Choose a Date and Set BenchmarksApr 17, 2023
Once you’ve set a specific goal or two and started to create your plan, you’ll want to continue breaking it down by adding a time frame to follow. Skipping this step is what allows so many of us to let even our most-wanted ambitions fall by the wayside. Knowing when you want to accomplish your task and setting benchmarks for completing each step along the way will increase your chances of seeing it through until the end.
To be clear, we don’t let our goals slip away because we’re lazy or not ambitious enough. Usually, it’s just a matter of life’s most pressing matters taking over. We simply lose focus on what it was we wanted, let alone what it would take to get there. You’ll be amazed at what making a plan, breaking it down and adding time checks can do for your motivation and fulfilment.
So choose a date for completion of your goal. Be as realistic as possible when doing so. While you can always tweak things down the road, there are some hazards involved in setting a date that’s way off the mark. If you give yourself too much time, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of procrastination or to not feel as motivated as you need to be. Set a window that’s too small, you’ll feel rushed and pressured in a negative way that could lead you to abandon your goal altogether. Factor in all the items on your list, giving each the necessary time for completion.
Once you determine your realistic completion date, it’s time to break out your weekly calendar. This can be a paper day planner or in digital form. It doesn’t matter, as long as there’s room to record your benchmarks. Consider your goal and the completion date you’ve set. Then take some time to figure out when each item on your list should be finished. Add weekly, monthly and even yearly benchmarks to keep yourself accountable. This is all dependent upon your goal and the length of time it will take to complete. A goal that requires you to take class or to obtain a degree could be a long one. Big dreams can be frightening, I know. But writing down the smaller deadlines involved in reaching it will make that aspiration much more manageable. It’s also fulfilling to mark things off your timeline. So start adding goal markers such as your enrollment date, midterms, finals, end of your first semester and more. This same method works for smaller goals, too. The important thing is to remain realistic and consistent, while maintaining forward movement.
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