I spent quite a bit of time setting goals last year, but I really can't tell you what they were. I'm not keeping secrets from you—I'm sure there was probably something about fitness, something about my career.
The reason I can’t tell you is that...I don't remember.
What I can tell you is that I got a lot done, and feel great about my progress.
Ready for my secret? It's all about your mentality. I focus on the process, on change—not the result.
You've heard the adage "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." It's kind of the same thought process. Even if you miss your goal, you've built better habits along the way.
We all enjoy setting goals, but sometimes lose sight of what it takes to reach them.
Every goal you set needs a plan, and that plan needs to be actionable and measurable:
For example, "I'm going to lose 25 lbs this year" is not a plan. It's a goal, a simple end-result.
Consider this instead:
"I'm going to step foot in the gym for at least 25 minutes of elliptical work, 3 times a week. I'll also drink at least 80 oz of water a day, and make sure 2 of my lunches each week are a salad." Now that is
Let's break it down:
Even if the action items don't lead exactly to your goal like the example above, successfully executing them creates positive habits, which will only get you closer to your goal.
It's also important to remember you shouldn't set more goals than you can execute on. If you set more goals than you know you can practically make actionable progress towards during the set time frame, you're setting yourself up for failure from the beginning.
Yes, it's better to focus on completing each step it takes to reach your goal, but the whole point of following those steps so closely is to ultimately achieve your end goal(s), right?
To make sure you make the most progress towards your goals, proper time management is critical.
After goal setting, one of the most powerful time management tools you can use to achieve them is to time block.
According to Doist, "Time blocking is a time management method that asks you to divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task, or group of tasks, and only those specific tasks."
Time Blocking helps you break down get what you need to get done throughout the day, the week, the quarter, etc., into manageable chunks. When you complete each task you designated for each block of time, you're making consistent and measurable progress toward your desired goal(s).
First, you need a daily/weekly calendar.
I love having a digital calendar because I'm able to update it through the week on my desktop, but still have it with me on my phone. The screenshots you'll see in this article are from Gmail.
For some folks, it's not official unless the pen has touched paper. I understand where you’re coming from—I keep a pad of paper on my desk in case of emergency checklist making.
As you pick one, bear in mind that it needs to be something you can keep on you... or at least have close-by.
Your first step is to decide what day and time you'll dedicate to scheduling out your week, such as Monday between 9:00-10:00 A.M.
Consider what you need to get done each day/week. Record them in your calendar with a specific amount of time allotted for
What are your consistent daily/weekly work tasks? For example:
What are work-related items you want to ensure get done this week, that might not be part of the normal routine?
What personal to-do's do you need to take care of?
Whew. Great job!
Looks good, but one tip that will help your productivity even more is to color code your activities. For example:
Looks so much more organized, right?
If you're going to use a physical planner, this last part could be completed with different color ink. Whatever helps you stick to this process and stay organized.
Setting your goals and following through with them are two different things.
The reality is, real life is going to be much more chaotic than the nicely-colored checklist I shared above. Unwanted distractions, emergency tasks, and more will certainly pry their way into your schedule, too.
To help you stick to your plan as closely as possible:
Let's say a social media post results in a great weekend for your facility. You see the front desk is overloaded with customers, so you open up an extra register and run it yourself.
To avoid this distraction to your plan, you should anticipate that your social media posts will attract more families to your facility. Be prepared by putting an extra employee on staff to open a second register if needed.
Whether they end up being needed or not, it’s better to be
over-prepared than to concede time on YOUR calendar you designated for making progress towards your goals.
Set your goals. Create the plan. Use time blocking to schedule it. And, be prepared in advance to handle potential distractions.
Use the tips highlighted in this article, and I have a good feeling setting goals (and achieving them!) will look a whole lot different for you this year. And by different, I mean BETTER.
If you're looking for more content relating to planning for the new year, be sure to watch our on-demand webinar, Intentional Planning for the New Year: A 4-Step Blueprint to Create Your Sales and Marketing Strategy.