It's All About the Follow-Through

Yes, I'm a (former) (not especially talented) softball player.


I'm going to be honest here: sometimes, I have a major problem with follow-through. I have big plans. A vivid imagination. Even a decent amount of ambition.

When it comes to big things, like school, work, and family, follow-through is not an issue. It's the little things that trip me up. I've half-cleaned my bedroom probably six times in the past month. Why can't I just FULL-clean it!? I get distracted by cool things I find or someone calls me or my mom makes me go in the living room to watch Derek Hough on "Dancing with the Stars." (I can't resist that.)

I've half-written a script for a short film three times this year and then tossed it. I get really into an idea, then run into writer's block and give up. Inspiration just evaporates.

So I trolled the internet for some tips on actually setting a goal and following through on it. Luckily, has some great ideas for accomplishing that task you've had in the back of your head for so long, like learning to knit or cleaning all the closets in your house.

Ask yourself these questions:

 1) Are you serious about this goal? I was never going to actually do yoga everyday. But I bought a yoga mat and a DVD and put a good solid two weeks' effort into it, and gave up. Make sure this goal is something that you really care about and have the drive to accomplish before you invest your time and money.

2) When can you work on reaching it? Don't pick something that's going to eat up a ton of your time with little to no benefit. Use your Google or Outlook calendar or your day planner or sticky notes to write out a schedule of when you'd actually have time to devote to your goal.  This way, you can visualize how your daily life would alter, and this can help you get realistic about it.

3) What does success look like? Some things, like learning a new skill, don't have a particular "I HAVE SUCCEEDED!" point. The author of the posts cites learning to play an instrument as an example. There's no finite "success meter." Some things, though, like saving $5,000 to put toward a car, have measurable success rates. Write down your goals and how you will measure your success; it helps!

4) How will you track progress? With learning a skill, this can be something like "knit a scarf for my nephew" or "learn all of the scales in my music book." Some things, though, are a little harder to measure, like changing your eating habits or trying to be a nicer person. (That's a good goal for everyone!) If your goal is monetary, pick a specific amount you want to save each week on your way to your financial goal. Seeing your progress can really help you stay motivated.

Answering these questions can be a fantastic starting point on your way to being an awesome human being. So get up and get moving!

Stay awesome!