Last updated on July 16th, 2022 at 12:20 am
Former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher once mused, “Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” Successful dream achievers follow the same theory to make their big dream come true.
Take the time at the end of each day to objectively look at your dream plan. (You do have a dream plan, right?)
The last 30 – 45 minutes of your day should be spent in reflection–looking at what you accomplished and contemplating what you need to complete tomorrow.
I recently became overwhelmed by the stack of books to read and review piled against my office wall. I realized I needed a better plan. I could see that it wasn’t accomplishing my goals. I stopped looking at all the pieces and parts of my dream. My lack of checking in was beginning to kill what I’d hoped to accomplish.
Jack Canfield, the best-selling author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, has a fix for if you are stalling or overwhelmed. It’s called the “Evening Review.”
At the end of each day, sit someplace quiet, close your eyes, relax, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:
1. Show me where I could have been more productive today.
2. Show me where I could have been more conscious today.
3. Show me where I could have been a better [fill in the blank with your dream– a top photographer, a product launch expert, living the American Dream, a published author, a wealthy influential blogger, a world traveler, a motivational speaker, etc.]
4. Show me where I could have been more loving today.
5. Show me where I could have been more assertive today.
6. Show me where I could have been more [fill in any characteristic that embodies your dream — adventurous, fearless, dauntless, fierce, enthusiastic, busy, diligent, etc.]
As you sit calmly in a state of quiet receptivity, review the events from your day. Canfield advises that you observe the events without judgment or criticism. When no further incidents come to mind, take each episode and replay it in your mind the way you would have preferred to have handled each one had you been more aware at the time. When you are done, identify five things you happily accomplished.
It’s great if you can write your five accomplishments down in a journal, or a notepad. You can use The Sucess Principles’ Daily Focus Journal to keep track of your daily accomplishments. Maybe you didn’t get to work on your dream, but you helped your family or helped a friend, or organized your kitchen, or you went for that walk you’ve been putting off, or stuck to your plan not to eat healthily.
But I know you did something today, even if it was getting out of bed and brushing your teeth. Tracking your five daily accomplishments will give you the confidence to take more significant risks on your dream.
Write down what you achieved in the first column, “Achievement.”
Next, consider why that accomplishment is essential to you and write that reason down in the second box under the heading “Reason Why.”
Then, identify how you can make further progress in this same area listed under “Further Progress.”
Last, write down a specific action step that will lead to this progress and write that down in the fourth box under “Next Specific Action.” For example, in the sample form, the first success is “I conducted a great group meeting.” The critical reason is that “it created the team spirit we were lacking.”
The “Further Progress” box needs to be something else you could do to create more team spirit, which in this case is to plan and execute a team development day. A “Next Action” you could take is to form a committee with keep members to plan the day. This quick and straightforward process keeps me consistently moving forward in the arena of building team spirit as well as in many other areas.
Once you have completed the form, transfer all of the action items in the “Next Action” column into your calendar or planner. Schedule a specific time to do each thing so that you get them done. Get them onto your calendar or to-do list.
To change your life and accomplish your big dream, you must form a “completion consciousness” by continually asking yourself: What does it take actually to get this dream completed?
Do you ever start something only to get to one of the stages in the cycle and quit? When you begin a commitment to go after your big dream, finally, your subconscious mind gets ready to deal with the upcoming change. Your mind seems prepared to support you.
So why do you stop?
You stop because something about the dream is not clear, and you set up emotional and psychological roadblocks out of fear.
Checking in by tracking your daily accomplishments prevents you from veering off course and eventually giving up. If you don’t keep track, how do you celebrate your successes? How do you know all that you have done?
Portions of this article are from The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. Copyright ©2005 Jack Canfield. All rights reserved. Published by HarperCollins.
Catherine Hughes is the editor and founder of 8WomenDream. She’s also a magazine columnist, content creator, blogger, published author, and former award-winning mom blogger. Catherine collaborates with companies to craft engaging web content and social media narratives. Her work, highlighting stories of the resilience and success of Northern California residents, appears in several print magazines. Outside of work, she treasures motherhood, her close friendships, rugby, and animals.
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