Category Archives: About getgoaling

Any new features added or being worked upon. Or in what all ways or scenarios the application can be used.

Lose weight online, no tips though

There are various products available for people looking to lose weight. There are books, pills, diet plans, weight loss programmes and the list can just go on. After all everyone wants to be fit, look great and feel wonderful. Now weight loss does not have quick and easy answers, and requires ones commitment and discipline over an extended period of time to a regimen which will hopefully get them to healthier selves.
Even if you know the best ways to achieve your ideal weight, the rigor with which you have to continue is a challenge, and this is where getgoaling can help. So we decided to show how you can use getgoaling to achieve your weight loss goal, online.

1. Set your ultimate or long term weight loss goal and create a goal using getgoaling which would be something like ”To reduce my weight from the current 90kgs to 68kgs by May 31st 2010″

2. Create sub-goals as action plans. Though action plans are meant to put actionables but here we instead use it as sub goals. We have deliberately avoided sub-goals to keep things simple. So you shall have action plans such as below:

“Reduce 5 kgs by January 31 2010 to weigh: 85Kgs”
“Reduce 4 kgs by Feb 28 2010 to weigh: 81Kgs”


“Reduce 4 kgs by Apr 30 2010 to weigh: 68Kgs”

How much you want to reduce or can reduce each month is for you to decide, but the idea is to set  monthly targets, achieving which can help you move towards your ultimate goal of getting to 68 Kgs. Also you don’t need to set all these action plans in one go. Set action plan only for the first month. Once you achieve that, mark it done. Then add action plan for the next month. This will ensure that you don’t clutter the screen with things you are only going to do in future and not now.

Now comes the turn of real actionables, such as regular exercise, diet, tab on calorie intake etc. So you can create an Action plan as “Go for 40 minutes walk every morning”.  Creating action plans has multiple advantages, one, it puts in place all those things that you intend to do, giving you a complete picture. Then it enables you to use the hit or miss function and journal. I would explain this with an example. For your weight loss goal you create two actionables, one, to exercise daily, two, to watch what you eat daily. For exercise you can use hit or miss to see your compliance levels. Hit or miss is very simple record of whether you did something you planned or not. The system shows your compliance levels, say 70% you exercised and 30% times you skipped. This helps you reflect on your own commitment when you look back and the reasons why you may not have achieved your goal. Journals is another tool which helps you to record something regularly and then you can look back and reflect, assess and act based on how you have been doing on the actionable.

3. SMART goals use measurements to record your progress. You can record your weight weekly or monthly and see a line graph of your weight movements. This helps you see if you are on track or running behind. It also shows the average, min and max weight over a time period.

4. It is always good to build some excitement and support while you are working towards your goal. And what would be better than sharing it with your friends and colleagues with whom you can share and discuss your weight loss goals. This requires you to invite a friend to join getgoaling. When that person joins getgoaling, he/she can interact with you. This helps build support for you and also gets you more serious towards your goal attainment as sharing your goal increases your accountability. 

This whole exercise keeps you focused and motivated towards working on your goal and provides you an opportunity to see how you can overcome any obstacles that hinder your progress.

Feature updates dated 26th May 09

Below is the mail I had sent to the get goaling community on 26th May.

Hi,

Hope you are doing fine. Just wanted to update you about the latest changes made and features added to Get Goaling in case you have not visited us lately. Here is the list of updates for you :

1. A more user friendly to do list, with task views for today, tomorrow, yesterday, next 7 days and overdue tasks.  Each of these views can be printed.

2. Reminder service for goals, to set daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly reminders.

3. Goal sheet can be printed.

4. Limited sharing of goals with friends has been simplified with introduction of the concept of ‘friends’.

5. The interface for viewing and logging comments has been simplified.

6. Goal chest has been made more powerful. You can initiate the following actions from the goal chest:
 »  Write comments
 »  Update percentage completion
 »  Set reminder
 »  Tag goals
 »  Close goal
    Window for doing the above 5 things opens in the goal chest itself, making it easier to use.
 »  Adding an action plan
 »  Editing a goal

In case you have any feedback about the site, we would be grateful if you would spare a moment to share it with us.

Thank you for being a part of Get Goaling!
The Get Goaling team

New version of todo list introduced

To do list has been redesigned to make it more user friendly. A lot of interactivity has been introduced by using AJAX so that the whole page does not require a refresh. That should make it a little more fast. A few more features have been added too. Now you can also choose to view your todo lists for today, tomorrow, yesterday, next 7 days or overdue tasks by choosing from a drop down. You can also take a printout of your list for each of these options. Though you are free to use it the way you like it, but here is how I would recommend that you may use it.

