I’m a very driven person. After years of wasting time putting off my dreams, a health scare taught me something important. I am mortal! The epiphany hit me hard. I only have a limited amount of moments on this planet, so if I wanted to achieve my goals and dreams it was up to me to make it happen. Tick Tock!
My attitude about life completely changed. Now it is in my nature to set a goal with a date and then work until I drop in order to meet that objective. Hard life lessons and project management methodologies have taught me how to set realistic and healthy goals. I’m going to state that again, because it’s important. Set Realistic and Healthy Goals. Don’t kill yourself trying to fulfill an obligation you didn’t take time to think through.
What if you’re the opposite personality type? You want to achieve your goal, but that program you want to watch is on tonight. Maybe you have a bad case of S.S.T.A (Sofa Stuck to Ass)? Here are some pointers from my many years of experience planning and managing large projects:
Use Short Term Goals to Achieve Your Long Term Goal
A short term goal can be an activity or product you can complete in a small bite-sized chunk within a short period of time. For Example: I’m working on my next dark fantasy novel. I don’t care who you are or how many novels you’ve written. Each one is a daunting task. I keep the Long Term Goal (the entire novel) in mind. However, I focus on those bite-sized chunks. If I chop down the book into Acts, these become achievable goals rather than one big Herculean task.
Buffer! Buffer! Buffer!
Setting a deadline date is key for achieving goals. However, not giving yourself enough time can guarantee failure. Think about all the activities you’ll have to complete to reach your short term goal. Let’s walk through my example:
- Outline Act I
- Write the First Draft
- Edit and Update Act I
- Final Polish
I estimate it will take me three months to complete all these tasks. There are three Acts in my book. Does that mean I can complete the entire book in nine months? Yep, I could if my life was perfect and I didn’t work a day job. Sometimes life gets in the way of our goals. I get sick and miss a few days or the book takes a new direction. I have to stop and do further research. If you’re working against someone else’s deadline that could be a major problem. Give yourself “Buffer Time” in case of emergencies. I try to allot myself a week or two of extra time to sort out any problems. If I don’t use them, then I look good for coming in early.
Final Thoughts: Set Realistic and Healthy goals. Chasing your dreams should be fun, not a chore.