Create a goal schedule that is realistic and attainable. Specific action steps will make monitoring your progress measurable. All action steps must lead directly to the goal. The great Canadian hockey player Gretzky says, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.” Collect important information as you monitor your progress for evaluation. Make sure the action steps are measurable and useful so you can use the feedback to make informed decisions, to alter the course, and make modifications to your approach. You will encounter construction and detours along the chosen road so be flexible. As you navigate into uncharted territories, your brain will act as your GPS prompting you to “recalculate” and redirect you back on course in order to stay on target.
Practice the following technique when you embark on a new adventure. At each milestone you achieve, amp up the expectations for the next benchmark in the goal-setting process. Self-monitor along the way, especially at each benchmark, to check progress and examine the feedback. Assess whether or not the benchmarks are set too high or too low. Beware not to set your sights too low because you will probably accomplish them. Some circumstances are appropriate for small achievements. Small goals are easier to measure. Sometimes small goals are not meant to elevate your values but to help you maintain the norm. Do not be distracted by easily achieved short-term goals. Since thoughts and beliefs are the precursors to action, keep those in check. Evaluate your thoughts and beliefs to see if they are aligned with strategies and action steps that cause deep change.