It’s Friday and today is a good day to ask yourself: What Have I Accomplished This Week?
Why? Because it gives you the opportunity to see if your achievements have matched your goals.
Achieving goals is not just writing them down and hoping for the best. It’s about adding the steps to those goals in your every day calendar and consistently achieving milestones. True, the path is not always clear nor is it a straight line. Any goal of any significance contains many “to dos” which we are not aware of or have no idea we missed. Why? Goals are new accomplishments – something in the future – you’ve never traveled that road before.
For instance, let’s say you have just finished your degree at university and your aspiration is to become the top researcher in your field with tenure at your chosen university. Have you done that before? Of course not. You make a plan. Now what? Do you know what the steps are to getting there? Do you know the nuances of building this kind of career? Do you the missteps to avoid?
Staying the Course
When you ask yourself, “What have I accomplished this week?” – the answer should always, always contain completing steps towards achieving your goal. If not, then your goals are only wishful thinking.
So many people have fallen into the trap of “hype” – write down your goal, place a deadline for accomplishments, describe the goal, visualize or SMART the goals – it’s all written down – how exciting – you can see it in your mind’s eye – wow! Then the following year comes along, not much has happened with those written goals and your self-esteem plummets. Eventually, most people just give up on this exercise
What’s missing is the work behind the hype! It takes research, talking to people, laying out a path, adjusting that path as new information is received, doing something every day towards achieving that goal – that’s called “working the plan” and it is work!
Why don’t goal setting programs tell you that? Well, many do except it’s done low key. In all the excitement of writing down your goals and visualizing them, somehow, the “work party” doesn’t come into focus. Their goal is to have you leave the course elated. If the work was emphasized, you’d likely feel differently.
What to do?
Start today. Pick one easy goal. Write a list of steps you need to take. In your calendar for next week, add some of those steps. Keep doing that until you’ve achieved your goal. Is it more complicated than this? It can be. However, what’s happening here is building a habit! One goal – write steps – put steps into your calendar weekly –
Once you’ve tasted “success”, it’ll be easier to stick with the longer term goals. Of course, you already know my view of goals setting: work on one goal at a time until it’s fully integrated into your calendar and only then add a second goal to work on. In any event, I don’t believe that people should be working on more than three goals at a time because there just isn’t the time.
Here’s to your success!
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