Milestones are an integral part of everyone's life. They are checkpoints along a specific goal that helps you stay organized, measure your progress, and ensure you are on the right track.
A study conducted by the Project Management Institute found that businesses that invest in project management waste 13 times less money, as it helps them complete strategic initiatives more successfully. In the corporate world, project milestones simplify the responsibilities of a project leader by giving team members smaller and more achievable goals to aim for.
It also gives you a progress chart that can be shown to the stakeholders. Similarly, in your personal life, milestones help you build a ladder to your goals, each new step encouraging you to work harder. While milestones are easier to set, setting achievable milestones based on your unique circumstances can be a bit challenging.
So, here are four practical ways to create achievable milestones based on your needs and situation.
Single Out The Barriers And Boundaries
To set achievable milestones that will take you to where you want to be, you should first have a good understanding of where you are now.
It might be tough to analyze yourself objectively. So, consider asking people close to you for help. For instance, if you want to be a better dancer, ask a trusted coach or teammate about it.
Similarly, you must eliminate any barriers or boundaries that might prevent you from reaching your end goal. In fact, let this be your first milestone. For example, this can be using the right accessories that help you work efficiently; such as wearing the right pair of affordable prescription sunglasses, dressing to be productive, or being in the right state of mind by taking some time off from work obligations and projects.
Ask For Help
For your milestones to be meaningful, they should be carved out with precision, and the best way to ensure this is by asking for help. Let us understand this through an example. Imagine you're trying to get healthy and fit.
First, begin by understanding what that end goal means to you. Is it losing a certain amount of weight, eating a healthy diet, or building muscle? Maybe you aren't sure. So, your best bet is to consult a professional. They will help you understand what you specifically need to be your best self.
Setting milestones go beyond following the latest trends or doing what everyone else is doing. Your milestones should work for you and not the other way around. Another point of importance here is building a support group.
Getting fit would be much easier if everyone in your family supported and followed your idea of not consuming sugary foods and drinks. So, find people who will shower you with positivity and push you towards achieving milestones every day.
Short-Term Vs. Long Term
Once you have set your life or long-term goals, it's time to split them into smaller milestones that you must complete to reach the end goal. For example, if your end goal will take you five years to achieve, break it down into a one-year plan, a six-month plan, and then a one-month plan of smaller milestones you should achieve.
Make sure each milestone is based on the previous plan. Finally, based on these plans, create a daily to-do list of things you should work on every day to achieve your long-term goals successfully.
At the initial stage, your smaller goals might be reading books, making plans to achieve your higher-level goals, etc. Nonetheless, these little efforts improve the quality and realism of your goal setting. Lastly, remember you review your plans and ensure they fit the way in which you wish to live your life.
Set Feasible Parameters
For a milestone to be achievable, the parameters you set for reaching those milestones should be feasible. Almost everyone, from employers to parents, media, and society, tends to set unrealistic goals for you, and when on the run to meet those, you ignore your own desires and ambitions.
Additionally, it's also possible that you set milestones that are too difficult to achieve. Consider setting performance-based goals than outcome-based goals. By basing your goals on your personal performance, you get more control over what you can achieve.
Celebrate Your Achievements
Milestones are a great way to measure how far or close you are to reaching your larger goals. While it can be challenging to set achievable goals, these four strategies can help. So, set those milestones and start your journey toward them.
Lastly, remember to celebrate your wins. Rewards aren't just for when you reach your ultimate goal. Motivate yourself by celebrating small successes along the way. Give yourself something you would love to own and keep working hard.