Stop Calling it a Goal and Start Calling it a Plan: How to Plan for Success
Hey there, and welcome to day #2 of the 31 day blog series: A Fabulous New Year For a Fabulous New You. I'm so glad you are here because we aren't just talking about our goals today, we are taking action!
Now that you have that fabulous list of goals down, its time to create a vision, and even more than that, a strategy of how you will accomplish each and every one of them.
If you still need to set your goals or haven’t decided what exactly those goals should be, I have put together a step by step goal setting guide for you to follow. Just check out yesterday’s post : How to Set Resolutions & Goals 2018 for all the info.
Goal Getting Step # 1: Take it One at a Time
…and you’ll do just Fine.
(Sorry, but I couldn’t help myself.)
The best way to do this is to focus on one goal at a time.
I know you’re just as excited as I am for the year ahead, and have set many goals you’d like to accomplish (which is awesome,) but this post is specifically about achieving a particular goal. You can use the steps provided here today for each goal you set.
So Why focus on one at a time?
Starting with just one of your many goals will keep you focused, and prevent that overwhelming feeling we get when we try to do it all at once. Tackling several at a time sounds nice in theory, but it often leads to burn out, which can be totally avoided if we just pace ourselves and prioritize. True success in anything is usually a marathon, not a sprint.
Pick the one goal on your list that has risen to the top or that you see as the greatest priority. If you’re having trouble deciding which goal this is, that’s totally ok (and actually great because that means all your goals are meaningful to you!) Take a bit of time, maybe a day or two, and really contemplate which of your goals is most meaningful to you at this time in your life.
Goal Getting Step # 2: Double Check your Goal
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, for your goal to be a success, it must be SMART.
If you didn’t do this initially when you chose your goals, now’s the time to do a little double take.
Just to refresh, a SMART goal is:
Specific: Be detailed and precise when describing your goal. The more clear your goal is to you, the easier it will be to achieve.
Measurable: You must be able to keep track of your goal and it’s progression. This will allow you to easily map out the necessary action steps that need to be taken.
Attainable: Your goal needs to be something you can eventually reach once all steps are taken. Ask yourself: Is your goal possible? Is it feasible for you?
Relevant: Is your goal applicable to your life? Will your goal add value?
Timely: You should be able to map out a timeframe and set a deadline for your goal.
Here’s an example of a not so smart goal:
- I want to wake up earlier.
Here’s an example of a smart goal:
I Want to get in the habit of sleeping for 8 hours each night and waking up each morning at 6:00am this year.
While the not so smart goal is vague and generalized, the smart goal specifically details the how, what, and when of the desired goal. It fits each of the 5 SMART categories.
Take a moment to write out your goal using the SMART method strategy. You can use the printable worksheet I created to help you with your SMART goals.
Smart Goals Strategy Worksheet
If your goal fits the SMART goal mold, then it’s time for step # 3.
Goal Getting Step # 3: Set a Deadline
Once your due date is established, you can now begin to fill in the blank spaces between now and then with actionable steps.
(short and sweet I know, but potentially the most important when it comes to achieving your goal.)
Goal Getting Step #4: Narrow your focus with Lists.
This step is key because it’s here that you take your goal from an idea to an actionable plan.
Use lists to get your goal strategy started on paper and headed in the right direction. Be as specific as you can. Write down anything and everything you might need in order to bring your goal to life.
I Like to make 3 main list when mapping out my personal goals. These lists include:
To dos - all the actions that need to be taken in order for your goal to be accomplished.
Resources & Tools - Resources and other tools you may need.
Time, Dates, & Deadlines - Any important dates in relation to your goal
Below is an example of these lists using the SMART goal mentioned earlier:
GOAL - Get in the habit of sleeping 8 hours each night and waking up each morning at 6:00am this year -
Goal Getter Step #5: Schedule Your Goal
Schedule each task necessary to achieve your goal within your designated timeline.
Use the lists you just created to help you curate this new schedule.
I understand that some goals are more complex, and take more time to accomplish than others and that’s totally ok (and totally awesome.) This strategy still applies. If your time line to accomplish your goal is spread over several months, prioritize your to-do’s (a.k.a your action steps) monthly, then weekly, then daily.
Remember a goal is just a bunch a tiny tasks that have come together to create a big achievement.
So what does that actually mean?
Your major steps (or goal milestones as I like to call them) can often be better understood as goals themselves (or big tasks.) Treat each of these big tasks as you do your main goal. Start with that goal then break the time frame and tasks down into weekly and daily tasks.
What an easy-to-use worksheet to help you with all this? Me too…so I created one. You can find it right HERE.
Goal Planning Worksheet
Goal Getter Tips
Now that you know your destination, and you’ve mapped the journey ahead, I’m going to give you a few of my favorite goal getting tips to help you tread through all those peaks and valley along the way.
Goal Getter Tip #1: Don’t plan for perfection, plan for progress.
You will have days where you blast through your to-do list, tackle your priorities, and still have time to get that well deserved mani pedi in the afternoon, and then there will be days where everything seems crazy, nothing goes as planned, you only wear pajama pants, and you accomplish nothing short of brushing your teeth. And thats ok. Missing a day or two doesn’t mean you’ve failed, and it definitely doesn’t mean you should give up all together.
And on that note…
Goal Getter Tip # 2: Don’t beat yourself up.
If you have a day or 2 or 12 where you lose track and stop working toward that dream of yours, first let me say, me too. I stopped blogging for 3 year. 3 YEARS. But I didn’t let that detour me from following my dream. I finally picked up where I left off, and started on my journey once again. So don’t be so hard on yourself if you aren’t constantly peddling down that road to your goal’s destination. More importantly, don’t quit because of it, you deserve to get what you want in this life. Don’t sell yourself short with doubt or negative thoughts.
Goal Getter Tip # 3: Use your resources.
Digital calendars, planning apps, support groups, blogs, youtube videos, you name it. Helpful tools and resources are out there, you just have to do a little looking. Find the ones that work best for you, and get in the habit of using them daily.
Goal Getter Tip # 4: Don’t stress over the big picture.
Don’t let something that seems so far away right now discourage your efforts. Focus on the task at hand, and take things step by step. Remember that every detail towards your goal matters, and even the little daily accomplishments should be celebrated.
Goal Getter Tip # 5: Be flexible throughout the process.
Those steps and tasks written in your panner are not set in stone. As the now famous Pinterest quote goes: “Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.” Don’t let go of that end result, but also don’t hesitate to re-evaluate and adjust your steps along the way.
Goal Getting Tip #6: Find ways to Motivate yourself daily.
Motivation is momentum, and the key to your success. If you want to stay motivated, you have to intentionally seek it out constantly. Those who are successful at achieving their goals will tell you that when it comes to motivation, consciousness and consistency make all the difference. Create pin boards, read books, listen to podcasts, visit blogs, and join Facebook groups that inspire you and motivate you daily toward your goals.
Planning out and working toward our goals can be tiring, time consuming, and a little scary, but it can also be fulfilling, satisfying, and completely worth it. So have a little faith in YOU, and get to it.
How do you plan on working toward your goals this year? Become a member of my blog community (it’s fabulous and free,) and comment below.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today.