Here’s the Most Effective Strategy for Achieving Your Goals

If you are the type of person as most of us, then you may have a similar problem to this one: you tell yourself you will work hard to achieve some goal or improve a certain part of your life but… fail to deliver. Life and various responsibilities get in the way and you end up prioritising things that must happen right there and then, meaning that you have very little energy left to push with something that you truly want.

If you feel stuck in this continuous loop of planning, procrastinating, doing something but not finishing, then the following strategy may help you take better control of your life. This is the strategy that helped me achieve my important goals and that I still use to guide me through different areas of my life that I want to improve.


1. Start by defining your goals

Take a piece of paper and note down the goal(s) you want to achieve. Make sure these goals are SMART ( specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). For example, if you want to start a side hustle, your goal should look like this:

To create a small business (specify the type of business you want), earning at least £X per month in X months or by the X date.

If you have several goals in mind that you want to tackle at the same time, write them all down, leaving enough empty space between each other.


2. Think of the objectives you will need to meet first

Some of the goals can be rather complex and require a ton of work to achieve them. You may need to set up a little strategy for each of them and consider different objectives that you’ll need to meet first in order to push yourself closer to these goals.

For example, if we use the same example as above and your goal is to start a side hustle, then, if you’ve already done some groundwork for it, some of your objectives may be: register a company, create a brand name, hire a graphic designer, prepare a pre-launch marketing strategy, etc. However, if you haven’t even started anything just yet and this is a very new goal that you came up with, then your objectives may look more similar to something like this: decide on what I am good at and what I can sell, look for inspiration online, enroll into a course about starting a small business, buy some tools/materials, create a work sample, evaluate if there is a demand for it…

Note down as many objectives as you can think of leading you toward your goals. The more specific they are the better, too.


3. Plan your time

Now you have a long list of all the things and tasks that you need to do in order to achieve your goals – it’s time to make sure that you actually do something with it.

First, make sure you set yourself a deadline for each goal. Let’s say you have 6 months to achieve them all.

Then, get 6 different pieces of paper and write Month 1/Month 2/Month 3/Month 4/Month 5/Month 6 on each of them until you have 6 pieces of paper for each different month.

Now, note down the exact objectives and tasks you will try to achieve in each particular month until all of the tasks from your longlist are moved onto any of these 6 pieces of paper.

Next, find some empty space on each paper, where you can divide it into 4-5 columns – these will be your weeks.

Start from Month 1 and transfer the tasks from this month to any of the 4 columns. Be realistic, consider all other responsibilities you expect to have each week, and don’t overload it too much. Ideally, you will have 5-6 tasks per week, but it will, of course, depend on the complexity of your objectives and your other weekly responsibilities.

I recommend you do this one month at a time – this way you will be able to easily move all the tasks and objectives you couldn’t achieve in Month 1 directly to Month 2 and repeat the process.


4. Put these tasks into your daily schedule

If you like to stay organised, then you may already have a way to plan your day-to-day activities either via a daily planner or a calendar. If you do, then you will need to make sure you include the tasks/objectives created earlier into your daily schedule, too.

Some of the tasks may be too time-consuming to get done in one day or one sitting. If that’s the case, then be sure to divide them into more manageable pieces each day. Depending on how packed and busy your days look, you will ideally have 1-3 small tasks that are pushing you towards your goals each day.


5. Know which tasks and objectives are more important

Some of your tasks and objectives will be more time-sensitive or urgent than others. Make sure you are always aware of which of these should be pushed first before you can jump onto the next one. You can follow Stephen Covey’s time-management matrix and assign each of the following to all your tasks:

Urgent & important: Tasks that require your immediate attention. It can be anything from preparing an important presentation at a short notice to going to a booked appointment with a doctor. Such tasks may not be of your own making but something that you are required to do. They should be prioritised and dealt with immediately or as fast as possible. These tasks will need to be done first before you can move on to the tasks from your longlist.
Not urgent, but important: Tasks that are important to do but do not require your immediate attention at that particular time. These tasks are usually one way or the other connected to your short or long-term goals.
Urgent, but not important: Tasks that are urgent, but they are not important to you. These may include various interruptions, meetings, incoming calls or emails, etc. You should do your best to minimise your time spent on these tasks. Make an effort to avoid them, delegate to someone else, or do them quickly.
Not urgent & not important: Tasks that are neither urgent nor important. These usually are the activities that lead you to procrastination or just generally waste your time. It may include checking on your social media aimlessly, watching Youtube videos, etc. Do your best to avoid them wherever possible or leave them at the very end once you do everything else that you have planned for the day.


6. Find what works for you best

There are several ways to plan your time and schedule tasks. Some people use Excel sheets, calendars, project management apps, planner journals, others even simply depend on their memory. If you are just starting, then you may need to go through some trial and error until you wind the tools that work for you best.

If you are interested, you can try our printed or digital goal planners that follow the framework discussed above. Alternatively, you can always grab a simple journal or notebook of your choice and create your own. Good luck! 😊💪


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