making progress

Making Progress

Last week we shared about perfection being your enemy. In the sign-off, I mentioned that I would share tips on how to make progress. Here they are.

Have a pivot goal

A pivot goal is a goal that, when achieved, will make it easier to achieve all other goals or will set in motion the process of making progress and achieving all others.

Here is an example; maybe you have been developing a product for the market and you have a challenge pushing it past the finish line. You are shy to get into sales for any number of reasons. Your best option might then be to get a business coach to help you get past this block. This one goal, when achieved, will mean business growth, increased income, freedom from regret, and so much more.

A pivot goal has every other success pegged on it.

Aim to achieve your big goal in smaller portions

As you plan for the next year, break down the goals to be achieved in the quarters of the year. There has to be some merit to this method given that most corporates plan and assess their performance this way.

The shorter achievement periods create a sense of urgency that is absent when you think that you have a lot of time to make amends or do what needs to be done. 

Turn up every day for no less than 30 minutes

This is a proven tactic I learned last year when I decided to get back into my reading culture. For that which you want to achieve and track progress, do it for no less than 30 minutes every day, at the same time – with no interruptions.

Dedicate yourself to your goal for no less than 30 minutes and no more than 1.5 hours every day or every time you are working in it.

Initially, I thought it was working for me because I was an adult. Then I tried it with my daughter. For her schooling, she follows the ACE curriculum which requires self-regulation of time. Her Achilles heel? She gets easily distracted. This would in effect reduce the number of goals she achieves daily. So I got her to work on a pace (subject area) in blocks of 1.5 hours. In a short time, she discovered that she finished her goals way before the allocated time lapsed.

This working within periods of blocked off time is known as deep work. You achieve more than you think is possible.

Make it your first task of the day and part of your morning 

A couple of years ago I joined a group of forward-thinking individuals with whom we had the common agenda of financial progress. In one of our meetings, we invited an investment advisor who talked to us about the importance of groups such as ours in achieving financial success. Out of the much wisdom he shared, there is one thing that I took away for my own business and I have applied ever since. He said, “If it is important to you, then don’t leave it to the evening when you are bone-tired and all the fresh ideas have been drained out of you by the activities of the day. Attend to it when you are fresh and not tired.”

If you are going to take a glass of raw vegetable juice, do it in the morning! Don’t leave it to the evening after you have indulged in junk food. If you are going to work out, don’t try to slug it off at the gym after a long day. Do it early in the morning to get your body all pumped up to go. If you have a side hustle that needs your attention, attend to it early in the morning before any other job.

I trust you are now better placed to track your progress for the new goals you are setting for 2020.

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Wangari Maina

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