How to make progress, not just plan for it

make progress not just a plan for your goals

Plans, strategies, goals, systems and habits. You need them all to make progress in your faith, your life and your business. But how do you move past just the plan for your potential progress and actually make it?

In this post we are going to explore the usual go-tos when it comes to goal setting and getting. So let’s get right to it. I think the easiest way to help you make progress, not just plan for it, is to define the terms.

What’s the difference?

Let’s start with the one that we most look to begin with when we recognize a change is needed. You know, you’re currently “here” but want to be “there”? That would be a goal. The first stop in your progress making plan. *If you’ve been around with me for any length of time, you’ll come to realize that I talk about goals a lot. Like really, a lot. (here’s a way-back throwback post on goals you can check out)

A goal is a targeted direction, it points to future. It literally gives you something to aim for. A goal can be in any area – faith, life or business. A goal is singular, while you can have multiple goals, the goal itself is the desired achievement.

Once you’ve achieved goal, you get to decide if you’re keeping it or moving toward a new one. And to do that, it will take habits. A habit is similar to a goal in that it is singular, because a it’s a repeatable action. Either way, a habit is what will help you either maintain your recent achievement or make progress toward a new goal. (Want a post about habit stacking? Here ya go!)

When you’re ready to really start making progress, not just plan for it, you move from the goal, and the habits that got you there. Now it’s time to not just the plan for progress, but what’s going to help you make progress.

Setting up your progress

So far we’ve established that a goal is a direction with a desired result. A habit is a repeatable action that can sustain an achieved goal or propel you toward a new one.

Before we get to those two areas, I thought it would be fair to mention “the plan”. It’s an important part of the whole goal setting and getting process, so let’s make sure that we understand just where it fits in.

A plan is the big picture, what’s needed and you could say it’s like the outline of the project. Which in this case is to make progress toward our goal, not just plan for it. *sometimes the plan doesn’t go well…according to plan! When that happens you’ll need to adapt the plan.

To that end, we come to the two main areas that will be what helps us make progress the most. Ready? Good.

Goals tell you what results you want to achieve, systems let you build a process that can help you achieve those results.

James Clear ~ Atomic Habits

The two main things that will help you make progress and not just plan for it, are strategies and systems.

Again, let’s look at what each are and how they are different. The goal here (the desired end result), is for you to know the difference and understand what each of these industry terms really mean. But even more than that, understand what it means for you and your progress.

Sometimes we need a little extra help. If that’s the case – go here!

Making progress

We’ve moved beyond all of the getting ready to get ready phase. Now that we’ve defined the terms that we’re dealing with when it comes to our goals, it’s time to get to how it happens.

I mentioned that the two main things to get you to the end result you want are strategies and systems.

First, we’ll look at strategies. Think of a strategy as the blueprint for your goal. It shows you the details, what goes where and can even tell the “schedule”. A strategy is the where things go and when. It’s the execution of the plan combined with those repeatable actions, habits.

So as you look at your strategy, ask what order do the tasks need to be done and when is the optimal time to do them. This is where the work happens.

Not to be confused with the strategies, is the system. The system can be thought of as the patterns or processes, procedures or organized framework needed in order to support the day to day strategies.

I know this can be a lot to take in and understand, but I hope you also see how important it can be. There’s a lot of information out there when it comes to helping you achieve your goals. My goal is to help you make the right T.I.E. so that you’ll be well on your way to the transformation you’re looking for!

doing my best to make progress, not just plan for it, right there with ya,

I’m here cheering you on! (psst…like the shirt? here’s where I got it!)

Let me know in the comments what goal you’re working toward. Are you planning progress or making it?

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