We are in the last month of the first quarter of 2014. How are your resolutions or plans for the year working out so far? Are you on track…ahead of schedule…or behind already? For me it is a little of both depending on exactly which goal for the year I consider. I feel certain that I am not alone in meeting some of my goals thus far and completely failing on others.
In seeking a solution to this dilemma I came across what appears to be a very simplistic plan to remain focused on goals and the multitude of tasks involved in achieving them. It was described by a writer as something his father would often say to him as he grew up. His advice: “Work on each goal daily and just do what’s next.” This sentence initially seemed to be deserving of an emphatic “duh”! But the more I read and considered the points made by the writer, the more powerful the words became.
The writer pointed out that the first key to successfully accomplishing your goals is to have a plan that is broken down into steps and milestones—not dates per se, but rather, stages of accomplishment. No goal will ever be met that is not first identified, quantified and mapped out. Only with this as a starting point do you have a real goal with a chance of being realized.
Once a number of real goals are established then the admonition, “just do what’s next” takes on new meaning. Many of us struggle with deciding on which goal to focus on at a particular time. We find some goals much easier to follow-through on than others which require significant work or force us to do things we find uncomfortable. But by committing to “work on each goal daily,” you force yourself to see the next necessary step in the process. Then by committing to “doing what’s next,” (without deviation) you will be locking in positive progress, and building momentum toward the attainment of your goal.
This father’s simple, relentless admonition can quickly pay dividends. Get busy and refine or make new plans for attaining your goals. Break down your goals into steps and create a task list for each. You will see your goals every day and will see the progress you are making towards them. As the year unfolds, this approach may just yield the results you desire.