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How to Stick to Your Plan

Setting goals is one thing. Find out how to make your plans a reality.

You know it is important to have goals and make a plan for your career and life. You've learned ways to set goals. But do you know how to carry out those goals and stick to your plan over time?

Follow these tips to increase your chances of successfully following your plans.

Write it down. Write down your career plan so that you will remember it and can track your progress. You are more likely to commit to your plan that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART). Put a copy of your plan some place where you can see it often such as on your bedroom mirror or the refrigerator door.

Set deadlines. Make one of two goals that you can achieve within a few days or a week. Then make other short-term goals that only take a few months to complete. Over time you will see how many tasks you have completed and how much closer you are to accomplishing your long-term goals.

Reward yourself. Working toward your goals is hard work. Think of small rewards to give yourself when you accomplish something big or small. These bonuses will help you stay motivated.

Have an accountability partner. It's important to not try to complete your goals alone. Find one or two people who will help you stick to your plan. This can be a friend, a job coach, or your supervising agent (or corrections agent). Your partner will remind you of deadlines and give you encouragement when you face setbacks.

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."
- C. S. Lewis

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