Success is not complicated. Achievement is not the secret that marketers would try to sell you. Setting daily goals — and then actually doing them on daily basis — is the best way to get to where you want to go.
The mystery is more about why more people don’t achieve their dreams, when the solution to success is simple. There are of course, many explanations as to why people stop before they reach their goals… or dream but never start.
One of the main reasons is an absence of belief in oneself. One of the simplest ways to eradicate disbelief and absence of clarity around your vision is by working on your dreams daily, through visioning, planning and daily actions.
Another reason is an inclination to overcomplicate things and make it harder than it needs to be.
The Path to Success is Simple
Daily steps in the direction of your dreams is a proven path to success.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator iCreateDaily.com®
Table of Contents
- Audio Article – Setting Daily Goals
- The Shiny Object Syndrome
- The Pyramid of Progress
- Daily Goals
- How Do You Prioritize Goals?
- Setting Simple Goals
The Surest Way to Success
Success is not a mystery, or a secret known by the few. The surest way to succeed is to set goals and work them daily.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator iCreateDaily.com®
Can you guess which aspect of the creative process most creators find challenging? When we polled our creator community, we found the answer. It turns out that the hardest part for most creators is finishing.
Chances are you also have more than one project started… but not finished, right? This is why we talk so much about daily goal setting.
But we totally get it. We’re also creator ideators with more ideas than time.
Ideas are ephemeral creatures that disappear as quickly as they come if we don’t heed them, seize them and bring them to life through daily effort. The key here is that we must bring the most viable ones to life through consistent effort over time to completion.
The more ideas we bring to life the more ideas we have.
Audio Article – Setting Daily Goals:
The Shiny Object Syndrome
The Shiny Object Syndrome is a common challenge for the prolific creative mind, and even more so where there’s ADD/ADHD involved.
New ideas are fresh and intriguing and—like persistent children (or the dog determined to be let outside)—they demand our attention.
New ideas come with new and fresh energy. Existing projects require us to bring the fuel of perseverance even when we’re tired of working on something. New ideas demand our attention, but we can’t neglect our other “children“… our work-in-progress.
Shiny Object Syndrome is the enemy of progress. Give way to it only if you’re not yet certain or serious about which direction to pursue for you. In that case, it’s advisable to explore before settling on the course that compels you.
Shiny Object Syndrome is the enemy of progress. Your goal is a destination. Once you know where you want to go, if you keep changing directions, you will never arrive at one.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator iCreateDaily.com®
The Path of Progress
To manifest ideas and bring them to fruition is to learn how to prioritize and focus on the most important projects first. Ideas are wonderful and swimming in the see of ideas is exhilarating. But ideas evaporate like stardust if we don’t anchor them in matter.
Plant the seeds of your dreams in the soil of daily doing.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator, iCreateDaily.com®
The most effective way of setting daily goals is to start with the big picture, then break it down.
Begin at the End
- By the end of this week, I want to have (done, achieved, experienced…) __________________.
- By the end of today, I will have (done, achieved, experienced…) __________________.
This same strategy works for life planning as well. Sound complicated? Not one day, one week at a time! Sound ominous? Not as ominous as leaving your life entirely to chance.
You don’t have to have it all figured out to begin mapping your journey to your next goal.
Annual Planning that Works
Beginning with a yearly long term goal, break it down from there to quarterly goals and then to the monthly, weekly and daily short term goals. Remember, you can begin at the end, by asking yourself:
- What do I want to achieve (have done, achieved, experienced…) by the end of this year?
- What needs to be done to achieve that goal/s? Make a list, then:
- Identify what must come first.
- That becomes your first quarter plan.
- Loosely divvy up the rest into which 90 day period you think it will fall.
- Don’t overanalyze. This will be adjusted and refined once you’re in the daily and weekly journey.
Once you’ve identified the four key quarterly goals for accomplishing your annual goal, you can then break that down into monthly, weekly and daily tasks.
Remember, If you’re new to goal setting keep it simple. If starting with a larger goal of a yearly or quarterly goal feels overwhelming, then start with your monthly or weekly goals and break those down further. As with anything, goal setting improves over time with practice.
Setting daily goals is to simply identify what you want to have accomplished by day’s end, then what you need to do to achieve that.
Small daily actions become massive action over time.
The Pyramid of Progress
If macro goals are tough for you, no problem. Keep it simple. Start with daily goals instead. Once you get good at setting and completing daily goals you can expand from there.
Setting Daily Goals
Every journey begins with a single step. Each day is a step in the journey of your year’s goals. So whether you work best from big to small or small to big, isn’t so important. What matters is that you set and work your goals on a daily basis.
Some experts recommend not working more than 90 days out because the brain has a hard time conceiving that. Today is here, present and real. This day is tangible, palpable and doable.
What is your goal for today?
THE DAY IS THE WAY™iCreateDaily.com®
The day is the way to achieve your goals.
Today is the day to get things done.
