Mountains With Steps are Easier to Climb

Another new year, another resolution. The days are already counting down, what are you doing to follow through on your promise to yourself?

While we all find it easy to make a goal, a promise to ourselves, actually making progress on that goal is proven year after year to be difficult. Through trial and error, one thing has been proven correct: putting together a plan to reach a goal makes it easier to follow through.

Make a Plan

Goals like losing weight are easily defined, hit the gym and eat healthier, the steps are not as concrete. Eating healthier is easy to say but what do you actually buy when grocery shopping? Driving to the gym is easy to do but what do you do once you get there, which exercises are most appropriate and efficient for your current goal?

To maximize your chance of reaching a set goal, you must invest in research and planning. Our brains will find a million reasons to not do something, to not make progress on a goal. A step by step guide to reaching your goal, built by you, will help you fight off procrastination.

Choose the Right Tools

The tools we choose to make our plan are as important as making the plan. Choosing the wrong tools leaves you with a list of steps which falls apart and becomes unorganized the minute you skip a step or skip a day. The main value of a tool should be to make reaching your goal easier and more fun. It should help you stay organized and save you time.

Above all, the tools you choose should follow the below criteria:

  • Easy to use / learn
  • Keep you organized, not the other way around
  • Saves you time
  • Reduces stress
  • Removes reasons to procrastinate

Organize Daily

You have a broad plan to reach your goal and the right tools to help you on your path, now you need to make daily plans to make progress on the goal. Whether it is morning and you are planning for the day or it is night and you are planning for tomorrow, you should define what steps you can take on the given day to make progress on the broader plan. On some days it may only be one task, on others it may be 5 tasks.

It is important to make a habit out of organizing on a daily basis. Priorities shift daily, you may make new commitments or complete older ones, it is important to regroup every day to make sure you have a clear path forward. The tools you choose should allow for this dynamic planning and make it quicker to do on a daily basis.

Execute

If you follow the above steps, this will be easier to do. Now that you have a plan for the day, all that is left to do is focus on exactly what you said you would do that day. Remove any external stimuli that may distract you during this process. Context switching and attention hijacking are the killers of productivity.

When you start to work on a task toward your broader goal, focus only on that task. Don’t check your email for a minute or check to see if there is anything interesting on the front page of Reddit, these are ways to quickly waste your time and throw you off task. You will get tasks done much quicker and make more progress on your goal if you set a timer to work on a task and avoid any context switching while the timer is running.

Thats it!

If you made it this far, you have a goal in mind. I have spent the last 2.5 years of my life dead focused on productivity. My current goal is to build a tool which helps you make progress on the goals which are important to you.

It is built to help you handle your life and so has been appropriately named Handle. It is available for both iOS and Chrome. Android version will be available in the future.

Handle is currently FREE, there goes your only excuse to not start making a plan right now. You now have the tool you need to make 2017 the year that you get things done.