How to plan your goal and success
Are you struggling to make your goal come true? Or find yourself very busy, yet not making any progress on your aspirations?
What does productivity mean? Most of us may think that it is about finishing lots of thing in a short period of time. Well, accomplishing lots of tasks doesn’t mean you nail the most important thing that is related to your goal. And if you aren’t making any progress towards your aspirations, you aren’t being productive, you are just being busy.
Essentially, productivity is about how good you manage your time to achieve your personal goal, not about how many things you’ve done.
That being said, it is not easy to be productive. After all, you dream big, right? To be productive, you need two things, motivation and focus. That means you have to make a plan and find some way to stay away from distractions.
But first, I would like to talk about the goal. Someone likes to set small goals or easy task on the to-do list to have a feeling of accomplishment. But that’s not what we want here. I want you to think big, to fulfil your dream and be yourself. Don’t be afraid that you can’t achieve it because I am going to show you how to make your goal achievable.
I guess some of you may have heard of the SMART goal.
It is the goal setting technique that is common in business. But I also use it to gain clarity on my goal, so that I can make an actionable plan for it. Here is my example.
Goal: be a good German speaker
Specificity: I will speak German as if I am speaking my mother tongue
Measurable: I will have no problem when speaking with German
Attainable: I will read aloud dialogue I find on the Internet and I will have a partner to practice German together.
Timeframe: I will speak fluent German within 6 months
More examples can be found here.
Having a SMART goal is important because it affects your plan and, therefore, your actions.
To have a plan, you may need to divide your bigger goal into different small goals first. Let’s say I want to be a fluent German speaker in 6 months, I should then give myself a smaller goal for 3 months and also 1 month. By doing so, you won’t feel that your goal is too far away. Achieving each stage is a small victory.
Now it is time to decide what actions you need to take. Use the example of learning German again. If I want to divide my goal into sub-goal, which is able to talk about all the daily topics in one month, I need to study may be different textbooks for beginners and also find someone to practice with online.
So the actions I will take this month is studying the textbook and find a partner. Further, I will also plan which topic I learn each day. The idea is that you need to transform the goal into actions and ultimately, you will find what you need to do each day.
The flow is like this.
Planning is not only important for motivation, but also the key element of staying focus because then you can expect what you need to do and where you should put your attention to. Put it in another word, you should anticipate what you will be facing during the task.
What is the obstacle to this task? What are the distractions? How can I eliminate them? How do I know I have completed the task?
These are the questions you can ask to help to predict and planning what will happen during the task. Remember you shouldn’t make any decision regarding whether you should do anything because that’s a temptation that makes you give up. Don’t start doing anything before you plan and have a strategy to deal with distractions.
And to keep focus, I can also give you another advice. You can offer yourself some choices to make so that you will have a sense of control and make take the choice that is related to your goal.
To conclude, planning is essential for productivity. It makes you finished more tasks that are related to your big goal and keep you from the distractions. But don’t just plan what you need to do, but also plan how you would face the obstacle and distractions. By doing so, you will keep being motivated and stay focus.