VD66: 3 Clever Ways to plan and reach your goals

The start of the new year is the perfect time to plan the months ahead to help materialize your goals. But how can you realistically accomplish these goals and dreams? Too often, we abandon them before we even start because we feel overwhelmed and don’t have specific deadlines. I personally have struggled in the past with wanting to accomplish too much in very little time. I have learned these last few years to be more realistic and try to accomplish one major task per month. Focusing on just one task at a time, enables you to be more efficient and get it done. Throughout the years, I have developed a process which has worked wonders for me. In this very first episode of #LoveMondays, I am going to share 3 Clever Ways to Plan and Reach your Goals.

1) SET A DEADLINE FOR EACH OF YOUR GOALS

Go through your “to do list” and decide how you can best prioritize it. Be strategic by focusing first on the more demanding tasks. For example, when I first decided to write my book, I had to put my blog on hold for a month, while I wrote my first draft. Because, it was the first time I was attempting to write a book, this task needed my full attention. I had given myself 30 days to finish my first draft. I also set a daily goal, of writing 5,000 words per day. I was consistent and made it a priority to write daily in order to achieve my self-imposed deadline. Setting a specific deadline for each of my goals has made all the difference. At the beginning of each year and each month, I prioritize and assign deadlines to each of my goals. Even if I have to re-adjust my deadlines,  this simple exercise helps me stay accountable and make whichever tweaks needed to finish my tasks at end.

2) BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR DEADLINES

It can be very easy to feel overzealous and set unrealistic deadlines. I have been guilty of following on multiple occasions. It is important to assess how many hours it will take to reach your goals. How often can you commit to working on this goal? Can you work on it daily or weekly? We can easily be fooled to think we’ll get through a simple task in just a week, when in truth it might take double the time to finish. Give yourself extra time when you are taking on a fresh task. It will take time for you to create efficiencies and be faster at it.  For instance, when I first started my Youtube channel, it took me an average of 8 + hours to write, shoot, and edit each of my videos. I was still developing my style and experimenting. These days, I can bang a video out in just a few hours. When setting your deadlines, I suggest you simply google to find out how long it’s taken other individuals to get through it. The following will provide you with a benchmark and help you assess the difficulty of the task at hand.

3) HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE

Many studies confirm that holding yourself accountable will increase your chances of accomplishing your goal. You never want to disappoint your friends when training for a marathon, for example. There are a few apps out there, which let you publicize your goal to help motivate you to keep going. These two apps include:

Coach.me: This app begins with the premise that goals are most easily achieved when we’re being held accountable by others. Using crowdsourced encouragement, Coach.me allows you to choose your goals and then select the type of coaching you require: advice, motivation, and/or prompting from the community. You can hire a coach, get encouragement from other users and set up reminders to do tasks.
Stickk.com: This app, developed by a Yale University economist, will cost you real money if you fail to reach your goal. A commitment contract binds you to a goal. Set your goal and the time frame you want to achieve it in, then state how much money you want to put on the line and where you want that money to go should you fail to reach your goal.

Finally, don’t forget to track your progress – and commit to ONE GOAL at a TIME. Trust me – it will make all the difference.

Have any questions? Leave your comments on my YouTube video so we can share more tips to achieve our goals this 2016.

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