Set Your Milestones

Philosophy on how to set your milestones

Many of my articles are focused on my philosophy of success. Philosophical discussions are often controversial and spark lots of debate, but it's something I quite like.

You should perhaps also develop your 'own philosophy of life'. This will ensure that there is always a higher purpose for everything that you do. This is a great stepping stone on finding out how to set your milestones. 

Getting Practical

But you must always remember to get practical, where you actually define what it is you want to achieve and by when.

The article on Smart Goals gives a practical method for setting the goals based on the your Roles and Goals.

In this article I would like to focus on using Mind Maps to monitor and set your milestones.

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What is a Milestone?

Before, we go any further, let's look at what a milestone means and how it is used in this context.

The free online dictionary defines a milestone as follows:

  1. A stone marker set up on a roadside to indicate the distance in miles from a given point.
  2. An important event, as in a person's career, the history of a nation, or the advancement of knowledge in a field; a turning point.

We use the concept loosely to indicate a marker or a goal you want to achieve sometime in the future.

By having small wins along the way, you are able to achieve the big wins. The article on SMART Goals goes into more detail about this.

On your Goals Mind Map, you will probably have the final outcome of what you would like to achieve. You now need to Mind Map smaller victories on the way to achieving the big goal.

By having smaller successes, you will remain positive and believe that you are on track in achieving the big goal, to set your milestones.

How to map your milestones

Many people use a giant year planner to do this. Others use a diary. I suggest you use a Mind Map. A single page Mind Map can give you a high level view of your goals in one glance. You can review whether you are on track or not within a few minutes.

I suggest you structure the Mind Map in the following way:

  • Have a nice image in the centre of the Mind Map. Use something that represents success, or winning.
  • Draw four branches coming out of this central image, one for each quarter.
  • Divide each quarter into months.
  • Put the details of your goals into the relevant month.
You now have a framework to map out the whole year's goals.

Each month should have what you want to achieve and by when. Looking at your Mind Map at any point in time will give you a quick overview of whether you are on track or not.

By setting the milestones of what you want to achieve in the future, you create a yardstick by which to measure yourself. As the old management cliché goes: What you can't measure, you can't manage.

What happens when you miss a milestone?

Firstly, don't worry about it. If you used the Mind Map properly, you would have data-custom-mark="true"seen it coming. Even if you didn't use the Mind Map properly, you can simply cross off the milestone and set your milestones for some time in the future. You will also quickly be able to see the data-custom-mark="true"impact on future milestones that may be dependent on the milestone that you've missed. Simply move them to the appropriate month.

You can also write down the reason for missing the milestone. Be honest, even if it was due to negligence or 'laziness'. This will give you a good picture of your behaviour. Only you can decide whether you want to change your behaviour or not.

Messy Mind Maps

Some people feel that this gets quite messy. If you used a big enough page, it is normally okay to look messy, as the benefits of having a full history, with reasons, on one page outweigh the negatives of being too messy.

If you think it is too messy, you can simply redraw your Mind Map monthly, or even quarterly. The old Mind Maps can then be filed and serve as your history.

Another good way to overcome this, is to use Mind Map Software. Mind Map software gives you all sorts of freedom to manage your Mind Maps in the way you want to, as they are so easy to edit.

I've attached a PDF Mind Map Template, with the quarters and months already filled in, for you to download and print. If it gets too messy, you can simply print a new one.

Go ahead, set your milestones now and get on the road to success.

We welcome your comments on our Facebook Page.

Click here to download Mind Map PDF Template.

Download our free Xmind Mind Map and add your milestones for the year.

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