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Bridging the Achievement Gap – 3 Keys to Successful Goals

Martha Stewart fell into an Achievement Gap when she was convicted and sentenced to five months in prison. Then she found a way to bridge that achievement gap and return to being chairman of the board.

Her situation is more high profile, sure. Yet we can all use the same 3 keys to successfully achieve our goals. Let me share them with you, and at the end I’ll show you how to get your own goal setting worksheet to bridge your achievement gap.

Have One Focus

Martha Stewart’s goal was to return to being chairman of the board. Dan Kennedy’s goal was to build a business that allows him to work from home, and set his own schedule. My goal is to find teens who are as I once was, and help them avoid the darker paths I’ve traveled.

For each of us to achieve this goal of personal development, we definitely keep our minds focused on the big, over-arching goal. Equally important is that while we work toward that big goal, we have one focus at a time.

For example, right now I have three books under contract and am becoming seriously involved with affiliate marketing. This could easily become four places to “focus” my attention. But if it’s in four places, then I’m not really focused, am I?

So, my one focus to start is the book on joint ventures and affiliate marketing. The first draft deadline is only a couple weeks away. Then I’ll focus on a second book, and then the third. Affiliate marketing is important – heck, it’s a revenue generator – but because it’s ongoing (rather than a project) it can always be a second level priority. It only becomes a focus when I’m doing a special promotion or specific project.

This is important – have one focus, and be sure to leave time for everyday work. I put four hours a day into a book, and that leaves time to work on affiliate marketing and other daily business tasks.

Plan Your Work

This is where a Goal Setting Worksheet comes in handy.

I’ve made my own, and it helps me decide what my objectives are, plan what needs to be done, and break those big To Do items into a specific task list.

I use a goal setting worksheet for ongoing items and projects. Each evening, I take tasks from the goal sheets to make my schedule for the following day. Then I add in errands, phone calls and other small tasks.

This allows me to split up the four hours I have set aside for writing the book. In psycho-cybernetics, it’s called oscillation. You alternate the kinds of work you do so you stay fresh and attentive. For me, I write for about two hours then take an hour to do other tasks. There’s another two hours or so of writing, then I’m “done” for the day.

Because tasks are listed on the goal setting worksheet, I put a checkmark next to each one that’s done. I can check off big To Do items as they’re finished, and it feels great to check off an objective achieved.

I even formatted my goal setting worksheet so it prints on 3-ring, lined binder paper. This allows me to make notes, add task items, and add pages whenever needed.

Track Your Progress

We’ve already talked about checking things off on the goal setting worksheet. More than anything else, I think celebrating progress bridges the achievement gap.

So I track my progress in two places. I have a spiral-bound book where I write each day’s task list. As things are done – writing this post for example – I check it off. At the end of the day, I go to my goal setting worksheets and check off tasks accomplished during the day.

I find tracking and reviewing my progress this way reinforces my successes and helps me quickly bridge the achievement gap.

What I’d like to do is share my goal planning worksheet with you. If you’re interested, I’ll make a blank template available AND a current goal setting worksheet you can use as an example. Leave a comment saying you’re interested. When we hit 100 comments, then I’ll make the whole thing available with notes for my whole system for bridging the achievement gap.

Leave a comment, and be sure to ask your friends to comment, too. We need 100 comments to be sure there’s interest, right?