Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Follow Your Roadmap
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important
as what you become by achieving your goals"
~~Henry David Thoreau
I was watching "My Cousin Vinnie", which still cracks me up even after seeing it for the umpteenth
time. One scene that sticks in my mind is when the characters' car is stuck in the mud. They try
rocking it and flooring it, but it just sinks deeper. It occurred to me that sometimes life is like
that...we're spinning our wheels and going nowhere. We work so hard and so long on something
and end up feeling frustrated because there is little to show for our efforts.
If this happens to you, I suggest that you think about your plan...you know, the roadmap you're
following to reach your goal. What's that you say? You have no plan? You just know what needs
to be done? No wonder you're frustrated.
Without a plan, it's difficult to accomplish anything. Would you dream of going on a trip without
using a map or keying the destination into your GPS? Of course not! Well, your plan is the
roadmap to your goal. If you don't know where you're going, any road will do. But, "any road"
will probably not take you in the direction of your goal, or at best, it will lead you through
several detours first.
Here are some tips I've found that help me when I'm trying to reach a goal:
1. Write your goal down on paper so it's not swimming around in your head. Putting it in
visual form works wonders. Post it in several places...your house, your car, your desk at the
office. When you can see it, you're more likely to work on it.
2. Make sure your goal is SMART -- Specific. Measurable. Achieveable. Realistic.
Time-bound. For example, I will lose some weight is not a good goal because it isn't
SMART. However, I will lose 10 pounds in 6 months is specific, can be measured so you
know when you've reached it, is certainly achieveable and realistic, and has an end date.
3. There's a saying that you can eat an elephant as long as it's one bite at a time. This applies
to reaching your goal as well. Breaking a goal down into small manageable steps makes
it seem less overwhelming. Go from A to B...not A to Z.
4. List all the steps needed to reach your goal and give each a completion date. Then check each
step off as you complete it. One very important thing to remember here is not to chastise
yourself if you don't complete a step by the assigned completion date. You're not a
machine. You're a person who has things going on in your life. When you're driving, the GPS
will tell you it's "recalculating". It's okay to do your own "recalculating" to get back on track.
5. Find someone you trust who supports you and your plan and will remind you of your goal,
especially during those times when you lose sight of it.
Following these steps will help you move forward in your life. Have you used other strategies to
help you reach something you wanted to accomplish? Please share them in the "comments"
section. I'd love to hear from you.