We all have big goals we want to accomplish. From travelling the world, to starting a business, to learning another language, setting goals is easy.
Actually accomplishing them, though? That is where it gets hard. We may start the year with plenty of motivation, energy and determination but often times, by February or March, we lose steam. And before you know it another year has passed and we are no closer to living the life we want.
The advice that follows is taken from a Hack the Entrepreneur interview I did recently with John Lee Dumas of EOFire. Dumas started out like many of us, with a vague idea of how he wanted his life to change, but no concrete plan of action.
And then, he changed his approach. Instead of vague goals, he set actionable ones. As a result, he was able to build a business that has changed his life forever. Due to his success, Dumas has released The Freedom Journal to help you achieve your own goals.
Here are the 5 steps you can use today to set and accomplish your number one goal in the next 100 days.
1. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
This is where you take your vague goals and turn them into concrete and achievable plans of action. S.M.A.R.T. goals are not only smart, they are essential to your success. Before we get too far, let us define what makes a goal S.M.A.R.T.
• Specific: Clearly defined goals get accomplished, vague hopes become forgotten.
• Measureable: Think 1,000 subscribers, P50,000 in monthly revenue, visiting 50 countries.
• Attainable: Think big, but keep it attainable within 100 days.
• Relevant: Set goals that further you, your business and your purpose.
• Time-bound: Aim for 100 days or less.
If your goal does not meet all of the above criteria, you need to rework it until it does. Sit down for 15 minutes and measure one of your goals against each of the S.M.A.R.T. criteria until you have a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goal.
2. Break your goal into smaller steps
Sometimes our goals feel too far to reach. It is important to remember that progress is gradual. A marathon is not completed in a single leap; instead, it takes 46,112 small steps to run that 26.2 miles. The same goes for our goals. Rather than focusing on how far away you are from your big goal, stay focused on a single step—every single day— that will help you get one step closer to your big goal.
Start by listing the steps it will take for you to accomplish your number one goal, and then write each step down in a logical order. It is not only the big decisions that impact our lives, it’s the 46,112 steps it takes to finish the marathon. The tiny decisions and steps enable us to transform our lives and do work that matters.
Do not look at the end of a marathon and take the first step.
3. Review your progress
Breaking your big goals down into smaller steps will make even the biggest goals achievable. To ensure you are consistently making progress towards your big goal, you need to set consistent review periods and follow up to stay on track.
Since we are using the 100-day timeframe, your review periods need to be set up for each quarter (every 25 days). These quarterly review sessions will help you reflect on your actions and progress toward the completion of your goals.
4. Become accountable
This helps if you involve a friend or mentor who can help keep you on pace and in check. It is a lot easier to procrastinate and put things off if you only have yourself to answer to. You need an accountability partner.
If you do not personally have someone you can count on, you could always find someone you trust through social media or in-person events. The best way is to find someone who is also working on accomplishing their number one goal—this allows you to be each other’s accountability partners.
5. Keep going
By following these steps, you are greatly increasing your odds of completing your goals, but no amount of planning matters if you do not keep going until you succeed.
These steps are here to make the process simpler, but there is nothing anyone can do to make this process easy. There will be hurdles you will need to overcome to achieve your goal. There will be days you feel like giving up—this is normal—but don’t give in to this urge. Stick to your S.M.A.R.T. goals and keep going.
Your next 100 days
Goal tracking can easily become tedious and repetitive, which is why John Lee Dumas created The Freedom Journal. A tool to help with goal-tracking strategies, it is designed to keep you focused on accomplishing your #1 goal. From 10-day sprints, quarterly reviews, daily tasks and nightly recaps, achieving your goal is a mere 100 days away!
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.
Photo from Amy Poehler's blog