Everyone has goals, but not everyone achieves them. All too often meeting goals feels impossible, out of reach and sometime may even seem foolish. On top of that, the journey to accomplishing goals is often filled with challenges and frustrations. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t meet every one of your aspirations. Here is a 30-day guide to help you set milestones on your way to reaching your goals.
Week 1: ‘Do Nothing’ Week
You’re probably asking how doing nothing can accomplish anything. Rest assured, the effort you invest this week will pay big-time dividends down the road.
Day 1: Think specifics
On the first day, you’re going to decide what you want to do in as specific terms as possible. Ambiguous goals are never met because you don’t really know what you are working for or how to do it.
The classic example of this is the infamous New Year’s resolution: “I am going to lose weight.” But how much weight, and by when? You need those details to figure out how to meet the goal. On Day 1, figure out your specific goal and write it down.
Day 2: Set milestones
Take your now-specific goal and break it into three to five smaller milestones. Consider them the big rocks that you have to overcome to meet your goal. For instance, if you make a goal to network to increase your business contacts, a milestone can be attending a business after-hours function every month or handing out your business card to 10 people every week and following up with them.
Day 3: Plan to reach your milestones
Write down the things you need to do to reach your milestones on your way to your goal. Scratching them off as you succeed is fun.
Days 4-7: Put obstacles in perspective
Spend the rest of week writing down things that are keeping you from reaching your goals, from family obligations to too much television. Some things may never go away, but you can create strategies for managing them all.
Week 2: ‘War Cry’ Week
Like soldiers running into battle, you can now attack your goals with full force. This means, for example, reaching the most important milestone on your list and scratching it off. Next, pick the second item and do it. Repeat.
Week 3: Reality Week
The momentum of starting something new will carry you through Week 2 into Reality Week. There’s just something about the third week of striving towards a goal that attracts opposition. You’ll be tempted by the world’s greatest chocolate cake recipe or your work laptop will crash. At the same time, the excitement of your goal may be wearing off. Now is the time to recommit to focus on your goal and visualize yourself meeting it. Bear down and keep going.
Week 4: ‘Make It a Habit’ Week
A month ago, your goal felt impossible. Four weeks later, working toward it is becoming a goal-reaching habit. The very fact that you can see progress is a huge confidence booster and motivator to keep tackling your milestones. Your goal is within reach.