In a world where less than 3 per cent people have goals, what do the remaining 97 per cent ever hope to achieve? Make a list of all the goals you want to achieve across six different spheres of life: family, finance, physical, knowledge, social and spiritual. You must also ensure that these goals are time-bound and measurable. This will help you distinguish between achievable goals and the effort it takes to reach your destination.
Before you prepare a flowchart depicting your action plan, set aside some time to prioritise your goals. When you mark your goals as either urgent or important, you learn to distinguish between what requires your immediate attention and what can wait. While you may skip your workout routine on occasion, remember that a healthy body can turn sickly if ignored for too long.
3. Have a plan of action
Plan ahead, not in the 11th hour. If you plan your year, month or week in advance, you will be able to put in maximum time and energy into productive and result-oriented activities, instead of just picking the easiest thing to do and subsequently gaining a false sense of achievement.
4. Execute the action plan
Plug in your daily time with goals that are the most urgent and important, and devote time to the more unimportant aspects only if there is some time to spare. You may sorely need a time-slot on your calendar to improve your putting arm, but sacrificing that multi-crore business deal to do it doesn't make sense.
5. Avoid negativism
Of all the habits, procrastination is akin to cancer. As you go on pushing aside important goals in life, you grow into an escapist. This is most likely to happen when people look for short cuts to short term gains; unfortunately it only leads to long-term pain.
6. One thing at a time
It is important to understand the correct interpretation of multi-tasking, which is ability to perform multiple tasks but doing only one thing at a time in a more focussed manner. This not only enhances your chances of accuracy of getting things right in the first attempt, but also trains you to handle varied tasks with more efficiency.
7. Learn to say no
Besides making a 'to-do list,' make a 'not-to-do list' to remind you of things that you don't have to do. If there are several activities and tasks that can be well managed without you being there, avoid them. This also includes people and life situations both at office and home.
8. Set aside personal time
Make time for every activity that is important to you in your everyday routine. When you allocate a definite time slot in your daily routine, you tend to accomplish all your goals with lesser effort and more efficiency. In today's global world driven by emails and different time zones, it is vital to set aside time for recreation as much as answering corporate calls and international emails.
9. Maintain a journal
This is not a diary to be used and thrown away. A journal updated regularly at night acts as a personal navigation tool to bring you back on track if you happen to stray. Ask yourself every night: How I feel today? What have I learnt today? What am I proud of today? Am I committed to improve? You will soon realise that there are only a few habits that we need to change to improve the quality of our life.
10. Time to introspect
Every month, keep some time aside to evaluate how you are leading your life. Reflect on how you spent your last month. Don't hesitate to seek help. There is nothing embarrassing about sharing your problems with a family member or colleague, when you think you need help. Do not hesitate to confide in your trusted friends to get their perspective.