Keeping Yourself on Track

When it comes to certain aspects in my life, I'm very undisciplined. Sound familiar? If you know you need to write so many pages, make so many calls or set up so many meetings each day or each month, and it's not happening, one way to keep yourself on track is by creating a support system for yourself. Get together with a friend or two who are all in similar situations and working toward specific goals. Start by defining your ultimate goals and then brainstorm until you can come up with a consensus as to what it'll realistically take to reach them. Set some quantifiable (and again, realistic) daily, weekly and monthly goals for yourselves and work out a system to check in with each other on a regular basis, so you can report on your progress. Define your biggest stumbling blocks as well, so you can brainstorm on effective ways around them. It's helpful having buddies you can call when you're stuck, overwhelmed, depressed or frustrated, because they understand and will help you get up and running again. There's no doubt that it's always easier to succeed within a nurturing, supportive environment, and having friends who are as invested in your progress as you are in theirs is the best—much preferable to going it alone. Plus just the fact of having to account to others on your progress is motivating.

If you're not able to assemble a personal support team, you can still keep a record of your progress. And whether you're in this alone or with a team, the chart on the next page should prove helpful. Using your own headings, of course, you can chart your accomplishments by the day (coming up with a weekly total), by the week (adding up to a monthly total) or by the month (tracking a yearly total). This one happens to track weekly accomplishments and monthly totals.

The chart is more effective when kept in conjunction with a support group, but if you don't have the personal support, use the chart anyway. If you're not keeping up your end, it won't take long to notice the correlation between low numbers, fewer accomplishments and a career that isn't moving as rapidly as you had hoped. It'll provide some incentive for you to stay on track. No matter how it's derived, the added incentive will generate results, and results will help you reach your goals faster.

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