It’s that time of year again: It’s getting warmer, everyone’s more active and you can no longer ignore spring cleaning — or your lack of effort toward reaching your goals.

It’s check-in time! Are you going to be a part of that elite 8 percent who achieve their annual goals or not? Of course, this isn’t an activity saved solely for spring; you should reassess and review goals regularly. A regular check-in gets you back on track before it’s too late. And, because you have measurable, specific goals, you will easily be able to see where you stand and where modifications must be made.

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Do these four things to make sure you are progressing toward your goals:

1. Review your goals. Look back at what you said was important for you to accomplish this year. What portion of your goals have you already accomplished? Are you progressing, or are you far behind? Once you know where you are, you can make adjustments and clearly redefine the goals you have for the rest of the year.

2. Hold yourself accountable. No one is coming to save you! Your goals are yours — don’t be disappointed by the results from the work you do not do. Once your goals are clearly defined, ensure you put in place a solid set of actions that makes your goals achievable, and hold yourself accountable to carrying out those actions. If it is important, you will find a way. If not, you will always find an excuse.

3. Find some support. The adage “You become like the five people you spend the most time with” is true. If you want to achieve more, whatever more may mean to you, look around you and be sure you are surrounding yourself with people who will help you get there. As they say, if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. Find people who have done what you want to do, have had the success that you are driving toward and ask them for help — people are willing to do way more for others than you can imagine.

4. Focus on the important. Everyone is busy, too busy. But we all have the exact same amount of time in the day, week, month and so on. Why is it that some people just get more done? They focus! They don’t let interruption or the urgent get in the way of the important.

You have to change your mindset, and in most cases, how you approach time itself. You have to take control of your own life — if you don’t, you are letting others take control of it.

Put a note on your office door saying “Stay away — important work in progress.” Find a quiet spot and hide from the world. Turn off your phone and email. Limit access to the most important and only non-renewable resource you have: your time!

This may sound harsh or even impossible to some — but it’s not. In fact, if you truly believe that your annual goals are the most important things you can accomplish this year, then you have no choice. (And if your goals are not that important, you need new goals.)

When you are ready, we offer a tool for download on our website to help in planning what is sure to be the best year of your life. Visit and download the WTF document (Where’s The Focus), my gift to your success.

 This story was originally published in the Tennessean.

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