Do you ever find it a challenge to stay on track in your life or your business? At some point, most of us get off track, and it is easy for this to happen as we have many responsibilities to balance and execute.
Here are a few ideas and a process to help us stay on track and focused in those areas of life we consider most important.
Decide on a Vision
This is the most important and the first step we can take. If we do not have a vision for our family, our work, or service to the community, then how will we know we are on track? We have nothing to measure ourselves against. We need to stay on track toward our goal, and the vision becomes our guiding light in keeping us focused.
Choose the Areas of Life Most Important to Us
Once we have decided on our vision then we need to choose what areas of our life are most important to us. This could be family, work, community, spiritual, physical, financial or other. We choose what areas are important that line up with our vision, which gives us the framework to build our lives upon.
After choosing the most important areas, we need to decide what we want to accomplish in each area of our lives. This is important because we will have a yardstick to measure our progress against over time. When setting goals we want to make them SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
- Specific – This is a clear and unambiguous goal not a general platitude.
- Measurable – The goal is quantitative and I know when it is accomplished.
- Achievable – The goal is realistic and attainable even if it is a stretch to make it happen.
- Relevant – Choose goals that matter in the areas of life important to us.
- Time-bound – Place a deadline in the goal so we know how much time we have to achieve it. Also, deadlines create a positive tension that makes us stay focused and work hard toward our goals.
Create a Plan
After setting goals, write down the steps it will take to achieve each goal. This will keep us focused on doing the next right thing to move us in the direction of our goals. There are many templates on the web to help you do this, and I will also cover this in an upcoming blog post.
This has been covered in previous posts. The idea is to take an hour or two each week to helicopter above the forest, review what happened last week, and prepare for the coming week. This is probably the #1 most productive activity we can perform each week to help us stay on track toward our vision and goals.
We need to find a group or person, whom we can meet with regularly, probably monthly, to discuss our progress. This person will have our permission to ask us the tough questions, provide encouragement, and be a sounding board for how we can make more progress in the next month.
What process do you use to stay on track to achieve your vision and goals? What ideas do you have that could be shared with others to help them continue making forward progress?