Having goals is essential to moving forward in life but nothing will happen unless you create an action plan on how to achieve those goals.
How are you going to achieve the goals you set?
What do you need to do, learn, implement, change in order to hit those goals?
How much time do you need to set aside each day, week and month to work on those goals?
We all have the best of intentions. We are going to exercise every day. We are going to eat healthy every day. We are going to write that book, launch that business. We are…we are…but then we don’t do it! Or if we do, it lasts for a week and then we default back to our old habits and wake up a month later only to realize we haven’t done squat!
There are a few reasons for that. Our goals may be overly ambitious and we don’t schedule things in. I mean, if you don’t exercise on a regular basis now what makes you think you can go from couch potato to exercising every day?
In theory it all sounds good. In reality, seldom works. Now, a goal like “I will start parking my car far away from the grocery store and I will schedule in an hour long walk two days a week” will have much greater success rate than the first one.
Small incremental changes lead to giant leaps. For a great visual and more on that read my post Accumulative Effect.
After you have the habit down to walk twice a week you can start adding more. It’s about setting a goal that is achievable but also has impact. Once you start achieving your goals it becomes fun to add more challenging things that stretch you but first you need to get in the habit of taking action and achieving the smaller goals. You don’t go from never having hiked to conquering a 12,000 ft peak.
For goals that require you to learn something what is the bare minimum you need to learn in order to get started? I know those that spend years and years accumulating information but never do anything with it. That is a waste of time. It’s not moving you any closer on your goal. Some things we do need to learn but why clog up your precious brain power with things you can look up on Google in seconds? Or watch a YouTube video tutorial on how to do.
This one is hard for you that are perfectionists and in constant state of “I just need to learn one more thing and then I will get started…” This is when you must realize that the best way to learn is to dive in and learn as you go. Your goal should be to start doing instead of accumulating more information.
A great action to take, especially if you are a procrastinator, is to create a challenge with a friend who will keep you accountable. If you don’t move forward on your goal you owe him or her a really nice $100 dinner every month that you are not doing what you say you will do. Of course, you can always hire a coach to keep you accountable too. 😉
If finding time is an issue for you then I recommend you analyze how you spend your time. Grab a sheet of paper and write down what you do in 15 minute increments. Track your entire day and do that for a few days, preferably a week.
You will see, in black and white, how you spend your time. Things like watching TV, surfing the internet without a specific purpose in mind, social media, not batching your activities, multi-tasking and always living in a reactive mode instead of proactive mode steals a lot of time.
Remember, you don’t need hours and hours each day, you just need to find small increments of time like 15-30 minutes when you work on moving your goals forward. You can also you shift things you may do on the weekends, like laundry and grocery shopping, to a time slot during the week instead freeing up time on the weekend for you to work on your goal in one big batch of time.
Talking about achieving your goals won’t help you achieve them. Creating an action plan and scheduling in time on your calendar to work on them, will.
This is your life we are talking about. You can either waste it wishing it would be different or you can take action and work on creating the kind of life you want to live and have. The choice is yours.
Rome wasn’t built overnight but brick by brick. What bricks are you going to lay this year? This month? This week? Today?