Have you ever tried to find a new destination without a map or GPS?

I’m guilty of this myself sometimes. I jot down directions to an unfamiliar place on a piece of paper but all too often the directions are incomplete.

I spend minutes driving around before finally pulling over and taking the map out of my car or asking a stranger for assistance if I don’t have the proper map.

Sound familiar?

Not having a map is the reason many people have trouble with goal setting.

It’s not enough to have a list of goals or to visualize what you want to achieve.

If you don’t map your goals, it will be almost impossible to take the necessary daily actions to pursue your goals.

So at the start of each month, take a few minutes to review your life categories and goals, and schedule chunks of time in your calendar for activities that will help you slowly but surely attain your goals. By doing so, you will find that you utilize your time optimally and minimize time-wasters.

I have found the format below to be particularly helpful. For each week, in each major area of your life or each major project that you may have underway, define the outcomes you would like to achieve on a simple chart during that month. The Life Categories listed here are examples: define your life categories, no more than 10.

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Even if you think you aren’t an organized person or don’t use a fancy daily planner like Microsoft Outlook, you at least have a calendar on your computer or wall, right?

Take this calendar and sit with it for a few minutes at the beginning of each week, with the above chart in hand.

Write down the specific activities that you will do each week to achieve these outcomes. For example, if you want to lose 25 pounds, then for each week write down a specific goal such as “Walk for 40 minutes each day.”

Soon, your week will be filled up. Not with time wasters, but with tasks and activities that are directly related to the outcomes for the month you defined.

Do this month after month, and soon, you will be on your way to achieving even your biggest, most audacious goals!

At the end of each month, ask yourself these KEY questions, before you create a chart for the next month.

1. What have I accomplished this month? (my Wins!)

List everything you did accomplish. Celebrate and compare against intended results.

2. What did I intend to do that did not get done, and why?

Acknowledge any lack of success and understand the reasons why

Sub question: What is the gift or blessing in not having accomplished what I set out to do?

3.  What opportunities are available to me right now?

There are always opportunities available in this abundant world. Sometimes, we just have to think hard.

4.  What are the breakthrough results I intend to achieve this month?

To get to your intended goal, it is essential that you make progress in small steps along the way. It is also important not to confuse activity with results. Yes, activity often precedes results, but keep your eye on the results you want to achieve, and try to make the results as big as possible. Think carefully about the words “breakthrough results I intend” above.

5. What do I promise myself to accomplish next month?

List the results or outcomes you wish to achieve, and ensure that you have included them with as much as detail as possible.