Use the online todo list and the printouts in tandem. If there are tasks in your online todo list for today, take a print out. The list has two columns, Status and Task. You would most often take today’s printout and carry on the tasks, so lets take that example. The printout would have a list of all the tasks for today and a status column which is blank that you would fill according to the status of the task. Now lets see how we use the status column on the printout:
1. In case you are done with the task you will make a tick mark as you usually do.
2. In case you decide to postponse it to another date, enter the new date in the status column.
3. In case you delegate the task to someone else, you can enter his or her name in it and date by which to checkback with him on the task status.
4. In case you don’t need to do the task any more, write CANCELLED.

That takes care of most situtations. The printout has 7 additional blank rows which you can use to add any more tasks for the day or any future date. Tasks for future dates can be updated to the online todo list once at the end of the day and the status of other tasks can be updated as well. Hope the new design helps.

How to set goals

Though setting goals seems to be a straight foward process, still some theory on how to set goals may help you define your goals better. So here is how you can go about setting goals:

Self discovery : Figure out what you want in life
Once I attended an interesting workshop. The conductor of the workshop asked us a question. She asked, if we were given an option to be a bird or animal, what would we want to be, and why. She gave us ten minutes to think about it and write it down on a piece of paper. It was something that really set everyone thinking, it was a strange question, it was not like which bird or animal we like, but it was different, it was me as a bird or animal that made us think. Different people came with different responses, some wanted to be a lion for the power and strength it had, some wanted to be a geese for the freedom it enjoyed and the symmetry with which they flew along with the rest, in absolute harmony with their community. Everyone spoke what they wanted to be and why, and it was a good entertaining session. But the exercise was not meant for entertainment purpose, it was meant to take us towards self discovery . She asked wether the reasons we gave as to why we wanted be a particular bird or animal actually the things we wanted in life. It is was right, everyone nodded their heads, some wanted power and strength and hence saw themselves as lions. It was an enlightening experience, an insight I never had experienced before. This is something I would suggest everyone to do on their own to find out afterall what we want to be in our lives. And once we find our answers we can start on the next exercise of how we can achieve what we aspire for. What are
the things that we need to do, what should be our long term goals.

Goal setting : Set goals which lead you to what you want in life
1. Set long term goals first. Your long term goals should guide your short term goals.
2. Goals should be mutually workable. See to it that the goals don’t work against each other, as it will not help either of the two goals. Prioritise goals in order of importance, work accordingly.
3. Correct goal setting is important, one should not undermine the importance of well crafted goals. They will help  you all along your journey till you achieve your goal. Try and set SMART goals where each letter of the acronym SMART stands for in the order of the letters as, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound.

Plan your actions : Make plans of how you will achieve your goals
After setting goals, you have to figure out what all you need to do to achieve your goal, the action plans which you will implement to achieve your goal. Identifying only your goal and not putting a plan in place is undoing the good work of setting your goal. Goal setting answers the ‘What I want’ part of the question, Action planning answers the ‘how I will achieve it’. Both, goal setting and action planning are equally important.

Work your plans and track your progress : Keep your eyes open to see if you are going where you planned. Deciding what you want and putting a plan in place is one thing, implementing it is another. People set certain things as goals, because they are not trivial for them, and would require some effort in planning and working on them. What you need now is discipline, determination and persistence. Measure your progress all along till you achieve your goal. Plot graphs if required, engage with your goal by revisiting it, thinking about it, writing about your experience. These will help to reaffirm what you are upto and re-energise and keep the momentum going. If you don’t spend some time thinking about the goals each day, you will soon lose the focus required to achieve the goal.

Following a process is better than not following any, it atleast rules out failure to achieve goals on some counts, and that is a good enough reason to begin with and have a process in place.

Pitfalls to achieving goals

1. Not excited about your goal. If you are excited about what you have set for yourself, chances are you will make it as compared to when you are not. So do whatever it takes to make it more exciting and interesting. One of the things that you can do is to interact and share with people having a similar interest or goal.

2. You doubt whether you will make it at the onset. If to begin with you doubt whether you will be able to make it, chances are you will not. Self belief is the key ingredient to achieving your goal. If you are in the game you ought to tell yourself that there is every chance of you winning and that you will do whatever it takes to win. Doubt = failure.

3. Soon the excitement fizzles out. Post the initial high when you really wanted to make things happen, if you are not able to maintain the same level of interest as you had in the initial days, of course you run out of fuel before you reach your destination.

4. Giving up a little too soon. Desirable things have a cost in terms of the effort and other resources you put in. And sometimes after all the hard work too you are not there and you pant and say how much more to go before I get there.  Everyone who has worked on tough goals would know that it is something that each one has to go through. Many would leave it at that and give up, but some who make it through these toughest later parts are the ones who successfully realise their dreams.

5. Failing to plan.You wanted to get there but did not plan how. You drifted and did not take note before you were way way off the direction. Planning and tracking are not just management terminology, this is something necessary for anything that you are serious about doing. Business houses will be out of business if they don’t do it and as individuals we will not realise anything either.

6. Trying to chew more than what you can eat. One day you are all excited and try to fix every ill in your life. You sit down and list all the things that you want to do. Big bang approaches like these don’t work. They say, ‘You can eat an elephant if you eat it in pieces’. So what is necessary is to see what can be achieved realistically and then plan and prioritise.

