Can you believe is almost May? You may be thinking about making summer vacation plans, or getting your documents together for your tax extension. But here's another thing to think about: We are about to start the 5th month of the year and there are only 7 months left.
If you're like most of us, you started the year with both professional and personal goals. So it's time to ask: How are you progressing toward those goals? And how will you make some or all of them a reality by December 31st?
Here's a strategy that can help: Divide by 9. That advice comes from best-selling author and executive coach Wendy Capland. Here's her advice for making this approach work for you:
Start From Your Overall Goal.
For example, Capland has a client who was until recently a highly paid executive but has just set out as a solopreneur. That client's goal is to earn $200,000 in 2018 and she believes the products and services she has to offer can get her there.
An obvious conclusion might be that she needs to earn about $22,000 a month to make that happen. Since she's starting out, another way to look at it might be that she needs to set herself up to start earning and have those earnings increase month by month to arrive at a total $200k by year's end. Either way, the immediate challenge is the same--she needs to get on the phone, reconnect with old contacts, head to networking events, perhaps begin publishing a blog or raising her social media profile--all the things that will help her market her services and reach her goals. The point is to break down that challenge into individual actions that she can take today, or in the next week, or in the next month, to get to that overall goal.
Make appointments with yourself.
Using your calendar is key to this strategy. Before the beginning of the month, Capland says, sit down with your calendar and create appointments for yourself to take the steps you'll need to reach your goals. "Put those items on your calendar like meetings," Capland advises.
For instance, if you have a new client goal and plan to achieve that goal by getting a new website, or starting a new SEO marketing campaign, write those goals in your calendar. If something happens to prevent you from keeping one of those goals, then you have to reschedule it to a different time--you can't just cancel it. This works for phone calls, or for taking a half hour to sit down and write a blog post. Whatever you need to do, put it in your calendar. This is a powerful message to your unconscious mind that you intend to keep that commitment.
Review and adjust as needed
At the end of each week, sit down with your calendar and fill in your appointments for the next week. But before you do, review the tasks and appointments from the previous week. This is when you make tweaks as necessary, Capland says.
This is also the time to review your results and see if the steps you're taking look like they'll lead you to achieving your goals in the next three quarters of 2018. If not, can you change your plans to accelerate your progress?
Celebrate your accomplishments along the way.
Don't forget to congratulate yourself every time you reach a milestone toward one of your goals. This can help energize you and reinforce your commitment, and it's an important thing to do in case something unexpected interrupts your forward motion.
What about you? What goals do you have for 2018? If you sit down with your May calendar right now, you can lay out a program that will help you reach those goals by year's end. Can DS&P help you reach your goals?
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