But setting goals is actually the easy part. It’s in trying to actually achieve them that we run into trouble. I mean we set these audacious goals and then we stop. We want to achieve them but we don’t know how. We set a goal and then wait for it to happen.
And so often it doesn’t.
Goals require work, and a plan. They don’t just happen. Sometimes they require some luck, but we need to do all we can to line up the circumstances so that the luck can happen.
Below are the steps to achieve goals. To go from “I have a goal” to “I have a plan to achieve it.” Beware, this is a messy process, but it is so important to actually achieving those goals.
If you are going to dream big, you are going to have to be willing to take big action and big action requires a plan.
Step 1: Brainstorm
The first step in your goal achievement plan is to brainstorm. Take a few minutes to sit down and jot down everything you can think of that you need to do to achieve that goal. This should be free flowing thought.
Don’t edit yourself or try to order or organize things. Just write things down as they come to you.
For example, let’s say that your goal is to complete a half marathon. You may need to get new sneakers, find a training program, register for a race, create a running playlist, get a running buddy to keep you accountable, schedule time each day to run, etc..
Step 2: Break it Down
Once you have written down anything you can think of, review your list and determine any items you can break down into smaller tasks. You want the maximum task length to be about 30 minutes, and most tasks to be 10 minutes if possible.
Using our example, we wrote down that we need to register for a race. This can be broken down into googling the races in our area, checking the website of each race, determining which race is best based on time, date, location, etc., and registering for the race.
The more we can break down the tasks we need to complete, the easier it will be to add these tasks to our schedule.
Step 3: Put it in Order
Now it’s time to put our tasks in order. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean a numbered list, it can be just a grouping of tasks.
For example, either buying new sneakers or finding a training program can be done as your first task in preparing for your marathon. However, they both need to be done before you can actually start training.
You can group your tasks into initial prep work, phase 1, phase 2, etc. I like to write my phases all out on a piece of paper with sections for each phase. I also like to leave extra space in each section.
Often times our goals take us out of our comfort zone. We will need to do things that we have never done before. Therefore, as we progress, we may discover additional things that we need to do to complete our goal.
By leaving extra space in each section, we leave room for those additional tasks that we discover along the way.
Step 4: Make Time in Your Calendar
Next you want to look at your calendar and set aside at least 5 hours each week to work toward your goal. This can be hour long chunks each day or a big block on Saturday, or ten minute time slots throughout the day.
Personally, I think it is helpful for motivation and momentum to work towards our goals every day. This might be just three 10 minute tasks on a given day, but that’s 3 things we can check off our list. Progress begets progress, so a little bit each day can add up to a lot.
These slots should be blocked off in your calendar. They are appointments with your goal and should be treated with the same respect as doctor’s appointments or work meetings.
If you want to actually achieve your goal, you need to devote the time it requires to do the work. Unless we actually set it in our calendar, we will keep intending to get things done, but it won’t happen. Too many things will get in our way.
Especially as moms with so much to do and so many distractions, we need to put pen to paper and schedule time for our goals.
Step 5: Get it Done
So now that we have time in our calendar to work on our goals, what do we do in that time? Well, that’s where our amazing list of tasks ordered by phase comes in handy.
Each time we sit down to work on our goal, we have a full list of all the tasks that need to get done. We don’t have to waste time figuring out what to do with our goal achieving time; we can just jump right in and take action.
Each time you complete a task, cross it off your list. You will easily be able to see the progress you are making which will motivate you to keep working toward your goal.
Since the things we need to do each week changes, we will need to repeat step 4 each week that we are working toward our goal. This will prevent changes in our schedule from stopping our progress.
If you are looking for more guidance on setting goals, creating a plan, and making time to actually get it done, you can check out my course, Dream Life Jumpstart for Moms where I walk you through the whole process.