Importance of goal setting

Dictionary meaning of success is “a desired outcome”. This desired outcome when well defined is called a goal. So why do we need a well defined goal to be set. Lets cover the reasons one by one.

1. Statistical reason: Goal is a measure of success.  If you have not defined what your goal was, how do you know wether you were successul. You can only say that you or your team was successful when the goals set at the start were achieved. This becomes all the more important in case your performance is being measured against your set goals.

2. Ensures you hit the right target: The process of brainstorming of what goals should be set, provides opportunity to ensure that the goal is correct.  Correct, because one should not mistake an action plan as a goal. For example, getting up at 4:30 am in the morning may not be a goal in itself, the goal could be to send children to school on time.

3. Ensures there’s no collateral damage: If the mind is set too narrowly on the goal, then there are chances that you may end up with collateral damage. It is important that when goals are being thought of the context does not get missed. The completeness of what we really want should not get missed. Let me explain with an example, a manager guns for an extremely tight deadline and is making everyones life on the project miserable  to ensure to they don’t miss the target date as it is one of their project performance goals. What happens, some of the key people of the project decide to quit, because they cannot take it any more. Whats gone wrong, there are no goals for limiting attrition and there are no action plans either. Something got totally missed.  Completeness hence is the key to reducing collateral damange.

4. Provides platform for improvement: Once you achieve your goals, they become a benchmark of your performance. Now you can look forward to further improve you performance and rethink on your next set of action plans.

5. Brings in commitment: Democratically set goals in project team environments ensures team support and commitment, which in itself is sufficient to pull an otherwise tough project through.

6. Brings joy: Accomplishing goals gives you joy of having achieved what you had set out for. It helps build your credibility in case the goals where shared with others. It helps boost your confidence too.

Though there would other significant reasons for setting goals, these are the ones which are at the top of my mind. In case you have more ideas on this, let us know. Learning never ends.

Personal Quality checklist

When I joined the organisation I used to work for, there was a lot of management focus on Personal Quality. Our organisation was working with Dr. Harry V Roberts, Prof. of Statistics and Quality Management at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago. One of the tools that he wanted us to work with was a Personal Quality Checklist, something similar to what Benjamin Franklin pioneered over two centuries ago. Franklin planned to inculcate thirteen virtues in his life, temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquillity, chastity and humility and used to maintain a checklist to check his shortcomings. The idea of talking about the personal quality checklist here is of course to tell you that, this is something that you can try for yourself using getgoaling.com. The simple idea of stroking ticks when you make it or just stroking a wrong will make you aware whether you have inculcated something that you would like to keep as a habit or failed at it. And the awareness that you have not made it will surely spur you to make more efforts in the direction to succeed. So try it and share your experience.

Added a simple todo list

I just added a simple todo list which can be launched from the landing page. The idea was to have the activities which are part of your action plans and the todo list appear side by side so that you don’t have to maintain two lists in separte applications. The todo list is pretty basic today, I will see how more features can be added to it to make it more meaningful for use. Any feedback on this is welcome.

Whats new for year 2009

Every new year brings with it a hope for better tomorrow. New resolutions are made, some are kept some forgotten. But is not every day an opportunity for us to make new beginnings, to exploit our infinite potential and to be what we really want to be and do what we really want to do. Of course it is. What is needed is an honest resolve, a promise to yourself that you are determined to keep.
Getgoaling.com is a web site which assists people who want to make and keep promises they made to themselves. The objective of getgoaling is to provide a tool to define and structure your goals using action plans and to provide a mechanism to track your progress regularly. This kind of mechanism reinforces upon you the need to get back to the tasks in case you are not able to make through your action plans.
Your goals can be kept private, shared with a select few or be public keeping your privacy needs in consideration. Sharing what you are doing with your colleagues, friends, mentors builds accountability and eventually helps you accomplish your goals. These people can view your progress and advice and encourage you. For the goals which you have made public, people can view your comments and learn from your experience.
You can tag your goal with relevant keywords so that people who are interested to learn from your experience can find it easily.
You have the option to track your progress either daily or weekly and in case you do not want to track things daily, that is fine too. In case you set a daily or weekly tracking option, you can enter journal entries for each day or week as the case may be. For your daily action plans there is a calendar format report showing you how you are doing on your action plans providing you an opportunity to analyse what is going right and what is not.
As per gurus on goal setting, writing down your goals helps more than when you just keep it in mind, and revisiting it regularly by way of measuring how you are doing is like adding fuel to you aspiration to achieve your goal. So it is always better to follow a method to improve your chances of succeeding on you mission.
So, whether you are a student preparing for your entrance exam, someone who aspires to participate in the marathon run in you city next time or just someone who would like to take good care of himself by going to gym regularly and eating healthy food, all can benefit by using the site. All the best for your future endeavors and a happy new year.