The only sure way to make real progress this year

Sometimes it’s hard to know what you should be focusing on …

Should you pick a niche? Take that new course on that hot copywriting opportunity? Beef up your skills? Or, write a letter to send to that new source of clients? It can feel like you’re constantly taking two steps back for every step you take forward.

So, if you’re feeling frustrated from not making the money you want while you hear stories about other people breaking six-figures and living the life that you dreamed of, then you’ll want to read what I have to say …

Because today, I’m going to give you a step-by-step strategy that can ensure you’ll stop that cycle and make this year your most profitable ever.

Not only that, you’ll become more focused, productive, and confident. Plus, when you apply this strategy, you’re sure to move into the top earners in your field.

Seem like a big promise to make?

It’s not.

This simple but critical strategy is one that top income earners consistently use. I’ll lay it all out for you in just a minute, but first I want to demonstrate the importance of what I’m about to tell you by asking you to consider the following …

How much time do you spend preparing for a party or other event at your house?

Based on my experience, I’m guessing quite a few hours. On the extreme side, you might even invest weeks for a big event like the one my husband and I throw every year called Music on the Marsh. This year, we easily spent 60 hours painting, doing home renovations, cleaning, working in the yard, creating invitations, planning a menu, preparing food, building a stage for a live guitar performance, and setting up sound equipment.

Now, answer this — how many hours do you spend making a plan to achieve your goals? An hour? A day? A weekend? Most people I know take an hour or so to jot down their goals …

Granted the party I described was more elaborate than most of the parties I throw — my point is that you put a lot of time and effort to prepare for this one evening, but how many hours do you spend planning for every day of your life.

Now, I know you’ve heard this before … how important it is to write down your goals. And, there’s a good reason for that. It works! But, without a written action plan, it’s easy to get caught up going task to task, feeling unfocused and overwhelmed. When you’re unfocused, your output reflects that, and it will never get any better if you don’t make a change.

But, when you invest the time to create a written action plan, you’ll have every step laid out. Soon you’ll easily stay focused and avoid getting side-tracked on every “next best thing” you read about that can “make your business better.” In essence, you’ll stop asking “what else can I do” and instead look at your plan and know what you need to do next.

In fact, making a clear, written plan for your goals can make your work easier. And, add “share your goals with a friend” to that and this could very well be the key to your leaping into living the writer’s life. Sound too simple to be true?

Consider the results from a goal study made by Psychology professor, Dr. Gail Matthews, at the Dominican University that demonstrated that writing down your goals and action plan and sharing it with a friend significantly enhances goal achievement.

In this study, participants were placed in one of five groups.

Group 1 was asked just to think about their goals.

Groups 2-5 were asked to write down their goals and then rate them.

Group 3 was also asked to formulate an action plan.

Group 4 was asked to write an action plan and send it to a friend.

And Group 5 was asked to write an action plan, send it to a friend, and email a progress report to his friend weekly.

The results showed that the individuals in Group 1 only accomplished 43% of their stated goals. Those in Groups 2-5 accomplished a mean average of 64% of their stated goals. Those in Group 5 were the most successful, with an average 76% of their goals accomplished.

But, the real kicker was this:

The people who wrote down their goals and action plan, sent their written plan to a friend, and then sent weekly updates to that friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals.

Note the second part of that statement says “and action plan.” Here are 12 steps to create your own written action plan to accomplish your goals this year.

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Cindy Cyr

6 Comments

  • Cindy, thank you so much for this. This concept is not new to me, but for some reason I flounder very easily. One reason is probably the accountability emphasis. I’ve never really owned up to that before. I’ve been wavering over the Reality Blog, even to writing into the post and deleting. But this year has to see change. My husband and I are soon meeting with a friend and his wife to be accountable in helping him to overcome procrastination. Sounds like a good fit for me.

    Cindy, I’m a little confused on your “real kicker” paragraph where results were 33%. Did you mean to say, “76%”?

    As Marissa says, “I’m working on my plan now!!”

    (I found the original article on this study for those interested.)
    http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/study-backs-up-strategies-for-achieving-goals.html

    • Marianne,

      Glad you liked the article–and good for you for making your plan! The 33% refers to the difference in results. In other words those who only thought about their goals achieved 43% but those who wrote them down, made a plan, sent them to a friend and reported their progress achieved 76% of their goals. The difference between the two is 33%. Hope that clarifies this for you.

      Good luck with your plan and I’d love to hear how it’s going for you!

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