The Key to Setting Goals (and Achieving Them!)

Unlock success in 2024 with a well-crafted plan. Find practical tips in this article to achieve your goals effectively.

Seeking practical insights to conquer your 2024 goals?

Look no further!

The Key to Setting Goals (and Achieving Them!)

Unlocking success is a strategic process. First, set realistic goals with actionable steps. Then, prioritize daily progress.

Reflect on your journey:

  • Did you achieve all the goals you set for yourself last year?
  • Are you relisting some of the same goals you had for last year, this year?
  • Do you feel any closer to achieving those goals?

Setting goals is crucial, and we're here to support you on your path to success!

Setting Goals is Not a Plan

Goals require more than mere intentions. They demand a well-crafted plan, one that is both actionable and measurable.

For instance, saying, "I'll lose 25 lbs this year" is a goal, not a plan.

Consider this instead:

"I'll hit the gym for 25 minutes of elliptical work, 3 times a week. I'll drink 80 oz of water daily and ensure 2 weekly lunches are salads." That's a plan!

Break it down:

  • Actionable: Things you must do.
    • Hydrating with water flushes toxins.
    • Cardio releases endorphins.
    • Salads pack fiber and nutrients.
  • Measurable: Trackable with a clear yes/no answer.
    • Went to the gym 3x this week? Success!
    • Went 1x? Fail.

Even if these actions don't lead directly to your goal, they build positive habits, propelling you forward. Remember, don't overwhelm yourself with too many goals, start small for achievable progress. Tailor your journey to success.

Time Blocking: The Key to Setting and Achieving Your Goals

After you complete goal setting, one of the most powerful time management tools you can use to achieve those goals 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."

This technique aids in breaking down your daily, weekly, or quarterly tasks into manageable segments, ensuring consistent and measurable progress toward your goals.

To achieve this, you'll need a daily/weekly calendar!

Digital Options:

Embrace a digital calendar for its flexibility. I update mine on the desktop and access it seamlessly on my phone. The screenshots you see are from Google Calendar!

  • Does your email address offer a calendar service? If you don't know, try to Google the name of your email provider and add the word calendar to it. Example: "AOL Calendar".

Physical Options:

For those who swear by paper, find a planner that suits your style. I understand where you’re coming from—I keep a pad of paper on my desk for to-do lists too!

As you pick a planner, bear in mind that it needs to be something you can keep on you... or at least have it close by!

Taking Action

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.

Don't skip your planning time!

How to Time Block

Assess your daily/weekly tasks and allocate dedicated time for each in your calendar.

What are your consistent daily/weekly work tasks? For example:

  • When do you need to arrive for the day?
  • When should you complete your pre-open checklist?
  • When do you run cash deposits to the bank?
  • What time do you close?

Calendar your daily/weekly work tasks

What are work-related items you want to ensure get done this week that might not be part of the normal routine?

  • Do you need to call a vendor this week?
  • Are you hosting a private party during the week?
  • Are there any special cleaning tasks that need to be completed?
  • What days do you post on social media?

Calendar tasks that you  need to get done, but that might not be part of your normal routine

What personal to-do's do you need to take care of?

  • General appointments (Dentist, Doctor, Haircut, etc.)
  • Visiting with family and friends

Calendar your personal to-dos, too!

Whew. Great job!

Looks good, but one tip that will help your productivity even more is to color-code your activities. For example:

  • Consistent daily/weekly work tasks = blue
  • Special work tasks = orange
  • Personal events = green

Always COLOR CODE your activities!

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.

Turning Plans into Action

Setting goals is one thing. Making them happen is a whole other ball game.

Let's face it, life is a lot messier than that pretty, color-coded checklist I shared above. Unexpected curveballs, emergency tasks, and more will inevitably pry their way into your schedule.

To help you stay on track:

  • Stick to your planning time. Carve out a weekly slot to plan, even if you can't tackle everything. Just having a game plan is a step toward success. 

  • Embrace flexibility. There may be times when you need to make adjustments to your schedule as the week progresses. That's why it's beneficial to utilize time blocking and have a flexible schedule in place. Make sure to update your calendar in real-time whenever possible.

  • Avoid professional distractions. We all have moments of checking our phones or answering a call from time to time. However, it's important to be mindful of professional distractions that can lead us to prioritize tasks we're comfortable with while delaying more important ones that we may be unsure about.

    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.

Get Started!

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!

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