If you’ve got a big project or goal that you either haven’t started or has stalled out, this post is for you. In over 10 years of coaching people to set goals and accomplish them I’ve learned that if you apply these same 3 rules over and over again you will get to your destination a lot faster.

Rule #1 Create a Map

You know where you are and you know where you want to end up. If you leave without a map it is very easy to get lost, hijacked, or completely turned around along the way. So map it out before you leave. Let’s say you want to start a side business and in 3 months you want to be up and running with revenue coming in. Start with a business plan. Run a marathon? Create a training schedule. Lose 10 lbs? Create an eating and exercise plan.

This will force you to get specific about what steps to take and make it easier to start. Running 26.2 miles is overwhelming. Running 3 miles, 3 times your first week is doable.

If you had a plan and stalled out, it was likely too big, too complicated, or not realistic. Make it shorter and more direct. Instead of mapping out a whole project. Map out Phase 1. Instead of planning a year’s worth of marketing – do 1 quarter – or even 1 week.

Sticking point: Attention Perfectionists don’t let having the perfect plan become a block. 1 pagers work just fine. Keep it simple. Get it done.

Pro-tip: Your map is only useful when you’ve taken your first step. Planning the greatest journey means nothing if you never leave the house. So resist the urge to put it away before you’ve taken at least one step. It could be as simple as putting important dates in your calendar, booking an appointment, or making a phone call.

Rule #2 Expect roadblocks

Your map is your attempt at picking the most direct path to your goal. But as soon as you set out you are in unfamiliar and unpredictable territory. It’s going to be hard. You are going to experience set backs. But the biggest challenge is not going to be the setbacks themselves it’s going to be what you think about them and how you let them affect you. If you aren’t working on your mindset you aren’t working on your goals. Remember finishing always happens in the mind first.

Sticking Point: Looking at things not going according to plan as unusual, unfair, or a failure.

Pro-tip: Have a strong vision of what you want and why. A strong vision trumps a roadblock every time. 

Rule #3 Check your GPS often

One of the most crucial things that people forget to do when they set out to complete a big project or accomplish a goal is to turn on their GPS. By GPS, I mean having a way of checking and tracking progress. You need a way of knowing where you are at. Thinking through how you will track your progress on your project or goal before you start makes this much easier. 

Your GPS could be a measurement of tasks completed out of total tasks, hours spent versus total hours needed, number of income generated versus your goal, debt paid against total, number of leads contacted versus number of conversions, pages completed out of total number. The key is that you know exactly what kind of progress you are making.   

Sticking Point: Not tracking progress at all or over-tracking to the point that it is cumbersome and you can’t keep up. Keep your GPS as simple and productive as possible. It is always better to start with tracking 1 or 2 key indicators of progress and do it consistently rather than tracking 10 and doing it once.

Pro-tip: Build tracking and checking in into your week. Having a lot of small finish lines means you are moving a lot faster week to week. 

It breaks down to map, take action, track where you are at- repeat. Before you know it you are at the finish line. Mission accomplished. Project complete. Destination reached. And what a good feeling that is!

Ready to take action? Click here to get Map It! Your 1-Page Plan for the Next 12 Weeks.