Setting realistic goals and timescales
When I set out my Top Ten Tips for planning, the number one tip was “Set realistic goals and timescales”.
This really is one of the keys to successful planning. I am all for dreaming big and believe that if you set your mind to something you can certainly achieve it. However, I also think that this is more likely to happen if you break it down into stages.
For example, when I started ilovealist.com, one of the first things I did was to sit down and write out a list of everything that I would need to do before launching. Believe me, this was one long list and there was a moment of panic looking back over it all.
And that is the problem. When you see everything you need to get done on one long list it is overwhelming and almost impossible to know where to begin.
The key is to break that list down into manageable chunks and set a realistic timeframe for each task.
I divided my tasks into weekly sections and tried very hard to focus only on those particular tasks each week. Looking at it that way, I already felt calmer and once I started working through the tasks could adjust my timescales as I discovered which areas I needed a little more time to work on and which ones I could get done more quickly - or even better - delegate to someone else!
If you have a goal in mind in any area of your life, start by writing out the steps you need to take to make it happen.
Then go back through the list and break this down giving yourself manageable deadlines for each task.
As the saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ (actually it was more like 1,009,491 days) and you are far more likely to succeed in achieving your goal if you are realistic with what you can do and don’t set goals that will only leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated when it cannot be done.