How can you achieve your goals without a plan? Most people know what they want but have no plan to achieve it except by sheer hard work. Your yearly plan should be reviewed daily and reset as your achievements are met. Successful people make lists constantly. It enables them to stay on top of priorities and remain flexible to changing priorities. This should be done for both personal and business goals.

Problems will sometimes occur. A good plan anticipates potential problems and seeks out solutions. Good time management enables you to measure progress towards your goals because that which you can measure, you can control.

Effective Goals Are:

a. Increases conscious and subconscious awareness.
b. You'll notice more people, resources, information and opportunities that are available to achieve your goal. (Don't reinvent the wheel, use the help available to you.)
c. Only written goals tend to be met. Keep track of the steps in your plan with To Do lists, vision statements, etc.

Stated in the PRESENT TENSE
a. Enables brain to visualize goal and start seeing it as real.
b. Rather than "I will," state goals in the present tense so they pull you forward.
c. What's more powerful? "I will work toward increasing profits" or "I operate with an X% profit"

a. We think in pictures.
b. The mind focuses on what you think about.
Using a sports analogy such as golf, if you think "I'm not going to hit the ball in the water," guess where the ball goes? In the water! It's best to picture that hole in one!
KEY: Focus on where you want to go or what you want to do. (Outcome Based Thinking)

a. Clarity attracts. Ambiguous goals produce diluted results.
b. There must be a compelling reason for this goal.
c. Don't say, "I want to be happy or have more money." (If you find a dollar on the ground you suddenly have more money - is that what you really want?)
d. Get specific... what does more money or happiness look like for you?

a. It's human nature to put things off... we get comfortable or busy or let fear seep in.
b. Most people work best with a deadline.
c. Give yourself a reasonable timeline.
d. Consider tying it to some external event (i.e.: launch website by industry conference).

Proper balance of CHALLENGE & REASONABLE
a. Needs to cause you to stretch, grow and get out of your comfort zone.
b. Must also have some degree of believability. (Don't expect to lost 40 lbs in a week.)

Plan your day each morning or the night before and set daily priorities. Review your progress at the end of the day.
Look ahead in your day/month/year to anticipate what is going to happen so you can better schedule your time.

Write SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely)!

Author's Bio: 

© 2009 Ruth Hegarty

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Ruth Hegarty helps women entrepreneurs create confident and effortless success. As a certified Law of Attraction Coach, Ruth teaches women to unleash their powerful creator. She hosts the popular "The Art of Joyful Living Radio Show." Listen every Tuesday by visiting Art of Joyful Living .

To learn more about Ruth's group or one-on-one coaching programs and to get her free Confidence Building e-book for women, please visit her website at Leap of Confidence.