Begin with the end in mind – One of my favourite habits from Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
At the beginning of any goal-setting process it is suggested to start with what you envisage the end result to look like. Begin your process with the end result in mind. Put your dreamer’s hat on and think about the following… Where are you? What are you doing? How do you feel in that space? What is your life like, your routines, your focuses and what is important to you? From creating this detailed picture you will be able to start identifying what you want and what you don’t want. Having boundaries in place from the beginning, you are able to start drafting your action plans.
This all seems quite simple and not too difficult to follow. Then life happens! We get side-tracked by irrelevant, unimportant issues which can hijack our attention and our time. We become overwhelmed with all this stuff that we feel obliged to do, and we lose sight of what we want. So how can we stay on track?
The following points may assist you with staying on course.
1) Make it part of your weekly routine to check your goals. By constantly reflecting on your goals it will allow for them to become part of your front-of-mind awareness and everyday focus.
Don’t fail yourself and your goals by only spending time in the beginning on creating them and their action plans. Don’t shelve your goals and plans to only review them in 6 months time. If you only do 6-monthly and yearly goal or strategic reviews on your business you will find yourself in reactive mode, as opposed to proactive mode.
2) When you are completing your weekly goal review, remind yourself why you wanted to achieve that goal in the first place. This reminder helps to re-motivate and remind you of your vision.
3) Do your monthly/weekly action plans need to be broken down into smaller more manageable actions? Are you just not getting to everything that is on your to-do list? Remember there is a fine line between procrastination and overworking yourself. Work out how many actions and activities you can productively manage over a week or month and make that your benchmark.
4) It’s okay to rework your plans. Remember that nothing is set in stone and by adapting and reworking your plans you keep your vision alive. Being stuck on how your goals must be achieved and refusing to change your action plans will only cause frustration.
Its the end goal that’s important, not the plans on how to get there. If in doubt, always go back to the end.