FROM THE ARCHIVES - Original Post July 19, 2019: We all have goals – big goals, small goals, and everything in between…. but how serious are you about achieving these goals if you don’t have a plan? There’s an old quote “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. This is SO TRUE. You can wish for something to come true all you want, but without an organized and realistic plan, your wishes will stay wishes.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
In my experience, the number one thing that held me back from achieving my goals was feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of them. We’re always told to “DREAM BIG” and that there is no such thing as a goal too big. While these concepts are true, our big dreams can feel daunting to achieve. Some of these goals take YEARS to achieve, and are only achieved by an accumulation of reaching several smaller goals in the meantime. So before I continue, stop and ask yourself – are YOU feeling overwhelmed with your goals? Not sure how to put a plan into action, or even how to create a plan? If that resonates with you, I COMPLETELY understand. I’m here to help you break it down step-by-step!
STEP ONE: Find your purpose
What are you trying to achieve? What is your OVERALL goal? Once you have it – WRITE IT DOWN. Write down when you want to achieve it by. Even write down how you will feel when you’ve achieved it so you can refer back to this later.
STEP TWO: Break it down into smaller, less intimidating goals
This isn’t a step by step plan just yet. All you need to do is write down a few smaller achievements you can do along the way that will keep you motivated and ultimately bring you closer to the BIG goal. For example, say your OVERALL goal is to run a marathon. Your smaller goals could be to run a half marathon, stick to a training plan every day, and find a fun way to cross train. These are smaller goals that you can work on every day, and when added up, you will have come MUCH CLOSER to achieving the BIG goal!
STEP THREE: Do your research and create a plan
Your goal will take planning and preparation. Some goals take research and the plan may be ever evolving. The point is, start somewhere. Start by outlining steps to achieving your SMALLER goals, which will ultimately be the steps to achieving the BIG goal. In the example I used above, I would do my research to select a training plan that fit my experience level and schedule. From there, I would commit to the plan by purchasing it. I would also research places I could cross train (i.e. cycling classes) and purchase a pack of classes. Finally, I would start by focusing on completing a half marathon, which would likely be included in the training plan already. All of these steps bring me closer to my goal. I have the power to change these steps along the way, but this is a STARTING POINT.
STEP FOUR: Now that you have your plan, PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR and put it into action!
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP! You can have all the plans in the world, but until you take ACTION nothing will ever get done. This is where a lot of people fall short. I’ve fallen short here TIME AND TIME again, and the one thing I have found that has kept me accountable is scheduling DAILY ACTIVITIES onto my calendar, just like I would for my full time job.
Here’s how I organize my calendar:
- Block off time for your job and/or school or any other non-negotiable to-do’s.
- Once this is blocked off, look at your OPEN space on the calendar. This is the time you have to work with.
- Start filling it in! In the example above, I would add my daily training runs AND cross training workouts on to the calendar. I would also add in the END GOAL – this is important. Put the dates of both your half marathon and FULL marathon (the small and big goals) onto the calendar so you have your deadline set.
- Set reminders for yourself as notifications to your phone, this way you are reminded when it is time to workout.
Bottom line, if you have your PLAN scheduled on your calendar, you’re more likely to stick to it. Also, this way if something else comes up you can literally MOVE the calendar notice to another time the same day to accommodate. PLUS, you will see that you really DO have time to workout and go for your goals.
I’ve included a screenshot of my calendar below so that you are able to see a working example. I have everything laid out and color coded so that if something comes up I am easily able to shift my day around! I add EVERYTHING to my calendar as it comes up – grocery shopping, meal planning, etc. so that I stay accountable.
Think this could work for you? Take an hour or two to plan your calendar out from now until your END GOAL deadline so that you are taking SMALL STEPS every day toward both your smaller and bigger goals. Breaking down your BIG UNCOMFORTABLE goals will help you get there faster all while feeling successful and less stressed along the way.
Questions? Comments? Want to learn more? Leave a message below, and happy goal setting!