When you make progress towards goals it is an amazing feeling. When you don’t make any progress though its a horrible feeling!
Today I would like to explain exactly how to make sure you make progress towards your goals…. (so everyone feels good 😛 )
As a qualified life coach and counsellor this is the process I work through myself and with any clients. I do suggest you follow it closely to help you make clear progress towards your own goals.
You may like to also read My Personal Plan for an example of how I write my own plan.
What are Your Goals?
The first step in the process is to identify your goals. Believe it or not its not always the case that your goals are clear. You might have a goal to work from home for example, but what does that mean? Do you want to be employed by a company who allows you to work from home sometimes? Or do you want to run your own business? If you want to run your own business what exactly would you like that business to do?
The clearer you can make your goal the more likely you are to achieve it! So it is important not to have goals that are vague statements like I want to work from home. Dig down as deep as you can for each goal you set by asking yourself “What does that mean?”
A great example is when someone has the goal to make more money. What does that mean?
More than I make now…. What does that mean?
I make £800 per month so anything over that. What does that mean? Would you be happy to make £801 per month?
Well I would like to make £1000 per month really. What does that mean?
It means I want to make £1000 per month!
Eventually you will get to the point where you can’t go any further. Only when you get to that point should you set the answer as your goal.
Do that now with your own goal and write it down.
Working on Goals
You will certainly never make any progress towards your goals if you do not work on them. Lots of people have goals in their head and they just don’t do anything about it. I know its not always easy to know how to start. Usually I would ask any client in this situation a simple question: By giving yourself a score between 1-10 (with 10 being the highest) how much do you actually want to achieve the goal of _____ (earning £1000 per month from example above).
You can do this for yourself of course – do it now. What score do you give yourself out of 10 for your goal? Write that down too.
What to Do?
Now you have a clear goal and a score out of 10 for your motivation levels lets look at the what to do part. That involves more questions 😉
What are you willing to do to achieve your goal?
What are you NOT willing to do to achieve your goal?
With each answer ask yourself “What does that mean?” Dig down again until you are clear. Example answers might be:
I am willing to spend 3 hours each week learning how to write a blog. What does that mean?
Those 3 hours will be 1 hour on Monday, 1 on Wednesday and 1 on Friday. I will spend that hour doing research on the internet.
I am NOT willing to spend more than £50 to learn.
Using your own goals what are your answers to these questions? Write them down too. You now should have a clear idea of your goals, your motivation levels and what you are willing to do to achieve them.
Now you know what you are willing to do you must take action. Your action plan is to take what you are willing to do to achieve your goal and do it.
Track Your Progress
To make sure you do make progress towards goals you need to track it somehow. That could be writing in a dairy, or an update sheet etc. To track your progress effectively you need to take note of the date, the action taken and the outcome.
An example would be:
20/10/2017 – Today I did some research into writing a blog. The outcome was I learned I need to think of a name for my blog before I start. The name I would like is ________
23/10/2017 – Today I spent another hour researching how to write a blog. The outcome was I learned I need to decide where I want to have my blog. I decided to self host with ______
Review Your Progress
By looking at your tracker you will be able to see how much progress you are making. You will also be able to see if you are not making progress at all.
If you are not making progress you need to consider why that is. Perhaps you only spent 10 mins doing research 1 day instead of the 1 hour for 3 days. Perhaps you got too much information and you are feeling overwhelmed… There are many reasons for not making progress, but once you know what they are you can do something about that. During the review process you should ask yourself a few more questions:
Have I achieved what I wanted to/met my goal? If yes create a new one, if no ask the following:
Am I moving towards my goal? If not why not? How can I overcome this?
Is there something I can do to make more progress? If yes add this to your plan.
Do I need to clarify my goal? If yes change your goal to make it clearer.
Are there any resources I need to help me meet my goal? If yes what are they? How can you get them? If you need resources then change your goal to how to get them.
Do I really want to work on this goal? If not what do I actually want to work on?
Create New Goal
Once you have reviewed your progress you will know if it is time to create a new goal. Sometimes that is because you have met the earlier goal, and sometimes it is because you realise you don’t want to work on the one you chose anymore. Alternatively you may have realised you need to do something else first.
When it is time to create a new goal go back to the start of this process again.
By following this whole process of goal setting, checking motivation levels, clarifying, tracking and review you will move forward. Only if you stop will you not make any progress. This is a constant process that you should follow if you do actually want to make progress.
It is easy to fall off the wagon and forget your goals or get sidetracked, however as long as you go back to your goal tracker when you realise you have stopped making progress you will be able to get back on track once again. If you have followed this blog for a while you will know I have done exactly that several times 😉
If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others. Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!