I make lists all of the time: lists of things to do, places to see, what to accomplish. But, what I haven’t done in awhile is put together a strategy of how to get there. (My idea of long-term planning is making dinner reservations at the end of the week.) Most of what I’ve done thus far I’ve left up to chance and fate. I’d say things have turned out all right, but for once, I want to feel like I’m in charge of my own destiny.
So, what did I come up with? I’m taking a five-step approach with my goals.
- Every plan starts understanding motivations. Once you understand why you want to do the things you want to do, you can move on to the next step.
- Write down two to three realistic, attainable, and quantifiable goals. Anything over three will be too overwhelming to tackle.
- Do your due diligence. Make an actionable plan to achieve your goals.
- Execute your plan. If you slip, don’t beat yourself up…just keep going. Be consistent!
- Celebrate your success. (You have to close the loop psychologically, so make it count!)
Here is what my goal schema looks like. I urge you to create your own so that it’s relevant to you. (There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Ideally, though, all of the information you put will be interconnected.)
My three major goals (for all of the blogosphere to witness) are:
- Generate a six-figure income for my business. (Notice I said “for” and not “from.”)
- Commit to a regular schedule of study for both grad school and my personal projects.
- Save enough cash to travel the world by April 2011.
What I noticed was that I’ve sandwiched my short term goal of world travels in between my long term goals (personal development and business goals). It’s a smart move, considering I don’t enjoy inefficiencies or redundancies in my life. If you’re in the same boat I urge you to write out — ON PAPER — what your goals are and try to connect the dots. Is there a way you can adjust your career goals to align with your personal development goals? The closer they are, the happier you’ll be.
My personal development goals mainly revolve around learning…wrapping up my masters degree and maybe considering my doctorate. On top of that I am interested in learning some programming languages, hence the cross training section. Since my personal development goals are monetizable, both directly and indirectly, they can inherently be connected to my business goals. Win!
Next, I’ll go into detail on what exactly counts as a realistic and attainable goal…at least, in my opinion. Stay tuned!