Dreaming big? So big that your dreams or goals are overwhelming you? Not sure where to start? I am going to teach you how to smash your goals… into manageable pieces so that you can start making progress today.
First, let me fill you in on a little secret. I haven’t always been good at achieving my goals. I have had a lot of failures, flops, and frustrations. What changed? I stopped looking at goals as set in stone and as something to tackle once a year. I started breaking them down on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis.
I discovered that when I make small amounts of consistent practice I achieve my goals without getting sidetracked, losing interest, or doing things that don’t actually lead to progress on the goal.
I am going to walk you through the process of breaking down your goal step by step. We will pretend your goal is to write a book but you can apply this method to any goal.
Step One: Write down the goal.
Your goal needs to be:
- Have a deadline for completion
Ex. I will write a 50,000-word book in 4 months and finish it on _________________.
Did you know that just by writing your goal down you have already set yourself up for success? Most people don’t take the time to do this step.
Step Two: Figure out your WHY.
Don’t skip this step. Figuring out why this is important to you will not only keep you focused but it will give you something to look back on when you start to lose interest or the goal seems difficult. Be honest about your why and don’t feel guilty about it or think that you need to justify it to anyone. This is personal and important
EX: I want to be a published author. This book has a message that someone needs. I want to tell a story that people can get lost in. I want to make X amount of money. I need to get this story out of my head.
Step 3: Braindump what you know
Write everything down that you need to do get this book written or goal achieved. Start simple but keep going until you have emptied your brain of knowledge. What do you need to learn? Add those topics to your list.
Step Four: Make a List
Compile all of the information from your braindump into a logical step by step list of the things that you need to achieve your goal.
Step Five: Break It Down
This is the step where the smashing happens. You want to break your goal into pieces using the list you created in Step Five. Each thing you need to do becomes its own mini goal. This is will keep you from getting overwhelmed by the length of your list.
Let’s go back to our example goal to see how this might look.
- GOAL: Write 50,000 words by _________
- I need to write __________ words every month
- I need to write _________ Words each week
- I have ___________ amount of hours each week to write. I need to write _________ amount of words _______________ days a week to finish.
- You can also break into scenes or chapters if that work better for you. Now let get even smaller.
- Say you have 3 hours 3 days a week to write. You know you need to write ______ words each day.
- You need to write ______ Words per hour.
Before we move to the next step you need to evaluate your plan. Is this reasonable? Can you write this many words per hour? If not, You may need to change the date of your goal or find more time to write by elimination other things from your day. If your goal isn’t reasonable you will fall behind and lose focus.
Step 6: Schedule It
Doing all the work of 1-5 is important but if you don’t schedule the work you are less likely to get it done. I admit I am the type of person who enjoys winging things. Something it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The only way to make consistent progress toward a goal is to set a time and do it.
Step 7: Do It.
Do the work. Do it when scheduled. I recommend finding an accountability partner or group to share your goals with because it is hard to hold yourself accountable.
Step 8: Evaluate & Adjust
Even with a detailed plan, the reality of life is that it doesn’t always go as planned. There will be interruptions, setbacks, and changes that have the potential to keep you from achieving a goal. The key is to regularly evaluate your goals, deadlines, and action steps. Look at both the successes and the failures, what worked, and what did not. Change your actions steps, your timeline, and your goals as needed.
Step 9: Enjoy & Celebrate
It is always easier for me to see my failures than my successes. That can be detrimental to achieving goals. It is so important to take time to enjoy the process, make note of your successes, big and small and really focus on seeing progress and growth. Struggle leads to progress and celebrating that progress is deserved.