11 ways to progress in life and business

Everyone wants to progress, whether in life or business. Maybe you want to learn new things. Perhaps you’ve set certain goals for yourself and want to stay on track while working toward, and eventually meeting, those goals. Maybe you have a big dream you want to fulfill.

Where do you start? First, you need to figure out where you are in terms of your goals, what you want to learn, what your dream is, and so on.  

  1. Break down big tasks and track subtasks

  2. You have to stay productive to level up in business and life. You can only do this by appropriately managing your tasks.

    If you’re confused about how to achieve your goals, try breaking each goal into the tasks you need to complete. You may need to break complicated tasks down into smaller tasks, or subtasks.

    This will make it easier to manage, track, and review tasks. The process will help you stay focused and productive, and may even help you achieve your goals faster.

  3. Track your time

  4. Making progress is impossible if you don’t manage your time.

    Make a habit of preparing a daily, weekly, or monthly timetable for your tasks and subtasks. At the end of the day, take note of how many tasks you’ve finished, how many of them are left to do, and what else you have spent your time on.

  5. Track your energy

  6. Why should you track your energy? If you know when you are most productive or energized, you can schedule your most complicated tasks during that particular time.

    HubSpot has a great guide about how to track your energy, stay productive, and make progress.

  7. Track your progress

  8. Tracking your progress lets you know where you stand in achieving what you’ve planned. It enables you to figure out how much you need to do to accomplish something. Progress tracking will also help you stay focused.

    Reviewing everything you’ve done to achieve your goals can help you understand

    • The mistakes you made
    • The challenges you faced
    • The lessons you learned
    • The decisions you need to make

    Sometimes, tracking your progress will even inspire you to streamline the way you go about meeting your goals. In short, progress tracking helps you make progress.

  9. Journal

  10. Journaling is a great way to evaluate your day-to-day tasks or smaller goals. It keeps you focused on finishing your tasks and helps you achieve your goals, sometimes even faster than you expected.

    Keeping a journal is important to track progress.
    Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

    Here are some pointers on journaling:

    • Use the type of journal that is easiest for you to manage and maintain, whether a hardbound notebook, a digital journal, or something else.
    • Keep a different journal for each of your important goals.
    • Write in your journal on a daily basis.
  11. Practice gratitude

  12. Practicing gratitude will also help you meet your goals. Gratitude removes negativity and motivates you to make progress.

    Here are a few ways to practice gratitude:

    • Maintain a gratitude journal and write in it every day.
    • Make a habit of appreciating people who have helped you in life and in business.
    • Maintain a healthy work-life balance.
    • Write a letter of gratitude to your loved ones.
    • Write gratitude prompts like the ones in this post: Identify three things for which you are grateful in each of the categories — hear, feel, see, smell, taste, etc.
  13. Practice visualization

  14. Visualization is a technique that makes things happen. Successful business owners, athletes, and even the super rich use visualization to achieve their goals.

    Visualize the progress
    Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

    Here are a few visualization techniques that you can use:

    • Use the mental rehearsal technique early in the morning and before you go to sleep at night.
    • Imagine yourself achieving your goals.
    • Create imaginary pictures of each of your goals and your reactions when you make progress toward achieving them.
    • Write each of your goals on a sheet of paper and keep the paper on your desk as a reminder.
  15. Find accountability

  16. Finding accountability for both your personal and business tasks is vital. Without it, you could end up wasting valuable time or investing in low-priority tasks that won’t help you achieve your goals.

    Accountability will help with self-development and motivate you to stay focused on your goals.

    Image by Tribe of Five

    You can use Tribe of Five to find accountability buddies, complete your journaling, and practice gratitude.

  17. Use your values for decision making

  18. It’s important to uphold your values while making decisions.

    In this article, 12 entrepreneurs explain what exactly values-based decision making means to them:

    1. Utilizing core values to eliminate gray areas
    2. Having clarity on values at the leadership level
    3. Understanding your capacity and leveraging it accordingly
    4. Having a sense of integrity and fulfillment
    5. Engaging in tactics that both align with your values and earn a profit
    6. Designing the life that you want and then building your business around it
    7. Building trust and transparency by making decisions that align with your values
    8. Staying faithful to yourself, your mission, and your values
    9. Enforcing your values with your team and with clients
    10. Honoring yourself, your values, and those who have similar values
    11. Following your gut while making decisions
    12. Giving action to your values through your decisions
  19. Know yourself

  20. Created by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly of Wired magazine, quantified self is a way of knowing yourself by using technology to track everything from your mood to your diet.

    Image by Gyroscope

    You can use the Gyroscope app for quantified self practice.

  21. Use systems, templates, and apps

  22. To execute, track, and optimize your plans, you need the support of various systems, templates, and apps to help you stay organized and productive.

    Here are a few that I like:

    To achieve your goals, you need to have good habits. It takes between 18 and 264 days to form a habit.

    These habit trackers will help you achieve your goals much faster.

    Always track your habits.
    Photo by Tomas Laurinavicius

    It takes work to level up

    Successful people don’t become successful simply by luck. They put years of dedication, passion, and hard work into achieving their goals. You can too.

Steve is Chief Revenue Officer at JotForm and is a prolific writer and presenter about marketing. Raised in Southern California, he earned a MBA in marketing and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area. You can reach Steve through his contact form.

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