Every year at this time, everyone is talking about resolutions and goal making. While those two activities may have merit, by themselves they are largely ineffective and a waste of your time, energy and focus. Instead by following the surefire, smart (and simple) steps here you are guaranteeing the realization of step one in the process, YOUR BIG DREAM. You see it is much simpler to start with the end in mind and work backwards, so to speak, to achieve what you most want. Scrambling forward in a haphazard manner, largely winging it, is a recipe for frustration, overwhelm, and burn out.
I dare you to try the formula here, it is how I and my clients “prosper by design.” Because when you operate by default without a comprehensive plan, real details, and a well thought out timetable and schedule, you will most assuredly default on your BIG DREAM. By discovering the many bite-size pieces of your BIG DREAM, you can tackle each piece in order of greatest effectiveness and make measurable and meaningful progress step by step until you reach your BIG DREAM (and create your next BIG DREAM.) Here are the 7 Surefire Steps to Make This Your Best Year Ever.Post It Productivity, NOT!
#1 Dream Big
Before you make any resolutions (which too fast become dissolutions), STOP. Let your imagination wander. Daydream. Fantasize about the most incredible year possible (anything is possible). What does it look like? Feel like? Smell like? Taste like? Sound like? Get descriptive, go deep, give it rich detail, paint a vivid picture with your words. Do this all long hand, not on your keyboard, laptop, or iPad.
#2 Establish Quarterly Milestones
Once you’ve got your BIG DREAMS down on paper, it’s time to take a look at how you can break them down into quarterly chunks of accomplishment. You know the old adage, “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Well your BIG DREAMS are often the size of elephants (or bigger) and they remain out of reach and out of sight until you break them down into smaller chunks. Bite-sized is what we are going for here as you can see by getting down to the moment by moment.
#3 Create Monthly Goals
Now that you’ve got your quarterly milestones nailed down, it’s time to go a step further and divide these into monthly goals. That BIG DREAM should be starting to come into view right about now. As you break it down into smaller pieces and see how the pieces fit together in your year long timetable, you can see, much more easily, how it all fits together and comes together.
#4 Design Weekly Achievements
Got your monthly milestones? Great, then it’s time to design your weekly achievements. This is the point at which most people give up. They stop breaking the BIG DREAM down and instead leave it in pieces just large enough to cause indigestion and stall out. Think of this like a pie eating contest, and your dream is to eat the whole pie, but in order to do that you have to take tiny bites consistently and persistently because if you wolf it down, you will get heartburn, indigestion and may even choke on it. UGH. This is designed to keep you out of UGH and keep you in AHA!
#5 Set Daily Targets
Okay, you’ve got your weekly achievements designed (and maybe even in a blueprint format.) You have a layered plan in front of you that is focused and achievable, don’t stop here. Time to get down to the nitty gritty and set daily targets. This will prevent you from sliding wildly off schedule. If you miss one day’s target you know that you have to make it up in the next day or your entire plan is at risk of falling short of it’s targeted completion; your BIG DREAM is at risk of failure to achieve it.
#6 Find Your Productive Hours
Now, productive hours can be a bit tricky as everyone is different. I’m one of those potentially annoying Early Birds who’s best work is done 5am until 10am, noon if I’m pushing it. I fade fast in the afternoon and am largely brain dead once it gets past dark. You may be a lot like me or one of those amazing Night Owl (like my web developer) who can’t put a complete sentence together until noon and your best work is done between 10pm. and 3am. I admire you, I don’t resemble you. Find out what works best for you and honor it as much as possible. Fighting your own natural rhythms will slow down your progress and create tension and frustration.
#7 Boost Your Productivity Minute by Minute
Invest some time at the front end to find the best tools (yes, I do share these regularly!) Keep a list at hand of the tasks you do that are repetitive and could be delegated (I hear you saying you can’t afford to, but until you know how much someone will charge, you don’t know that! And with resources like www.fiverr.com where everything is $5, there are more options than you realize.) Your efforts moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month, quarter by quarter, must be focused on profit generation work that only you can do. Spinning your wheels in endless small tasks that someone else can do or that you can automate will rob you of productivity at your core level. You’ll wind up stressed out, stretched thin, and wiped out. Your core work when done well and right will energize you, excite you and make you want to do more of it. (YES, IT REALLY WILL!)
So, are you going to do this? Or are you going to make this year look a lot like last year and the year before that and the year before that. C’mon now. Take a day for yourself or a weekend and give yourself a chance to DREAM IT. Then break that AMAZING BIG DREAM into bite-size pieces and watch how it all comes together.
Please COMMENT BELOW on which pieces of this you do or have done, what works best for you and any other comment you want to make. I am always listening.