If you’ve got a lot on your plate, you need to prioritize what’s important and trade in your “to do list” for a system that works. Chunking—which is essentially reducing a goal into its smallest components—is an effective way to do this. No matter whether you’re focused on one goal or 10, this system works to streamline the pathway to results, which is exactly the point.
Chunk your goals using these easy to follow steps:
#1) Clarify the goal.
Are you clear about what you want to accomplish? If not, you’re not ready to move forward. So, get clear—crystal clear. Clarity is power. Ask yourself exactly what result you want to achieve. Be specific. Vague descriptions will only hinder your progress. With a specific and measurable target, you can determine exactly what’s necessary to produce the results you desire.
#2) Give it a deadline.
Every goal requires a deadline. A goal without a deadline quickly becomes stale. Why? A deadline makes a goal real and fuels your motivation to achieve it. But don’t just randomly choose any old date. Think about what makes good sense, but also incorporate a sense of urgency. However, understand that being impulsive can cause you to be premature in your assessment, while being overly cautious can cause unnecessary delay. Remember that goals with deadlines have a greater likelihood of being achieved than those without them.
#3) Identify core strategies for success.
How do you get from A to Z? Not overnight or in one fell swoop. Successfully accomplishing any goal means that you’ve also got to complete a series of smaller, related tasks. These are activities related to the goal’s ultimate achievement, but accomplished independently. So, break the behemoth down—all the way down—into bite-size pieces. You don’t want the goal becomes larger than life and too overwhelming to engage. Evaluate how these components can help you accomplish your underlying goal, as they will help you to develop a powerful strategy for success.
No goal is becomes real until you’ve scheduled it with great anticipation. Think about it. Have you ever intended to do something important, but ended up forgetting about it because it wasn’t top of mind? It’s happened to all of us. However, by being proactive and scheduling them in your Day-Timer, calendar, electronic device—or whatever you use to organize your day, you can make sure that the goal remains within your sights. Review your schedule at regular intervals (both daily and weekly at specific times) so that you can prepare to engage strategies that will move you closer to accomplishing the goal.
The journey towards accomplishing any goal requires that you “check in” and evaluate your results. Just because you’ve embarked on a specific course of action, doesn’t mean it’s going to work. Therefore, you need to regularly assess your progress (i.e. the difference between where you are and where you want to be). You may discover that “course correcting” is necessary. Don’t be afraid to tweak your strategies or scrap the ones that aren’t working. You may even need to get some outside input. Remember that an important part of this process is being honest about what you find. That may mean taking a few steps back and recalibrating your actions or celebrating the progress you make along the way. Acknowledging your victories is equally as important as acknowledging your shortcomings, both of which help to fuel your momentum and drive your success.
Learning to effectively “chunk” won’t happen overnight. But when you harness its real-world power to drive results, it will take you and your “dreams with deadlines” to brand new heights.