Are you making daily progress towards your goals? In the last two, five, or even ten years, how much closer have you come to the goals you set for yourself? One of the things that separates people who achieve their goals from those who don’t is the ability to break down long-term goals into more actionable short-term goals. In this article, I’m going to show you how to build actionable goals for your life or your organization and set out a plan to tackle even the loftiest of goals.
“Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organised their energies around a goal.” — Elbert Hubbard
Break Down The Birds-Eye View
To start, it’s important to pull together a list of exactly what your goals are. Since this article is about turning those goals into habits, we’ll assume you’ve already set some goals for yourself and move on. The next step is assigning your goals a hierarchy.
Taking one of your loftiest goals, start listing various things that you could do to accomplish that goal. For example, if your goal is something like “get a promotion,” then what stands in the way of that? Maybe two of your subgoals look something like “take on more responsibilities” and “go back to school.”
Each of your sub-goals now can be broken down further and further. Perhaps “take on more responsibilities” can become a few other goals like “Start a new project at work” or “Plan the office holiday party.”
Turn Sub-Goals Into Daily Action Items
Say that you’ve decided that planning the office holiday party is one of the things you’d like to do around the office. Putting together the list of action items to make that event a success is pretty straightforward – find a time, venue, DJ, catering, whatever. You should probably even plan to make these tasks recurring on your calendar every year, since it should be easier the next time around! Then tackle the tasks in an afternoon (it’s a holiday party, not painting the Mona Lisa).
Review Your Sub-Goals to Stay on Track
When you finish a set of tasks, it’s important to keep adding new goals that further your progress towards your largest goals and make regular checks to ensure that you’re making consistent progress towards these goals. As long as you keep making consistent, daily progress towards these goals, they’ll happen before you even realize it!
What tips or tricks have you used to help you stay on track to reach your long-term goals? Let me know in the comments.