The Plan

So you've established your goals. You've got a plan, the desire to achieve it, and the vision for a better 2019.


We've all been there -- the starting blocks. We're itching to get going. We've got so much to look forward to for the new year and it all begins on that first day in January. The streets teem with joggers in brand-new high-price outfits that they received for Christmas.The gym is replete with a sudden influx of newly-minted health enthusiasts. There won't be vacant elliptical machines until well after Martin Luther King Day.


Everyone is ready to make a change in the new year, but come February, the same thing happens to most of us; our engine runs out of steam.


It’s easy to get back into our rut. That's the most comfortable nook for us to sit in. Old ways and dull days creep back into our lives as we meld back into our autopilot mode. Your goals go unchecked, the swarm of January's plans is in the rear-view mirror.


Maybe next year.


So what is the missing ingredient? How come others seem to complete their goals with relative ease and follow through with their task-list while we flounder?


A plan.


Many of us make plans without having a plan. A plan is a brilliant achievement device that's made up of lesser parts -- goals, tasks, and accountability.


So how do you get your plan going? Where do you start and how do you keep the fire burning long after the fanfare of a new year?


SMART Goals


First things first - start by setting SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. If you know exactly what you want, make sure you can measure it. If you know you can achieve it, make sure it's important to you. And, for heaven's sake, give yourself a deadline!


Once you have the proper goals set, set up a winning plan of action. Knowing your destination is one thing, but a plan of action is like a GPS that keeps you on track with the inevitable twists and turns.


Make sure you set way-points along the way. Check in often with yourself and be sure you're hitting your smaller markers. These will ensure that you are staying on track.


Whether you have monthly, quarterly, or bi-annual goals, make sure there are plenty of check-ins. The best practice is to break down the quarterly goals into monthly ones; the monthly ones into weekly ones and the weekly ones into daily ones.


How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Setting daily habits that will keep you on track and moving in the direction of your goals is a great way to guarantee success.


Finally, don’t be afraid of being vulnerable and putting yourself out there. Detailing your plans to an accountability partner or coach is a great way to help you stay on track.


If you are able to partner up with someone who is going to hold you to your goals and your dreams, by all means take advantage of that. Accountability lights a fire under you.


Self-imposed pressure is one thing, but having someone out there that's pushing you along is a more powerful motivational force. Nothing will get you farther and guarantee your success more than having someone keep you on track.