It is tradition to start each year with a list of goals and resolutions. You want this year to be different. It is a heady feeling, looking at the entire year and seeing the blank canvas before you.
Now it’s February. You are back in the trenches of day-to-day stuff and you may not have thought about your goals recently. Before we go any further into this year, we need to put in place a plan to ensure your success.
Systems are the best way to ensure you really accomplish what you set out to do.
Take a few minutes now; you’ll be amazed at how easily you can accomplish your goals.
An actionable goal is one with specific steps to take to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Many goals are too big picture to be actionable. You may need to drill down to get to a place where you know what action to take. Not sure what I mean? More information can be found here.
If your goal is to do a presentation for a particular client in September, you don’t need to start now. You’ll probably start taking action in June or July and finish up in August.
If your goal is to read a book each month, you’ll need to take action now.
Your calendar can be one of your best tools, if you learn to use it properly. Block off time to get important tasks done (and then don’t let yourself or anyone else schedule things during that time). If reading a book each month is important to you, block off time to do it.
Log reminders in your calendar so things don’t sneak up on you. With your September presentation, you need a reminder in June, some brainstorming time in July and polishing time in August. Use alarm and notification settings in your phone or calendar to help you stay on track.
One of the problems in today’s world is that we are encouraged to fill up our calendars with meetings but not to block off time to actually get things done. To truly accomplish something, you need time to focus, think and do. Rather than trying to do that after booking in all the meetings, book in your work time first. When someone asks for time during your blocked time, simply state you have another engagement at that time because you do – an engagement with yourself and the tasks you need to take.
Many of our goals can be broken down into many 10-minute tasks. I wrote about this recently. The short version is to create a list of tasks you need to do to accomplish your goal that each take about 10 minutes. Then decide how many 10-minute tasks you’ll do each day and commit to getting them done. You’ll make incremental progress each day.
You may be waiting for more information, motivation or free time. The result of waiting is nothing happens. Take action even if it is just 10 minutes. Take action even if you don’t know all the answers yet. Take action even if it isn’t convenient. Taking any action will help you determine what to do next and how to achieve your goals.