A little planning can go a long way, but what’s the recipe for success? First, you need personal vision and commitment to be successful. If you’re not personally invested into the task you’re faced with, it will become meaningless and you won’t follow through. In order to finish, you have to first be willing to give it your all, no matter how big or small it may seem, by beginning with the end in mind.

This leads into my second point, setting realistic goals. Within your control, what can YOU change to improve the task at hand.

It may be helpful to step back and provide a personal example. A year ago, I decided to frequent the office gym during my lunch hour. I knew I wanted to improve my personal wellness but my time was very limited, but it was still in my control. So I came up with a plan. Every day I would go and run on the treadmill. Consistency empowered me to take it a step further by strategically targeting a more balanced approach to my wellness through a variety of cardio, strength training and meal planning strategies. I signed up to run a 10k and started packing my lunch.

My goals were realistic and I left plenty of room for error and flexibility, but I had to develop a discipline of consistent planning to be successful. A year later, I achieved my goal of losing 30 pounds and have revisited my plans with new aspirations.

So how does this translate into my daily work? As an editor, much of my time goes into content generation and planning. How do I help support a new communication? A simple review process, incorporating a web-based list helps me to identify my target audience, identify the appropriate channels and gives me a bigger picture of how it fits into the global news flow. Other best practices that have helped me to be proactive include planning my week in advance using my Outlook calendar and a simple hand written “To do list.” A bit old fashion, these rituals empower me to prioritize my work and stay focused on what’s most important.

Planning my work week and my private time together has allowed me to passionately pursue the things I love and made me a more well-rounded and productive individual. How do you face the challenge of consistency and what planning strategies have you found most helpful?