Do you use a timeline to achieve your goals? If you have been struggling with your goals you might find it useful to create a timeline that maps out exactly when you will complete each of the steps along the path to your goal. Using a timeline to help achieve your goals is a powerful way to keep you focused on what is important – and it is easier than you might think! Follow the steps I share below and you too can create a fool-proof plan to reach your goals.
Many people are resistant to setting time-based goals because they believe life should flow at its own pace, and that everything happens in its own time. But those people never seem to actually reach the goals they set for themselves. They end up waiting and waiting and waiting. They wait for the universe to deliver their desires.
Do you want to wait for your desires? I didn’t think so!
By creating a timeline for completing your goals you eliminate those challenges. Using a timeline keeps you on track and lets you keep focused on doing the ‘next thing’. Doing the ‘next thing’ is what separates dreamers from achievers. If you know what the next step along your path is, and you know when you want to reach that next step in relation to your big goal, it becomes easier to manage your efforts.
Know Your End Result
Start by being crystal clear about your end result. It is hard to complete a goal if you don’t know what that goal looks like. Know exactly what you want to achieve. Then decide when you want to achieve that goal by. Actually look at your calendar and pick a date that you want to be successful by.
So now you know exactly what you want and you know exactly when you want to have it by. That’s a great start! Just doing those two things – getting clear about your goal and setting a completion date – put you miles ahead of everyone else struggling to achieve their goals.
Break It Down
Your next step is to look at your desired end result and to identify the stepping stones along the path to your goal. Depending on your goal, you can do this one of two ways. Some goals have a linear progression of actions and achievements that you can chart, sort of like steps on a staircase. First you have to reach step one, then step two, then step three and so on. For example, if your goal is to get a college degree there are requirements and steps you have to take along the way. You have to complete some courses before taking others. Your skill builds as you move toward your desired end result. Lots of goals are like this.
Other goals, like losing weight, are more cumulative. In other words, once you identify the actions you need to take, you keep doing the same thing over and over until you reach your goal. Goals like these can be broken down into increments. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds by December 31, you could break your goal down into monthly mini-goals.
Create Your Timeline
However you break down your goal, go ahead and create an actual timeline on a piece of paper that maps out your journey. Draw a line across the paper. Label the left end of your line ‘NOW’ and label the right end of your line with your desired end result. “Lost 50 pounds” or “Master’s Degree” or “New Car”. Whatever your goal is.
So now you have a line that stretches from ‘now’ to the completion of your goal. All that is left is to plug in the steps along the way. Each point on your timeline becomes a mini goal that you work towards.
Look at your desired end result and decide how you can break your big goal down into mini-goals and put those mini goals on your timeline. Now simply begin working toward the first point on your timeline. When you reach it, begin working toward the second and so on. Before you know it you will be on the verge of seeing your goal realized.
Once you set a timeline to achieve your goals you will see a dramatic shift in the way you approach your goals. As you meet each step or point on your timeline, your steady progress reinforces your desire to succeed and you find yourself taking more and more right actions. Completing your goals becomes certain!
Go ahead and map out your own timeline for completing your goals. It is a simple process that can make achieving your goals far more likely!