Expert action steps to make real progress on your goals and resolutions– any time of the year!
It’s that time of year again. Some of you may have already begun your New Year’s Resolutions for 2013, or may still be reflecting on what you have achieved in 2012. Below, time management coach, Elizabeth Grace Saunders, shares tips for making real progress on your goals– any time of the year.
How to See Real Progress
The key to accomplishing anything from finishing a project to going on a trip to climbing a mountain is consistent action in the direction of a goal:
1. Write down what you want to accomplish in a place where you will see it every day. (For instance at the top of my calendar, I have a list of the next places I want to travel. You can also put your goals on your to do list, tape them to your cabinet door, put them up as a screen saver. Whatever works for you.)
2. List out the next steps. For instance, if you’re planning a trip, write down these types of activities:
- Look at calendar for potential dates
- Call friends and/or family to see if these times work for them
- Check out flight prices & set an alert to let you know when costs drop
- Think through lodging/transportation options
- Look up the prices online
- Check if you can use rewards points
- Browse the Web or go to the library or bookstore for ideas on activities
- If traveling abroad, check on necessary paperwork/immunizations and start to schedule appointments
- Buy travel insurance
- Decide if you need to make any purchases & make a shopping list
- Put up out of office messages
- Etc., etc., etc.
3. Make note of anything with a very specific deadline or that needs to be done a certain amount of time in advance (like one month). Look over your calendar and set aside specific days when you will have a reminder to complete these activities on time.
4. Start telling people about what you’re doing so you have some positive peer pressure to keep moving forward (or get a coach to keep you accountable–in an encouraging way ;o)
5. Set aside a certain time each week when you will move forward on less time sensitive activities that need to be completed to move toward your goal. For instance, one hour on Saturday mornings. When you get to that time, spend that hour working on whatever is next. (It’s OK if you don’t finish a whole action item, you just need to be making consistent progress.)
6. CELEBRATE your progress! Give yourself some type of reward for moving forward such as a stop at your favorite ice cream place, a call with a friend, or buying a new book. (Whatever you find motivating!)
7. Watch as you accomplish your goal. It’s amazing how consistent action leads to results. Think of the little bulbs that put down roots and put up stalks and burst into flower. Seemingly “overnight” results come from consistent effort.
To stop feeling frustrated: get clear on what you want, plant seeds, cultivate them, and watch them grow!
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished through an exclusive Schedule Makeover™ process. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through custom training programs.
McGraw Hill is publishing Elizabeth’s first book in January: The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success With Less Stress.
Elizabeth has appeared in Inc magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes and on NBC and is a monthly contributor to the99Percent.com blog on productivity for creative professionals. She was selected as one of the Top 25 Amazing Women of 2010 by Stiletto Woman and as a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council featured inThe New York Times, The Huffington Post, Mashable, and many other media outlets.
Elizabeth’s time coaching clients have the opportunity to go through her exclusive Schedule Makeover™ life transformation process through phone coaching and custom action guides or in-person training.