Think about your goals. An initiative you intend to tackle to grow your business or perhaps a self-development program you’ve been meaning to start. Could be coming up with a robust marketing plan, writing that book, losing 10 pounds, getting a better job, becoming more active in a social cause, etc.
Got one? Good.
Now, you need to be able to answer this one-word question.
When will you start? When will you work on it? When is your targeted deadline?
The first “When?” answer will likely be vague. “Soon,” or “next week” or “tomorrow.”
Ask the question again.
This time drill deeper. If your first answer was “next week,” keep getting more specific until you’ve committed to a day and a time. You’re not finished answering “When?” until you know exactly when you’ll be starting/working on your chosen goal. Only then do you have any shot at accomplishing what you hope.
Broad plans are great and important because they’re the map. But having a map doesn’t get you there. You get you there.
It’s critical to look at your calendar and slot a defined “when.” By doing so you’re forced to look at how this project fits into what you’re already committed to. You may even find that when you try to pinpoint a time “next week” there isn’t any time available without making changes.
Defining “when” is a simple but not easy skill because you have to commit yourself. Committing yourself to this means you’re rejecting other ways you could use that time. Generally, people don’t like to reject other options so the cycle of starting at some vague future time perpetuates. Vague is the death knell for reaching goals.
Before you move onto something else, think again about that project or initiative you earmarked at the start of this blog post. I have to ask you…