There are three main reasons most writers and others don’t achieve the goals they set:
- They try to change too many things at the same time
- They don’t work out a practical plan for change
- They do the same things that have failed in the past
As a result, they end up with the same list of things they hope to change every year.
To overcome these issues, take these steps:
1: Choose the one area of your life in which changes would improve your life the most. This might be about your writing, your health, your relationships, etc.
2: Compare how things are now to how you’d like things to be.
3: Work out the first few steps you can take now in order to bring about at least some parts of the outcomes you want. You don’t need to plan the entire process, especially if this is a big change; instead you can take a few steps forward, assess the situation, then plan and execute the next few steps.
4: Work out exactly how you will implement the first step. This includes any resources you will need (including time) and how you’ll get them. For instance, if you decide that your first step in a larger fitness plan is to be able to walk a mile in ten minutes, decide not only when and where you’ll do your walking practice but also what you will stop doing in order to free up that time.
5: Commit to your first step and the effort it requires. You can find an online “goals buddy” or put this on your Facebook page, or ask your spouse or partner. Tell them your plan and report to them daily on your progress. You may also find it useful to use Stickk.com for the same purpose.
6: Adjust as necessary. If something isn’t working, don’t give up, just come up with a different strategy. For instance, if you intend to walk every day but then severe weather gets in the way, figure out alternatives: a treadmill at a gym, walking in a mall, etc. Even if it is working, you may think of a better or faster way to do it.
7: Celebrate the achievement of your first step and move on to the second step. Always be alert to new opportunities. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you get stuck--there are so many resources on the web that for almost any circumstance you encounter you will find somebody else who experienced and overcame it and shared their knowledge.
8: When you’ve reached the first goal, repeat from step one.
In case this sounds too theoretical, in the next post I'll share a concrete example in detail.
(You'll find lots of useful help with time management and achieving your goals in my book, FOCUS: use the power of targeted thinking, published by Pearson and available from Amazon and other book sellers.)