Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
To accomplish your goals, you have to take actions toward achieving them on a regular basis. Putting your goals on your monthly, weekly and daily schedules can help you do just that. You have to live your goals to achieve them.
As we get into the business of taking care of the infinite details of our daily lives, we often don't find time to work on the things we really want to accomplish. Distractions, busyness, overcommittment, and the various demands, expectations and requests from others can take up all our time. As can striving for perfection, getting caught up in details and our own negative feelings. There is always something that can pull us off the track and it can be difficult to maintain our focus and determination.
Following this six step process will help you make continuous progress on your goals:
1--Establish your priorities, based on your values. What is really important to you? What do you really want to have in your life? It can be helpful to write personal and business mission statements to clarify what matters most to you. Once you really know what is important to you, you can focus your goals on those things. If you skip this step, you might find yourself working on things that do not inspire and motiate you.
2--Writing long-term goals, five or ten-year "where I want to be" goals. This can be really fun! Once you know what you really want in your life, spend some time imagining what that would look like. (Read A Simple Method for Setting Long-Term Goals for more information on how to do this.)
3--Writing one-year goals that get you closer to your long-term goals. Take your long-term goals and decide what you can do this year. What steps should you be taking now to get you there? If you are just starting to work on your goals, the beginning can be the hardest part--it can seem overwhelming. Just start where you are now and take baby steps if it helps. Start researching, talking to other people and soon the steps you need to take will become apparent and it will get easier to "know" what you should be doing. The most important thing in setting your one-year goals is that you do it. You may find you have to revise your goals often when you start out, but that's fine! Everyone revises goals. You may make quicker progress, you may discover you left something out, you may change your mind about some elements in your goal plan. Don't worry about that now, just get them written.
4--Scheduling monthly goals to help you reach your one-year goals. Once you know what you want to accomplish this year, assign specific goals or parts of goals to each month. The idea here is to get things scheduled so you don't have to worry about them until they are "due". And, it helps you plan in advance for what you need to do. For instance, if one of your one-year goals is to exhibit at a trade show, you can plan out all the details by month--register, plan exhibit, order needed items, send invitations, etc.. These steps are your Action Plans. Action Plans are truly a road map to achieving your goals. Writing action plans for your goals gives you a step-by-step guideline that makes weekly and daily planning very simple. For more information on how to write action plans, read Business Action Plans.
5--Putting weekly goals into your calendar system. Once you write action plans for your goals, simply transfer those actions to your weekly calendar. Working around what you already have scheduled, or must-do tasks that take up your time, fit in your weekly goals. It really helps to block out time for these actions at the beginning of your week. Otherwise, your schedule gets full of other, less-important tasks. If your schedule is already full to the brim, you may have to allow more time for achieving your goals, but if you can make some positive progress (no matter how small) every week and even every day, you will eventually get there.
6--Scheduling daily actions that will lead to accomplishing those weekly goals. In this step, you use your daily to-do list to help you achieve your goals. Put those daily actions on your list of "things-to-do". It doesn't really matter what system you use. An online task manager, a paper planning calendar, a schedule program on your phone or a list of items on an index card will all work. No matter how small the task, you will be able to see progress as you mark it done, and that helps fuel your motivation to keep making progress.
Following these six steps to achieving your goals can help you make sure you are making definite, continuous progress on your goals. If you need a support system for your goals, our forum can help. Visit Goals Support Team to talk about your goals and support others in achieving theirs.