The trick to effective goal setting? Try making a 'pocket list'

why it’s time to embrace the ‘pocket list’
Why it’s time to embrace the ‘pocket list’ Jamie Grill - Getty Images

From snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef to buying a home, we've all got a bucket list of goals and achievements we'd like to tick off. However, actualising these plans can take years, which sometimes can feel a little demoralising. That's where 'pocket lists' come into play. It's a list of smaller, easily achievable goals (also a brilliant form of journaling). Together, these small goals add up to big happiness and increased confidence.

So, why are pocket lists so important? Well, to start, we all know how good ticking off our to-do list feels. In fact, a survey commissioned by leading global smart device brand, OPPO, found that nine in ten women say they feel happy when nailing a smaller goal, with eight in ten inspired to tackle what's next on their list.

With this in mind, OPPO has teamed up with award-winning author and pocket list expert, Elizabeth Day, to share why smaller goals are just as important as larger ones.

Elizabeth says: "I'm inspired by the idea of embracing the smaller wins this year. It's important to connect with ourselves so that we understand our purpose. Trying something new helps us to get to the bottom of that and to discover who we are.

"Whether it's taking the first small step towards starting your dream business or managing to hold crow pose in yoga class or acing a presentation at work, focusing on those smaller goals can challenge us and unlock our potential so that we can truly connect to what we're most passionate about."

why it’s time to embrace the ‘pocket list’
"Focusing on those smaller goals can challenge us and unlock our potential," says Elizabeth.Jamie Grill - Getty Images

How to accomplish pocket list goals, according to Elizabeth

Change up where or how you work to be the most productive. You don't have to do it all at your desk — fit productivity around other tasks and treats in your day, and switch locations whenever possible.

Unlock productivity and be efficient during the time while you're on the go, such as in between meetings or on the tube. This could be listening to a podcast, planning your week, or catching up on emails and messages.

Go through your diary on Sunday evenings and check that there's time for everything that needs to be done each week. This way, you can stop thinking about it and feel more liberated to accomplish what’s on your list.

It's all about maintaining your focus and your reward. Build in half-hour reward sessions after meeting a deadline, whether it's watching your favourite reality TV programme or having a well-deserved coffee break.

Put your phone on Airplane Mode to eliminate distractions when on a deadline. Alternatively, place it in another room entirely. Either way, make sure technology isn't robbing you of your concentration.

close up of woman writing to do list in notepad
Small goals are often more achievable and help to boost our confidence.Timm Cleasby Photography - Getty Images

The top pocket list goals that women want to achieve this year:

  1. Four in ten are looking to grow their own fruit or veg.

  2. Four in ten are keen to perfect their baking skills.

  3. Four in ten are prioritising spending time with loved ones, without feeling the need to check their phone or emails.

  4. Three in ten want to learn to cook a particular cuisine or recipe.

  5. Three in ten want to learn a new skill, like DIY or carpentry.

  6. Three in ten would like to spend less time on social media.

  7. Three in ten want to engage in random acts of kindness.

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