Guest Blog By Mary Hodges of The Grind to Greatness
Anyone can set a goal. But the real work is in achieving it. So, how do get from where you are now to where you want to be?
To stay on track with your goals, you need a system that helps you to plan and move towards the future, and review your progress along the way.
Working within a system will help you create discipline, make good choices, and stay focused. This will inevitably result in progress. A good system acts as the foundation for your daily behavior.
But, it’s not enough to just operate within a rigid system. The very nature of routines is predictability and if everything in our life is so predictable, you will end up feeling stagnant. As entrepreneurs, feeling energized and creative is something we need to thrive in our business. So, you can’t rely on the same predictable routine to cultivate new ideas or new experiences.
This is why my 3-part system combines discipline and routine with strategies that introduce spontaneity and variety to keep us creative, energized, and enjoying the journey.
Let’s dive into each part.
Once you set a goal, you need a way to track your progress. Goal tracking helps you set micro goals and take action towards your bigger goals.
The first thing I do after setting a goal is use reverse engineering to map out any milestones I have for reaching my goal. Reverse engineering is about thinking of the outcome you want from the goal and working backward to create a plan.
I like to plan in 90-day increments. It’s impossible to plan for everything, so working in 90-day increments allows me to focus on what’s right in front of me and make adjustments along the way. Once that 90-day block is over, I review my progress, set new 90-day goals, and repeat.
This way, you can break down your year in four different blocks.
My free Goal Tracking Trello Board Template will help you do this on every level. This gives you a framework to help you plan your quarterly and monthly goals, create a weekly overview, and determine your daily priorities. Then you can plug your activities into your calendar (more on that below). It also asks important questions to ensure you are staying aligned with your vision and keeping things fresh.
A weekly framework is a strategy for plugging in the activities you plan in the goal tracking phase into your calendar.
Your calendar is a great tool for mapping out the details of your days and weeks. I use my calendar to help enforce my boundaries and make sure I’m scheduling activities that are in alignment with my business and vision.
Your weekly framework will allow you to look at your calendar and know exactly when to schedule certain activities. It’s good to have a baseline set of behaviors and ideas about how and when you will work while leaving room for flexibility and space to stay creative.
My weekly framework accounts for recurring activities, focus times, appointments with others, breaks, and my workouts. This ensures I’m not letting my business consume my life.
Check out my YouTube video to see exactly how I set up my weekly framework so that I can make sure I have discipline and can stay motivated and energized.
Creating your own weekly framework will make it easier to plan your weeks and strategize your tasks in a way that honors your unique work style.
The purpose of a goal review is to check-in on your progress on a monthly and quarterly basis to make sure you are staying on track and make any necessary adjustments.
During the goal review process, I recommend putting less emphasis on obsessing over what you need to work on and more emphasis on helping you actually feel good about your journey and keeping your eye towards the future. Dwelling on the past won’t get us where we need to be (And that’s one of the most important things every business owner needs to know)!
I used to be all about questions like, “What can I do better” or “Where can I improve?” But I realized this was unconsciously creating a pattern of “working on myself.” So instead, I focus my goal review questions so that it creates a pattern of thriving.
Tying these three parts into one system will help you stay consistent while taking aligned action and enjoying the journey because that’s really what reaching your goals boils down to.
About the Author: Mary Hodges is the host of The Grind to Greatness Podcast where she and her guests talk about personal and business success, productivity, and taking ownership of your life. Mary’s programs help entrepreneurs level up their life and business through improving their mindset, becoming more productive, and actually reaching the goals they set. She’s all about helping her clients get out of their heads and into action so they can create results that matter.