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When it comes to our day jobs it seems like we can deliver any report, PowerPoint or insert random solution here on time and high quality....
BUT when it comes to our goals in life (money, side hustle, weight loss, etc.) we will sometimes let our goals fall flat and due dates come and go without moving one step in the right direction?
Maybe it's because at work we have a team that's depending on us.
Or there's a project manager setting clear due dates and check points.
Or you really, really, REALLY want that promotion - so you know you have no choice but to get this work done.
Creating a life you want through earning more money, creating a thriving side hustle, becoming healthier or spending more time with family and friends is like giving your entire life a promotion. You know you can benefit from them in the same way... so it's time to start taking them just as seriously as you do your day job.
Here's the deal, you can give yourself a good ol' life promotion using the same project management tactics you do at your 9-to-5.
Here are the steps I use to totally crush every goal I set (and I stole them right from my project manager - she's a certified goal-crushing boss) ...
Side note:This strategy will not turn you into a goal-focused robot (because real bosses leave time to be spontaneous wallflowers or hit up a bottomless mimosa brunch at a moments notice). Instead, it'll help you master the goals that matter - the ones you want to keep BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
Have someone to hold YOU accountable
At my 9-to-5, our project manager will call us, email us, and send us instant messages on the day something is due and make sure that we deliver.
Now I'm going to be very clear - I aint got that kinda money to do this in my side hustle. BUT I do have a Facebook group that holds me accountable and makes sure I get my life together and commit to my projects. We regroup every Sunday to talk about our goals for the week and we even will kick each other in the pants if we need a bit of tough love.
When I was creating The Vision Board Planner, I was hesitant to post it and wanted to do yet another additional round of edits or one additional design change before releasing it on my site. That's when one of the members said "PUT IT OUT ALREADY!" and reminded me that I'd put hard work and effort into it to make it great. At this point I'm just afraid to put it out there - and there was nothing stopping me from re-editing and re-designing it later. End result? I hit my goal.
Make sure you have someone - anyone - to hold you accountable. And if you friends are a bunch of party animals that spend more time thinking about the next club than their next goal, join a Facebook group. I'm in The Launchpad by Savvy and Fly, but you can totally shop around until you find one that fits your style.
Set a concrete due date for your end goal
You know in your day job, your boss always says "Can I have this by (insert date here)" when giving you a new project.
This is where goal setting in life gets tricky. You can give yourself a due date all day long, but there is no one you have to "deliver" it to except your future self. It's also much easier to sit on the couch watching Netflix and convince yourself that you can always do it later. #TheStruggleIsReal
If you want to get results like a boss, you're going to have to set goals like them, too. Set an end date for your goal - one that doesn't give you too much time or too little - and then communicate that to your accountability partner (or your Facebook group).
Setting your end date will also help you with planning out your steps and making sure you're ready on time.
Brainstorm every step you'll need to take to get from where you are to where you're going
At your 9-to-5, you'll make sure that you spell out every step of your project before you get started and get clarity from co-workers, mentors and bosses.
In life, it's tempting to just wing it. That's one way to get it done, but you're more likely to complete your goals if you take the same brainstorming approach before you even get started.
Breaking your goals down into small steps is an important part of the goal setting process because within each goal are small projects that must be completed. For example, if you're going to lose weight, you'll need to get your eating habits in order. You may have to research different diets and choose one. You might have to find a gym that you like and create workout routine.
Keeping all of those steps in your head and overloading your brain will probably give you a major headache (and even keep you from ever getting started). Instead, think about every tiny step that needs to be done and then write them down.
Your goal becomes less daunting and much more approachable once you can see the small steps outlined in one list.
Estimate how many days it will take to complete each task
Now let's get to the important part in planning out your goal.
You'll need to put all of the steps you'll need to complete your goal in order. Then, write down how long it will take you to complete all of your small projects if you do them WELL. (That means you're giving yourself enough time to deep dive into the project, research it, complete it and then check it to make sure it's right.)
In other words don't think about how much time will it take to complete your goal if everything goes perfectly right and you don't hit any road blocks.
Let's get one thing straight...
Real Life = Sh!t Happens = Plan For It!
Once you have your plan laid out it's much easier to see the journey you have to take from start to finish.
Add in your vacation + self care days
To piggy back on my Sh!t Happens rant, a good project plan also adds in your vacation days and your self care days. While it may seem tempting to "hustle hard" or join the #TeamNoSleep movement, I wouldn't plan it into your work schedule.
Imagine if you planned to pull an all-nighter to write your book AND YOU ACCIDENTALLY FALL ASLEEP (blasphemy!). That would immediately put you off track and inhibit you from reaching your goals. To have a good plan, be realistic about your habits and your me time. Build in Christmas, Easter, birthdays and whatever else is important to you into your schedule.
I'll be really honest about my life... I don't work on Friday nights or Saturdays. It's actually pretty difficult sometimes to NOT work (because I'm really excited about my work and want to work in my free time) but building in that time to spend with family and friends is important for my sanity. It also allows me to approach my work the next week with a fresh mind and super excited about tacking the week LIKE A BOSS.
Take note of the holidays, weekends and the days you spend with your family. Your plan should work for you - not the other way around so build that time into your plan!
Put It All Together In One View
Now that you have a plan on each step you need to accomplish your goal AND how long it'll take you to do each one, it's time to plan out exactly how you'll get from where you are to where you're going by task and by date (including your self care days).
Planning out your goals with this system will make sure that you stick to your goals all the way through AND have the right checkpoints in place to accomplish your goals the right way and on time - just like you do at your 9-to-5. #winning
Ready To Accomplish Your Greatest Goals?
- Download the free Goal Planning Worksheet.
- Take a free personal development class on CreativeLive.
- Order a copy of Goal Doing: Practical Advice For Goal Setting, Action Planning and Achieving Your Dreams.
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Chantl founded Thrive Lounge to give women the kick in the pants they need (lovingly, of course) to uncomplicate their goals, stop making excuses, get productive and start living the life they always wanted. Her book, Goal Doing: Practical Advice For Goal Setting, Action Planning and Achieving Your Dreams, gives women a step-by-step guide to create, plan and achieve their grandest goals.