It’s been a month. The newness of the year has washed over you. You’re probably feeling like you’ve still got plenty of time to achieve your goals. But, you don’t. Not really. In fact, developing a sense of urgency at this juncture is critical.
If you’ve started to procrastinate, listen up. It means you’ve gotten comfortable with the possibility of taking action later. While it takes away the immediate pressure to perform, it’s a surefire way to move you further away from results. Time, while often thought of as merely a resource, is also a priority. It’s up to you to help shape its parameters and preference in your life.
If you’re serious about achieving goals this year, you’re going to have to escalate your accountability.
1. Decide what the goal is and isn’t. Do you have a clear understanding of your goal, meaning the exact outcome that you’d like to achieve? If so, bookmark it and move on. If not, don’t waste time dabbling in obscurity. Immediately get clear on the precise result you want to achieve. You can make goal setting unnecessarily complex or even burdensome by failing to master this critical step. Avoid getting sidetracked by a hodgepodge of random ideas, strategies, and vagaries. For example, instead of merely saying that “I want to lose weight,” consider exactly how much. Pinpointing this variable is the linchpin to your success. Remember that having clarity around your outcome will help you to move forward with your how.
2. Schedule progress. Once you’ve set a goal, the natural expectation is that you will achieve it. However, no results becomes real until you schedule it and plug in the strategies that lead to success. What does that mean? Give your goal a deadline and then work backwards by determining which steps will inspire progress. Write those strategies (behaviors) down and make sure that you are performing them consistently. Doing something on a regular basis will provide you with valuable feedback and lead to a specific result (positive or negative). Remember, when you schedule progress, the likelihood of your goal becoming a reality increases dramatically.
3. Tweak your strategy. Choosing to achieve a goal means you must also pay close attention to the results you are getting. So, get ready to ask yourself some key questions. Are you moving closer or further away from your desired result? Are the strategies you’ve employed working? Do you feel motivated to execute them? Understand that if you are not making progress, you’ll likely need to tweak your strategy. So, don’t be afraid to switch things up or completely stop doing something that isn’t working. Being flexible will open up a universe of possibilities and may even help you to achieve your goals faster and more effectively. Also remain open to receiving expert advice from others (who may know more and better)and who may help you to cut your learning curve in half and escalate your results.
Have you gotten a little too comfortable with the possibility of taking action later? If so, take back the reigns. Escalate your accountability by setting clearly defined goals, scheduling measurable progress, and tweaking your strategy to optimize your results.
To your success!
Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. is founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport, an international consulting firm specializing in professional development. Follow her on Twitter: @wsrapport or visit her website, www.wordsmithrapport.com.