I recently came across a quote that was written on a board stating-
"A goal without a deadline is just a wish"
The quote was altered a bit because the original quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is actually "A goal without a plan is just a wish". Either way, isn't it true? If you just throw random goals out there and have no true action plan, where will that leave you and how will you feel? Well, it will leave you In the same place (aka STUCK) and you will feel unaccomplished...like you're putting all of this time in and not seeing results. Today I will be discussing why it's so important to set deadlines for yourself, an easy way to do it and how to be organized with it so that it will help you get shish done!
Sometimes the word "Deadline" can make people feel uneasy. Maybe because it's a word that represents the lack of freedom. In a way it can make you feel like a failure if you don't meet a deadline, so you just avoid setting one altogether. Or maybe you're like I used to be and set general deadlines such as "I'll have this completed by the summer" or "I will launch this collection in quarter 4". Realistically these kinds of deadlines will only get you so far. You will come to a point where you will HAVE to pick a specific date. By picking a specific date to complete a goal, you set yourself up for success for three reasons:
1 | It makes it real
By choosing a specific date to complete something, you are putting a real timeline on it. You can actually calculate how much time you have to work on your goal. You can write it on a calendar and see it everyday (visualization is a real thing, ya'll!). You will also end up taking yourself more seriously because you know that you have a goal to meet. If you tell yourself that you are going to start working out but never pick a specific day to start, you are just fooling yourself. Imaginary goals only work in imaginary worlds. If you pick a date to start working out, you are more likely to stick with it and be more serious about it. You might decide to purchase some workout gear, so by taking action you are also more likely to get ready to feel the burn. This leads to my next point...
2 | It lights a fire under your a$$
You can slack off and brush off an imaginary deadline for as long as you want if you aren't serious about accomplishing your goals, but at some point you will get fed up and frustrated because you can't seem to find the time to work towards it. By setting a hard deadline, you will know that date like the back of your hand and put (healthy) pressure on yourself to get it done. If you slack off towards the beginning, when the goal date starts creeping up on you, you may feel a sudden sense of urgency and get cracking because you really do want to complete those goals. This means that you might stay up later or get up earlier a few times a week to get back on track (click here to read a post about time and 1 huge myth about it).
3 | It helps you plan appropriately
Planning appropriately means that you will know how to schedule your time all the way up to your deadline. This is done by working backwards. You will be able to start from your goal and branch off from there to see what you need to do, how you need to do it and when. Think of it like this- If you were able to time travel and you traveled to your goal date, you would have seen everything that had to take place to reach your goal. For example, if a food blogger wanted to create a digital e-recipe book, what would they have to do to make it happen? The main goal is to create a book, but before the book launches what needs to happen? Well they could have a webinar about a topic related to their book. Cool. Now, before the webinar happens, what needs to be done? Email sequence for the webinar to get the word out. Okay, so before the email sequence, what needs to happen? Well, list-building of course! But before list building, they actually have to create the book. Do you catch my drift? It's much easier to plan when there is already a date and goal chosen because you will then start adding time frames to each task created. If you would like to try this strategy out for yourself, today is your lucky day! I have created a free downloadable worksheet that will help you plan out your timeline and set deadlines for your next project.
So tell me, are you a person that sets exact dates to accomplish goals or are you kind of laissez faire about things but looking to make things a little more concrete and structured? I'd love to hear how you do it!