without seeing the rest of the world.

Last year though I tried something different. I used compass points.

Compass points are Nicholas Bate's strategy for making sure that goals in each aspect of life are moving forward goals in life that are based on aspects of your life. We all have different aspects in life, but when people set goals, they tend to focus on a specific set of goals and forget everything else in life.

The compass points that Nicholas Bate uses are:

  • Career
  • Mind/Body
  • Personal Finance
  • Relationships
  • Fun
  • Contribution

Now before you jump in and start assigning next actions to each of these compass points, take a step back. Each of these compass points are different and therefore require a different plan. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise is different to advancing your career. Being healthy means regular exercise and of course eating healthily, but advancing your career might involve a training course at a local college. Also, compass points are not independent of each other. Focusing on one compass point for too long will likely have a negative affect on the other five compass points.

I used these compass points last year and had some success with them. Obviously, there's things in life that affect your plans and goals, but last year I advanced my career and I had some success with getting my finances in order and I made some open source contributions. I didn't set goals for all the compass points, but it did keep me focused on trying to maintain a balance between all of them. I'm using the compass points again this year, but with more of a focus on achieving a goal with each of them.

Nicholas has full blog post and free download on using compass points, which I highly recommend you read.