You can achieve any goal you want with the right strategy. No joke! Here’s how:
#1. Set a goal that lights you up.
Your goal has to light your face up and make you want to sing any time you think or talk about it. You need to be passionate about it – otherwise, don’t commit.
Without the inner fire, it doesn’t matter how SMART the goal is. You won’t enjoy the work, it will be too easy to give up, and you won’t feel the satisfaction that comes from achieving a goal that is “you.”
#2. Write it down.
Writing turns dreams into goals, and goals into action plans. Don’t just write down the goal and leave it in a drawer somewhere. Keep a little notebook for each big goal, a living document where you write down your ideas, inspirations, strategies, wins, and lessons.
#3. Use mini-goals.
Instead of writing down in January, “Finish manuscript by December,” which simultaneously feels far away and overwhelming, break it down into manageable mini-goals that you know you can manage with just a little extra effort.
- Start with: “Finish chapter 1 in 30 days.”
- Break it down: “Write 10 pages in 7 days.”
- Even more: “Write 2 pages every day M-F. Edit on Saturday.”
#4. Set deadlines in days.
Deadlines create a sense of urgency and at the same time, prevent overwhelm… if you set them right.
Set deadlines in days, not months.
It’s more manageable to think in terms of days. We can relate to something that must be accomplished within 90 days – there’s a sense of urgency that doesn’t exist when the deadline is 3 months away. We know how quickly days fly by; “ 3 months from now” doesn’t feel relevant today so it’s too easy to procrastinate.
#5. Do the work.
Stay consistent. Create a habit of working on your goal every day for at least 15 minutes. 15 minutes per day eliminates the excuse of “not enough time.” You can accomplish a surprising amount in 15 focused minutes! Go for longer if you want, but no less than 15 minutes.
#6. Check in often to bridge the gap between what you said you would do and what you actually did.
Check in once a week to stay on track. Life gets in the way sometimes, but it’s a lot easier to catch up if you missed a 7-day goal than if you neglected your daily actions and now you’re 90 days behind schedule.
These six steps take away all your excuses, prevent overwhelm, and help you stay motivated and moving forward.