Do you struggle with staying on track with your goals? You’re not alone. I’ve always had a difficult time making things happen. I’m such a visionary. I come up with these grand ideas and exciting goals but lack the self discipline to see them through. I wanted to stop giving up on everything I started. This can be challenging for someone who has issues committing and a wandering mind. I realized that a great idea is nothing without an execution plan. Here’s 4 of my best practices for increasing productivity and staying on track.
1.Dream Big, Start Small
Keep your eyes on the prize! It’s always good to know what you want the end result to be however focus on the little steps you must take to get there. Small changes lead to big outcomes. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and give up if you aren’t making progress as quickly as you expected. Think about what you can do today or this week to reach your ultimate goal. Celebrate the small victories along the way. Say your goal is to save $5,000 by the end of the year. That’s roughly $420 a month. You can break it down even smaller and say $14.00 a day. Doesn’t that sound way more doable than jumping from a $0.00 savings account to $5,000? Cut back on dining out and do your mani/ pedis at home. You’d be surprised how much you’ll save.
2. Set Realistic Time Expectations
YOU CANNOT ALWAYS RECEIVE INSTANT GRATIFICATION (note to self). I’m so impatient and easily discouraged when I don’t see some sort of progress. There are very few overnight successes and most good things take time. Once you’ve accepted the fact that you may not see progress for awhile, the process becomes enjoyable. Some goals you may be able to complete by the end of the week but others may take years. Just know you’ll get there and take it one step at a time.
3. Put It On Paper
There’s something about writing your goals down that make them real. Whether you put them in a journal, memo pad or sticky notes; just write them down. You’re more likely to put a plan in action once you’ve jotted them down. I do a combination of sticky notes and a vision board. Seeing them everyday keeps me on track and focused on what I’m working towards. The transfer of thoughts from my mind to something tangible keeps me focused. The feeling of accomplishing a goal and literally crossing it off the list is so satisfying.
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
Check in often. This is a way to hold yourself accountable and make adjustments as needed. I set aside time every Sunday to evaluate where I am with my goals. Extend my deadlines or pat myself on the back for the progress I’ve made. I set up a chalkboard at my desk with my top 3 goals for the week. Sometimes I have to remind myself that if i quit now, all the work I’ve put in to this point will be for nothing. Dedicate at least 30 minutes to yourself a week to evaluate, regroup and refocus.
At the end of the day, they’re your goals. No one else is responsible for making them happen but you. Be willing to put in the work and know that it’s not always going to be easy. Have enough confidence in yourself to know that you can do whatever you set your sights on. With a realistic plan in place, you can conquer anything.