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So I am sitting here at my desk writing my September map. Yea… "writing" my map… I have to, without it I am like a headless chicken going blindly in circles. I refer to myself as a Jane of All Trades and ‘Work-In-Progress-Master of Most’ (if not all). At any given time I have countless ideas swirling around my mind…like noise…mental noise. Every time I had a thought I began to pursue it and neglect the former idea I was pursuing. This resulted in a lot of half-completed plans and half way achievements. Not good. I had to think of a way to control my ideas and bring each of them to fruition in a sensible fashion and stop wasting energy and time chasing every thought.

According to a study by the Ford Foundation:

• 23% of the population has no clue what they want from life and as such, they have very little.

• 67% of the population has a general idea what they want out of life, but no clue how to attain it.

• 10% of the population has specific goals

• Only 7 out of that 10 achieve their goals half the time

• The top 3% achieved the goals 89% of the time

The difference between the 3% elite group and the rest was: THEY WROTE DOWN THEIR GOALS!!! Can you believe it? Sounds too simple, right?

But it kinda makes sense, doesn’t it? Goal-setting is like a map - it guides us to our destination, allowing us to have a bird’s eye view of the route. We can avoid time-wasting dead ends and detours. Dreams and wishes become goals when they are written; in some strange way writing them down materializes them and makes them probable. I like the phrase "dreams with a deadline" which I have heard used to describe goals.

These are tips to creating my maps for success:

• Get a calendar as visual aid; the mind tends to follow what is in front of it.

• Set aside an hour a day to plan. Force yourself into the habit.

• Work backwards- Focus on your long term goals and decide what short term activities will lead to your long term target.

• Plan tomorrow the night before- While you sleep, your mind will organize your time. I have a white board by my desk that I write my daily tasks on. Then at the end of the day I erase the accomplished ones and leave the undone ones for the next day. Of course the aim is to erase them all!!!

• Start the day with a mental run-down of your agenda. Then just do them! Walk with an idea notebook to jot anything that comes to mind.

• Of course keep in mind that there may be obstacles. Plan for these proactively and not re-actively. Just steer around the obstacles and keep on moving.

• Reward yourself when you achieve your goals. Give yourselves mini-incentives to go even further. But if course don’t waste time patting yourself on the back for too long…there is still lots to do!

Anyhoo my friends, I am going back to my mapping! See you at the finish line of success!

Paula Yee Sing-Edwards