Goal setting is a crucial part of realizing your personal and professional dreams. However, it isn’t enough to create these goals mentally; you must write them down. The act of writing down your goals gets the process off to a head start and gives your brain its own set of instructions. The more specific your goal is and the more details you provide, the more successful you will be at achieving it.

Here are some suggestions for mapping out your path to achieving your goals.

  • Give yourself time each week to clarify your goals. It isn’t enough to just write down your goals and bury the list away. Frequent review and adjustment of your goals should be considered a requirement of achieving the goals themselves. Spend an average of 10-12 minutes a day revisiting your goal list and making necessary adjustments to it. For example, say your list of goals includes revamping your website, seeking out more referrals, and creating a new marketing plan. By revisiting this list each week, you can assess your progress. You may realize that you have spent most of your time on your marketing plan, but have completely neglected the other goals. This time each week can also be spent adding specifics to each goal, like due dates and relevant numbers.
  • Spend enough time on weekly goals. If you set goals that you want to be met by the end of the week, you should be spending at least 50% of your time doing what it takes to achieve them by Friday. So if you put in an 8-hour workday, then an average of four hours per day should be set aside for weekly goals. Keep this in mind when setting your goals for the week. Will you be able to invest that much time? What do you have going on this week that might prevent you from accomplishing your goals? Set your goals high, but be realistic about what is required of you to meet a weekly objective. Always set yourself up for success.
  • Build relationships with people who can help you achieve. Win/win relationships are those that benefit each person. For example, as the owner of a hair salon, you may form a relationship with the boutique owner down the street. During prom season, you could cross-promote services and exchange referrals. A relationship like this provides benefits for both parties and helps to achieve sales and marketing goals. Make win/win relationship building a priority when you create your road map.
  • Embrace the good and drop the bad. We all make New Year’s resolutions, but many of us fail to stick with them throughout the year because we don’t commit to making those resolutions a regular part of our lives. When setting your long-term goals, focus on forming 3 good habits and breaking 3 bad habits a year. You may decide that you want your customer service follow-up to become habitual, rather than sporadic and on an as-needed basis. You may have sabotaged your past efforts because you tend to procrastinate, so commit to dropping that bad habit as well. When making your goal list, consider what you will do to make a desired behavior habitual and an undesired one a thing of the past.

Developing a road map to your goals provides you with a clear path and increases your chance of success. How do you map out your goals? Please share your ideas in the comments below!