Confidence is great. Enthusiasm is amazing. Determination is key. But how do you make real progress in life? How do you get from point A to point B even if you are confident, enthusiastic and determined? How do you get to that end result?
I honestly believe that mindset is the ultimate key to success. We are often so caught up in our own negative thought patterns, fears and insecurities, that we sabotage our progress.
But even with the right mindset, you still have to do one thing: Take Action.
In other words, you have to make things happen … get things done. Your goals are not going to achieve themselves.
So today I write to you with my top tips to make real progress in life. This is how you get stuff done.
This post is part of my new series…FROM SURVIVE TO THRIVE where we are going to build up the mindset to CRUSH our goals and go after our WILDEST dreams by building a plan and getting started NOW.
Make Real Progress by Becoming a Planner
I could be wrong when I say this, but I believe that you have to be a planner to achieve balance and success. I do not think that it is possible to reach your goals or change your life if you don’t embrace the importance of planning.
There is something magical about the word ‘spontaneous’ that appeals to a lot of people. The word sounds fun and energetic … perhaps even sexy and adventurous. But try not to get too caught up in it. While there is a time for spontaneity, it shouldn’t show up in your daily life. Spontaneous people end up half-way across the world without a pair of shoes and no way home. Planners, on the other hand, make things happen.
(But I assure you – planners also have more fun in the long run because they are able to relax and let go of anxiety … because they have a plan).
Why is planning so important?
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakin
“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” – Confucius
Proper planning will allow you to make real progress. Proper planning will enable you to reach your goals and fulfill your vision.
But soooooooooooo many people fail to plan their lives.
In fact, most people spend more time planning their vacations and weddings than they do planning their life. Scary, right? But why did you spend months planning your wedding? Why do you plan out your travel and vacation activities? You plan because you want to get a certain result. You want to have an elegant wedding, and you want to have a fun filled vacation. So you plan.
So why wouldn’t you apply that same methodology to your life? A wedding would be a disaster without a plan. So will your life.
If you are serious about achieving your goals and dreams, you have to become a person who makes things happen.
Reasons Why You Should Start Planning
I’m trying to sell you on the fact that you need a plan to get what you want out of life. But I realize that you might not yet be sold. So keep reading.
- A planned life has direction. You need to know where you are going and how you are going to get there. No plan = No Focus. No Focus = No Result
- A plan puts your dreams within your reach. Have you ever felt as though your dreams were way out of your grasp? If so, it was probably because you didn’t have them planned.
- A plan gives you peace, purpose, and passion. Just knowing that you have a plan with detailed steps to progress you towards your goals gives you inner peace. When you plan, you live life intentionally and with purpose. You no longer simply exist. And when you begin making progress towards a goal, your life becomes more exciting and passionate.
- A plan gives you control. Do you want to leave your life up to chance or let others control it for you? If you want to get what you want out of life, you have to take control.
- A planned life puts that powerful subconscious mind to work for you. If you plant a vision in your subconscious mind, that brain of yours goes to work to create opportunities for you to succeed in your plan.
Using Planning to Make Real Progress
I know it is easy for me to sit here and rattle off reasons for you to start planning, but I also want to show you how. If you’ve been following along in my blog series, you’ll already know that I’ve been building up to the “planning” part.
I left it until the end because you really need to have the right mindsets and habits in place before you’ll truly commit to planning your life out.
I’m going to say it one more time. If you want to make real progress, you have to plan.
I know you might not want to hear that … because planning doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.
**But it isn’t my job to go easy on you or tell you what you want to hear**
My job is to make you successful. My job is to help you build the improved you – the you who will change your life.
So yes – you have to plan. And you have to do it from now on.
But I do have good news for you. It doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to take a bunch of time. I spend 5-10 minutes a day planning. That’s it.
And studies show that you gain back (on average) 10x your investment when you plan. So if you plan for 5 minutes a day, you can gain back 50 minutes. If you plan 10 minutes, you can gain almost 2 hours a day.
But I want to specifically focus on planning your goals because that is what this whole series has been about.
The Rule of Three
Have you downloaded your planning workbook yet? It does a lot more than help you plan. It helps you set priorities and drill them down through your goals all the way to your daily agenda.
The idea is simple.
- Choose 3 Major Goals or achievements to work towards each quarter
- Identify 3 Monthly Targets to hit each month that directly support your quarterly goals. Achieving all of your monthly targets should enable you to hit your quarterly goals.
- Set 3 weekly targets to hit each week. When you hit all of your weekly targets for the month, you should hit your monthly goals.
- Set 3 Daily Tasks that support your weekly targets.
Does that make sense?
Let’s go through an example.
Let’s say one of my three quarterly goals is to run a 10k race on June 30 without walking (also let’s assume I am just starting out as a runner but I’m in generally good shape).
Monthly Goals could be:
April: Run 2 miles without stopping
May: Run 4 miles without stopping
June: Run 10k without stopping (notice how my final monthly goal aligns with the quarterly goal)
Weekly Goals for April could be:
Week 1: Run .5 miles without stopping
Week 2: Run 1 mile without stopping
Week 3: Run 1.5 miles without stopping
Week 4: Run 2 miles without stopping (notice how my last week of the month aligns with my monthly target)
Daily Tasks for the first week could be:
Day 1: Run .5 miles in four increments
Day 2: Stretch for 15 min
Day 3: Run .5 miles in three increments
Day 4: Yoga for 30 minutes
Day 5: Run .5 miles in two increments
Day 6: Stretch for 15 min
Day 7: Run .5 miles in one increment (notice how my last daily task aligns with my weekly target)
Make sense? This approach can be used for any goal you set. Sometimes you may choose to map out the entire goal from start to finish (I like to do this once a quarter when I set my goals). Other times that can be overwhelming. You can choose to plan only your quarterly and monthly targets in the beginning and then plan your weeks one week at a time.
Some days your daily task may be as small as sending an email or doing a quick Google search. Other days, you may spend most of the day working on your daily task.
The size of the task isn’t what is important. What is important is that each day you are make real progress towards your goals.
You don’t lose the momentum.
How can you use the Rule of 3 to help you achieve your goals this year? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES
The From Survive to Thrive Series is all about changing your mindset and taking decisive action. We are going to start putting a plan in place to take your dreams out of your head and make them a reality. As you know, planning is a critical piece of the puzzle. Be sure to download your worksheet because we are going to talk about it each week throughout the series.
I’ll be updating this post with links to the other posts in the series as I write them, so you may want to save or pin this post if you plan to follow along. You can also subscribe to email updates so you don’t miss anything.
Post 1: The Fine Art of Failure
Post 2: Developing a Growth Mindset
Post 3: How to Achieve your Dreams
Post 7: How to Make Real Progress in Life
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