7 quick tips to stay on track and make it happen.

Can you believe January is almost over?! With one month down out of 2014, now is a great time to assess the progress you’ve made towards your goals for this year. If you’re not quite where you want to be, try these seven quick tips to help you stay on track and make it happen this year.

1.) Begin with the end in mind. What do you want? Why do you want it? What does the peak of success look like to you? What are you doing, wearing, feeling, or creating at your most successful? Where are you? What, specifically, have you achieved? Once you have this vision, write it down and post it somewhere you see everyday. A constant reminder of your big goal will help you stay on track as time passes.

2.) Create the roadmap. Once you know what you want, work backwards to break down your big goal into smaller milestones. Use the Internet to research specific steps, if you’re unsure about the path.

3.) Detail the roadmap. Now that you’ve got your roadmap of small milestones that will lead you to success, break these down to even smaller, more manageable goals.

  • What do you need to do each month to accomplish your milestones, and ultimately your end vision of success?
  • What about this month?
  • What about each week this month?
  • What about today?

 4.) Plot it out. Take some time at the end or beginning of each week to plot out exactly what you want to accomplish, when you’re going to do it, and approximately how much time it will take. This might seem over the top, but twenty minutes of planning on Sunday night can set you up for success all week. As Ben Franklin said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

4.) Make it public. Share your goal with trusted friends, family or mentors so you have other people check in on you, hold you accountable, and rally you on when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

5.) Plan for the midway motivation drop. As time passes, initial enthusiasm for a project or change usually starts to wane. Set yourself up for success by expecting and planning for that mid-way motivation dropout. Look at your calendar and schedule in some fun rewards, to help boost motivation when progress slows down.

6.) Examine the past. If you’ve tried to make a change before and it bottomed out, go back over old mistakes. Ask yourself:

  • What were the turning points when I gave up before? (missed a deadline, let a few days of missed work turn into a few weeks…)
  • How can I avoid these turning points this time around? Or change my reaction?
  • What habits/routines do I need to change? (get a buddy, use free time after dinner instead of trying to wake up early, download Freedom so I don’t get distracted by the Internet…)
  • What can I do to set myself up for success? (post my goal somewhere I see it everyday, review and chart my progress at the end of every week, plan a weekly reward to motivate myself…)

7.) Get a mantra. What words of wisdom give you an extra push? Some of my favorite include, Karen Lamb: “A year from now you will wish you had started today,” and Eleanor Roosevelt: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” When you want to throw in the towel, remind yourself of your mantra – and then get going!

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