Today is the way to bring your dreams to life.
The day is the way.
Today… this day.
Setting Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Quarterly Goals
If you struggled with starting in the macro of your 90 day goals as laid out in ‘The Pyramid of Progress’, then let’s flip it around and start with the day.
As you become more practiced at setting and achieving your daily goals, then you can expand into setting weekly goals and beyond.
DAILY GOAL SETTING
Focus on your daily goals and you will achieve your weekly goals!
Ask: “At the end of today, I will feel great when I accomplish _________.”
That becomes your primary goal for the day.
Focus on your weekly goals and you will achieve your monthly goals.
Set your intention: “At the end of this week I will feel great when I accomplish __________.”
That becomes your primary goal the week.
Focus on your monthly goals and you will achieve your quarterly goals.
Set your intention: “At the end of this month I will feel great when I accomplish __________.”
That becomes your primary goal for the month.
Focus on your quarterly goals and you will achieve your yearly goals.
Set your intention: “At the end of this quarter, I will feel great when I accomplish __________.”
That becomes your primary goal for the quarter.
Setting and achieving goals is empowering and energizing. The more you do it the better you get. The better you get, the more you can — and want — to do. Success builds upon success.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
~Zig Ziglar, lifelong motivational speaker and author, (1926-2012)
How Do You Prioritize Goals?
For creative artist entrepreneurs with a million things going on, deciding what to do first can be daunting.
It’s important to ask focusing questions to help you identify the most important goals, and from there, the most important tasks toward achieving your goals. For that, we use one of two approaches.
- How to decide – a 7 Step Decision Making Process – especially good for narrowing options from a list of many.
- The simple question posited by the book, The One Thing, which asks:
“What’s The ONE Thing you can do—such that by doing it—everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
~The One Thing book
What’s Your One Thing?
This uber simple question is a steadily reorienting one that serves to keep bringing the needle of your compass back to your true north. Your true north, in this case, is your 90 Day Goal, which is a part of your annual—macro—goal.
Or… it could be your daily goal. The “one thing” concept works equally well for all goal setting. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do more than one thing or set more than one goal. Rather, it simply helps you to decide what’s first, and then what’s next.
First Things, First Thing
If you want to take your efficiency and success to the next level, the best way for you to get there is to prioritize one thing at a time. Some people do better tackling the biggest hardest goal of the day first. We’re in favor of this as well.
Not a Morning Person?
If you’re not a morning person, and have more energy later in the day, then it may work better for you to tackle the smaller “one things” first. Try it and see if it works best for you to save the most challenging task on your list for when you’re energy is highest.
Most people do best tackling bigger tasks first, for once that is out of the way, it releases a burst of energy for doing more. But find the approach that works best for you and stick with it. You will find this in the doing, so don’t delay starting until you have it figured out. You will figure it out as you go.
The best way to arrive at your goal is to focus on it… one day, one thing at a time.
Setting Simple Goals
Since everyone has different kinds of personal and business goals, perhaps a more general goal common to many people might help here. Most people can relate to health and fitness, so we’ll use a weight loss example.
If your goal is weight loss, and you regularly enjoy an afternoon trip to Starbucks for a venti frappuccino, this could be the one thing you could change to make everything else easier or even unnecessary.
For instance, you may be wanting to keep your diet exactly as it is, and just plan to increase your workout time and intensity. But, instead, you could replace your afternoon venti frappuccino that has around 20 teaspoons of sugar, with a protein shake with almond milk, or fresh fruit smoothie with coconut milk, or even a green juice with coconut water (best option for health).
Just one positive change daily will make a significant positive difference that compounds over time.
That one positive change per day will save you calories and health, and likely make it so that you don’t have to increase your workouts to begin to see better results. That’s your one thing for that day or that week. When that’s done, you identify and do the next most important “one thing”.
“Choices compound. Choose good ones.”
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com®
So what is that for you now? What is the one thing you can do next that will move you closer to your goal?
Never underestimate the power of today to make all the difference in your life.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder – iCreateDaily.com®
Hello! I’m LeAura, owner and co-creator of iCreateDaily.com®. As an autodidactic philosopher, generalist, personal development advocate, entrepreneur, writer, editor, author, ideator, media publisher, and podcaster, I’m passionate about helping others achieve their best possible life! Our small family of entrepreneurs, writers, investors, educators and creators own and run websites around topics we enjoy, such as gardening, health and fitness, creativity and pets, with more to come.
While my greatest teacher is Life… my formal training includes certifications in mediation, fitness, and strategic intervention coaching, including marriage and family. Today, the synergy of creating websites, articles and podcasts, brings together all my favorite things: family, learning, growth, creating, connecting and contributing. To share these with you is a privilege, that serves my lifelong aspiration to help others.
My personal areas of creativity are in writing, masterminding, ideation, synthesis and bringing ideas to life through business and entrepreneurship, all with a pervasive spiritual foundation with a focus on elevating the lives of others.
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