Monday, January 21, 2013

Getting to Goal: Step-by-Step

It is my favorite time of the year! So this four-week series will focus on how to create and achieve Golden Goals ... goals you can't wait to accomplish!
You've got your Golden Goals and you have build success into your plan. You have your specific target, your motivation, your team, your Plan B. If we were taking a trip, you'd have your bags packed, the car would be gassed up and you'd be ready to go. The only thing left to do is get out your map, plot your course and start driving.

For this trip, you will be driving all day. Periodically, you'll stop. You'll stop for lunch, maybe you'll need to stretch and then you'll also need to stop for gas. Getting to goal is the same way. You'll have your steps that you take, but you'll also have milestones - mini-goals built within your goal - these will give you a bit of a breather and allow you to see how far you've come.

When planning your steps, it is a good idea to include dates. I could use the word deadlines but that has a lot of negative connotations. It makes the procrastinator within all of us want to turn and run. So I prefer to use dates. You want to take the date seriously, but if you need to push it back (or move it up), you have that flexibility.

Dates light the fire that keeps you moving towards your goal. They also help to keep your goal front and center. Set them realistically and take them seriously. Some dates are hard and fast. You have to have your college application in by a specific date. Others you have more control over, the date by which you want to have all of your college catalogs requested by. It's the flexible dates that will give you trouble. It is easy not to set any dates at all or just not to pay attemtion to them but these are the dates that will keep you on track and moving forward.

The bigger your goal is the more you'll need milestones. Milestones are mini-goals within your goal. Losing 50 pounds is a big deal. It can seem overwhelming. Yet, if you take it in 10 pound increments it makes it seem more manageable. By breaking your goal down and establishing milestones, you have a built-in opportunity to see the progress you are making.

As you accomplish your milestones, make sure to reward yourself. Celebrating your successes makes it easier to stay on course. Just make sure your reward doesn't impede your progress. Your reward for saving $200 shouldn't be a $200 shopping spree!

Assignment: Download this goal-planner worksheet and complete it. Make copies for each of your Golden Goals.

Next Week: Staying the course.

I love goal-setting so much, I took a two-hour workskop I did on goal-setting and put it into a short workbook. Getting to Goal: Your Dreams, Your Desires, Your Way walks you through a holistic goal-setting process. When you are done, you will have two to three Golden Goals selected and a comprehensive plan for achieving them. Available on Kindle for $1.99 and in paperback for 6.99.

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