I’ve found the best way to set goals, take action and stay on track is to schedule regular planning sessions (one per year for big goals, quarterly for business goals and monthly for personal goals) that start with big yearly goals and break down into short-term goals, tasks and a plan to measure progress and track results.
Since I’ve started using this 5-step process, I have found myself to be much more focused and successful in everything I do!
If you chase two rabbits,
you will not catch either one.
Step 1: Identify Long Term Goals
Long term goals represent things you’d like to achieve in a year or more. These are goals that might be so big that you’re not sure exactly how you’ll achieve them. . . that’s okay! You don’t need to. The purpose of having long-term goals and visions for what you’d like to create or who you’d like to become is so that you know which direction to head towards. As long as you know what you’d like to accomplish down the road, you can start to take steps to move yourself in that direction with short term goals.
Step 2: Focus on ONE short-term goal at a time (should correlate to long-term goals).
Once you’ve identified where you’d like to go (step 1) you can start to map out the journey that will take you there. Now, there are plenty of roads you could take, the question is: Which one thing makes the most sense for you to focus on right now? I know there are several options that might all represent great opportunities. But, dividing up your energy and focus will get you more exhaustion than success.
Besides, if another opportunity or projects is still important after you’ve achieved your current short-term goal, you can make that your next area of focus. But for now, choose only one thing to focus on and give that all of your energy, focus and attention for the next 30-90 days.
Step 3: Identify the Metrics You’ll Use to Measure Your Progress
Before we can talk about which specific action steps to take to reach your short term goal, we first need to identify what metric you’ll be using to measure your progress. In other words, what numbers can you measure to track your performance? Here are a few examples:
- Goal: Increase social media engagement. Metric: Likes and comments.
- Goal: Increase revenue. Metric: sales numbers
- Goal: Look good in my swimsuit. Metric: Inches lost
- Goal: Effective Collaboration among team members. Metric: Hours spent together vs. independently
These are the numbers that you’ll measure now, to get a baseline, and again at regular intervals (weekly or monthly) as you sprint toward your short-term goals. If the numbers aren’t moving, consider the reasons why and make adjustments as necessary.
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Step 4: List Specific Tasks that Will Move Your Numbers
Now that you know what you’ll be measuring, it’s time to identify the specific tasks that will help you move those numbers! What can you (or your team) do on a daily basis to move your numbers in a positive direction and reach your goal?
Step 5: Make your Tasks your #1 Priority!
If you’re really serious about achieving your goal, you absolutely must make it your number one priority. Sure, there will be things that come up that compete for your time and attention, but only you can determine whether to let them win or make them wait.
If you really want to achieve your goal, you’ve got to make time for it. If it’s really that important to you, everything else can wait.
Love you to pieces,