Milestone: an important point in the progress or development of something; a very important event or advance.
As I reflect on 2015 and consider the possibilities of 2016, the milestones of the past year come to mind:
- Celebrating our 16th anniversary of being in business on December 1.
- Downsizing to a new home and office space
- New / returning clients
- New / Completed projects
- Taking on blogging and other social media tasks (with a little help)
Milestones are important. They help us measure our progress. They allow us to break down a large task into smaller ones. For example, if a goal is to improve a working relationship with a colleague, I have to be intentional about how I go about that advancement. I must adjust my attitude, define the tasks that will help to ensure success, implement the “to-do list”, hold myself accountable, look back at progress made, ask for feedback, and celebrate the accomplishments along the way – large and small. This particular goal may be a difficult one to measure but intuition will help.
A more tangible example, an easier one to assess progress, is my daily exercise – walking five miles. My Fitbit will help keep me on track but my own visual milestones assist too. When I see the blue mailbox, I know that I am 25% of the way. This adds a little zip to my step. When I spot the cream-colored post at the end of a driveway, 50% of the way is completed. A sense of accomplishment overcomes me. There’s no turning back. At the red and yellow fire hydrant, my achievement level is at 75%. The end is near. Arrival back at home marks 100% and I am energized to do even more – walk around the cul-de-sac or run up the stairs.
“Try the Swiss cheese method of time management and project management. Instead of putting off complex tasks, hoping to have more time for them later, get started by chipping away at them. With enough holes, the cheese either disappears altogether, because the job is done, or enough of it disappears to make the job manageable.” – Alan Lakein
In the workplace, get your team to help you set the milestones related to the common goal. Achieving milestones creates energy and excitement and helps everyone move on to the next milestone. Be aware of the milestones reached. Celebrate them! Recognize those who helped you get there!