A lot of what I do, as a business coach revolves around helping clients not only set their goals but also achieve those goals. So I thought it might be a good idea to touch on this topic.
And it really is much easier than you think!
Step 1 – Set the right goals
Firstly, when it comes to goals, I think it’s really important to set a goal that means something to you. It has to be important to you. Randomly setting goals that you think other people are expecting of you, or around something you have seen other people do, might not be a worthy goal. You need to really think and set goals that are going to be important to you, to your business and to your way forward. Is it going to make a really big impact on you and your business?
So really think about it and set the right goals for you and your business. This is the first step in achieving your goals.
Step 2 – Set milestones
The second step is to set milestones or break your goal into little parts or little categories. For example, a very short-term goal that I’ve worked on this week is a white paper that I am writing. So the goal here is to write this white paper, it is really important to me to do it, as it will be a valuable resource to my audience. And therefore this is a very valid goal for me. (Step 1 done – tick)
Then I broke the goal into milestones. And it looked like this:
- I had to do some research with regards to templates for white papers (what should it look like? What should the layout be? I had to look at other white papers that have been published.)
- Then I had to write an outline as to what this white paper will consist of
- Next, the writing needed to start. So the next milestone is to write the “Abstract” part.
- Write the “introduction” part
- Write the “background” part (this is the meaty bit, covering all the research conducted)
- Write the conclusion
- Edit white paper
- Finally, send white paper to my designer.
So you’ll see that I managed to break my goal into eight milestones (or large parts). This means I have a clearer idea of what actually needs to be done. Which brings us to the next step:
Step 3 – Determine actual tasks
Your next step is to break those milestones into actual tasks. Just to be clear here: a task is a one actual action. So, going back to my earlier example, “researching white paper templates” is not a task. That’s a milestone. It’s a mini project that forms part of a bigger project. It is not one actual task that can be added to my Will-Do list. So I needed to break those milestones into smaller tasks. These looked like this (for the first milestone):
- Look at templates in MS Word to see what is available
- Search Google to see what other white papers have been published in this field and see what they look like
- Visit government websites to look at their white papers and look at the layout
- Create my own template based on previous tasks
So these are different tasks that form part of a milestone, which forms part of the ultimate goal.
Step 4 – Schedule it
And then the next step is to schedule it. And this is the most important part of achieving your goals. What’s not scheduled will not happen. I cannot say that enough. Schedule your goals to fruition.
So now you have all these little tasks that you have to do. And if you do all those tasks, you’re going to reach your milestone. And if you achieve all your milestones, you are going to achieve your goal. It’s really as simple as that.
What I did for this goal (as with all other goals) is I took my planner for the week, and I scheduled all those tasks in. So on Monday, for instance, I did all the research. On Tuesday, I created the outline of the white paper. Wednesday, I did a little bit of writing on the abstract. On Thursday I wrote the introduction and part of the background. Friday saw the completion of the background section. For the next Monday, I have scheduled the writing of the conclusion and editing the white paper. This means I can send it to my designer by Tuesday. Job done. Goal achieved!
Step 5 – Action it
And that it what I believe you need to do to achieve your goal: Set a goal, break it into milestones, break it into tasks, schedule it and lastly: Action it. That’s all you really need to do. Achieving your goals is not like a major dark art or something that’s really, really difficult to do.
Whatever your goals may be, be realistic. I could have been unrealistic and said I’m going to do all of the work in my example, on Monday and finished by Tuesday. That was not realistic because I had other things to do as well. So be realistic and schedule it into your planner realistically so that you can actually take those actions on those days.
Now go out there and achieve your goals.