5 Tips to Speed up Your Progress and Avoid Mistakes  

By Berry Fowler, founder and former chairman of Sylvan Learning Centers

1. Begin with the End in Mind

Peter Drucker tells us, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Creating a clear vision of where you want to go with your business and your life is the first step in speeding up your progress and achieving your goals.

Growing your business and enhancing your life is a journey, and with any journey it’s important to begin with the end in mind and visualize your destination.

Self-Coaching Exercise One:

Select a time in the future. It could be a year from today or three years from now, you decide. Now, imagine that your life and your business is exactly the way you want it to be. You have achieved your goals and objectives, and you are living your dreams.

Next, write down what you see as you look to the future. Write how you feel. How does your success impact you and your loved ones? Have you moved? What does your perfect day look like? As you write this narrative include as much detail as possible. This will help your vision become more tangible – more realistic – more attainable. Take your time creating this detailed business and personal vision. Dream big.

Benefits of having a life and business vision are immense. Here are just a few: It is much easier to get where you want to go if you have a crystal clear picture of what the end looks like. You will find it easier to avoid potential mistakes and make better decisions when your plans and actions are aligned with your vision.

2. Articulate Your Plan

“Plan your work and work your plan.” You’ve probably heard that old adage a number of times. It is simple and powerful especially when you have a clear idea of where you want to go.

Self-Coaching Exercise Two: Now that you know where you want to go, you need to develop a well-articulated plan to get there. Begin by listing and prioritizing all of the things you will need to do to accomplish your vision. Make a sequential list of tasks. Assign specific due dates for completing each task. Brainstorm with yourself to identify what resources you have available and what you need. Create a flowchart with all of the information arranged in a way that will make it easy for you to follow and adjust as you move forward. Set specific and timely dates to review and refine your plan.

A crystal clear vision and a well-articulated plan will help you stay on the path to success and avoid making mistakes that can derail your progress.

3. Take Action

The clearest vision and best laid plans are all for naught without action. Taking action makes it happen.

Self-Coaching Exercise Three: In developing your plan, you listed and prioritized the things you need to do to accomplish your goals and objectives. Action is now required. Begin by reviewing the specific tasks identified in your plan and add the actions steps you need to complete each task on your flow chart. Assign a due date for each action step. Coach yourself to remain accountable to your plan.

4. Celebrate Your Successes

Whether you are launching a new business, taking your existing business to the next level, or preparing to sell your business – staying motivated and focused while working your plan is paramount toward quickly and easily achieving your goals.

Self-Coaching Exercise Four: Celebrating your successes is the best way to maintain motivation and forward progress. To accomplish this, begin by identifying milestones whenever important tasks are completed. As you reach these milestones, take time to celebrate. Reward yourself for your successes. Take yourself to dinner, enjoy a night out with a loved one, relax on a weekend getaway, or buy yourself a new Porsche and take a road trip. Whatever you do, remember you deserve it. You have worked hard and earned that reward by putting your heart and soul into your efforts.

5. Be Accountable

Whether it’s building a small business or improving your life, it may feel as though you’ve jumped on a rollercoaster as you begin to implement changes. In the early stages, you will most likely experience peaks and valleys. There will be times you feel pure exhilaration and other times feel the “G forces” and pressure of new beginnings.

Self-Coaching Exercise Five: Stay focused on your vision, work your plan, and enjoy the ride!

Berry Fowler is the founder and former chairman of Sylvan Learning Centers and the founder and chairman of the Fowler International Academy of Professional Coaching. He is a Master Coach, author and speaker. Over the past six years, Berry and his team have trained and certified over 5500 of the world’s finest life and business coaches.