Despite being really busy, have you ever had the feeling of treading water in your life? There is a lot going on, both in your private and in your work-life, still you’re not really feeling you make progress? Honestly, I think this is describing reality pretty accurately for a lot of us, at least from time to time.

But in order to be happy and fulfilled you have to grow. To grow is a fundamental human need. And this simply means you need to make real progress in your life. Progress equals personal growth. Progress means you are getting ahead. It means you are getting real results and are moving step by step closer to your goals. Not only to your goals, but also closer to personal mastery and happiness.

What is Preventing You From Making Progress?

1. A Weak Reason – Your WHY

For every single thing we do we need to have some kind of reason to do it. Otherwise it will just not happen. That’s why it won’t work to take on a commitment where your reason, your WHY, is too weak. If your WHY is „because he is your boss and said so“ it may be just that he has the authority here. If it is a friend and you don’t have to do it, if your WHY is too weak, you will find a way to edge out. To make something happen, you need to have a strong enough reason: your WHY.

2. Fuzzy Definition of Your End Result

If you have a fuzzy and unspecific idea of what you are going to do, the result will be fuzzy and mediocre as well. Having clarity of what it is you are after makes finding and executing the single steps you need to go much easier. Your end result needs to be in alignment with your big WHY, so you have a powerful motivation going.

3. Saying „Yes“ Too Often

If you can’t say „No“ to people it is going to get tough. This also applies to all the things and distractions that continuously try to get a part of your valuable attention. You need to stay away from the bad habit of giving in to these temptations. Learning to say „No“ implies to have one or a few very strong goals you say „Yes“ to. And the „Yes“ needs to be in alignment with your end result from above. In order to produce something of lasting value, especially in your professional life, you want to apply single-minded focus which is nothing else than having one big „Yes“. This keeps things simple. In your private life I would suggest to go for a balanced blend of the most important areas.

4. Not Being Organized

Yes, there is something like a creative chaos. But you need some kind of organizing system. If you can’t find your own way through your stuff anymore, what this creative chaos really does is drag you down. To get ahead you need some kind of organization, some like a simple productivity system, others like a more sophisticated system. It depends on your style and what works for you. So experiment a bit and judge by your results. It also helps to learn the basics of time management.

Your To-Do List to Make Progress

To solve the problems for not making progress from above it helps to know them and notice to what extend they creeped into life. Then let’s disarm them one at a time. So here is your check list:

1. Have a strong WHY!
Know your reason for going after your end result.

2. Be clear about what exactly you are after. Set it as a written goal.

3. Say „No“.
Make an intelligent decision on what you say „Yes“ to, and say „No“ to all the rest. Focus single-mindedly on that one big „Yes“ until it is done.

4. Get Organized.
Learn to make weekly plans and daily prioritized to-do lists and work those.

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