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Help Your Clients Stop Procrastinating with Daily Goal Setting

March 22, 2012

As change agents, we must make it a top priority to motivate our clients to take action on their major goals every day. (OK, we’ll let them take the weekend off!)

Perhaps your client has drafted up a huge idea for a long-term goal or project and declared it a top priority. That’s fantastic! But long-term goal setting is just the beginning.

In order for your clients to successfully achieve their long-term goals, they must set daily goals.

 

How to Set Daily Goals

 

You can help your clients stop procrastinating and start taking action by teaching them these tactics for daily goal setting.

  1. At the beginning of each week, write down what you want to accomplish for that week.
  2. Be realistic in your goal setting. Let me repeat that: Be realistic in your goal setting. Many people think that setting hard-to-reach goals will motivate them, when actually the opposite is true. Setting unrealistic goals often leads to crashing and burning.
  3. Break the weekly goal into smaller chunks. Then, disperse those chunks over the number of days that you will do the work to create daily actions.  The daily actions can be defined by what you want to accomplish, or by the amount of time you spend working on it. (Setting aside small, specific periods of time daily is my personal preference.) For example:

     

    • Accomplishment-based daily goal: Your client wants you to write two blog posts this week. You want to work four out of the five work days. You decide to research and draft on Monday and Tuesday, and revise and edit on Wednesday and Thursday.
    • Time-based daily goal: You’re building a bookcase. You don’t know whether you can cut, sand, and install two shelves each day. But you do know how much time is available for you to do the work. So you might decide to work for one hour, 6 days a week. (Or 30 minutes, or even 15 minutes, daily!)

     

  4. Every night, write down your specific plans for the next day. Getting crystal-clear on your goals for the next day is crucial for motivation. That’s why the question, “What are your specific plans for tomorrow?” is asked daily in my Academic Writing Club. That is also why I train Finish Agent licensees to use this as the last question that their client answers daily.

    Then, write that daily goal into your task planner. A great task planner that I suggest is the Opus Domini for Mac. I use it both as a task planner and long-range goal setting and tracking tool, and I love it

  5. At the start of the day, look at your task planner and review your goal. PROCRASTINATION BUSTER TIP: Do that task first, before you read your email! I know… the pain! The humanity! But you can do it!

Reward Yourself – don’t “Pre-ward” yourself!

Start with the hard stuff. Don’t “warm up” by reading your email! That’s what members of my Writing Club call “pre-warding” instead of rewarding. Knock the harder tasks off of your list first, and then reward yourself with the easy tasks, like reading email.

Another wonderful reward of using this tactic is how great you will feel. Take it from a commenter on THIS Pick the Brain blog post: “By making sure you take action on your project at the start of the day, not [only] have you reinforced its importance by giving it first priority, but you have that wonderful feeling throughout the rest of your day because you did something that was important and meaningful to you.”

These incredibly simple ideas can help your clients stop procrastinating, move them from long-term goal setting to action-oriented daily goal setting, and reward them with actual results.

How do you make sure that you take actions toward your long-term goals daily? What are your favorite methods you use to teach clients how to set goals? Please share by leaving a comment!

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