Five Steps Towards Achieving Your Goals
Perhaps you began 2018 determined that this would be your year, that you would finally achieve the qualification you’ve been thinking of studying for, write that novel you’ve been dreaming about starting, get fit, open an online shop or start up your own design business. It is easy to make New Year’s resolutions, the hard work comes in now when your gym membership begins to gather dust, unused in your purse, and life can get in the way of following through and working to get closer to your dreams. Whatever shape your dreams are, now is the time to renew your focus on them and to take concrete and positive steps towards achieving them.
Be clear about your goals
Maybe you want to learn Spanish in the bars of Barcelona, or go snowboarding in the Alps, start your own digital business or open a trendy new café? Whatever your dreams are the only way to achieve them is to be clear about them, so try to put them down on paper. According to research, writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them, so get your pad and pen out and get going. Display the piece of paper with your goal on it somewhere where you will see it regularly, such as by your bed or over your mirror, and it will act as an external motivator, entering your subconscious and helping you to believe you will get there at some point.
Break your goals down
Once you’ve written your main goal down, then try to break it into smaller steps, and put a timeline on these. Without a deadline, even a self-imposed one, it is all too easy to let these slip and before you know it another year has passed and you are still in the same place. To avoid that happening focus on the smaller steps to get from where you are to where you want to be. Is there a qualification you need or a training course that will help you to progress? A good way to understand what can help you to get to where you want to be is to talk to those that have already trodden the path and succeeded. Attend a series of networking events and talk to as many people within the field you want to move into as you can. Networking is a great way to not only learn more about a specific company or position but also to get to know people who could recommend you for jobs when an opening arises or introduce you to their own networks. Although networking can be daunting, try to approach it as a way to gain more information and potentially make new friends, rather than piling on the pressure that it is the only way to reach your dream job. Remember, if you act confident it will help you to feel confident, so pull your shoulders back, hold your chin up, make eye contact and get networking!
Have a plan
Breaking down your goals into achievable steps is the first move and follow it up by working out a clear plan. If your goal is to launch a successful business, then write a five-year business plan. This is where you work out where you want to be in the future, what turnover you hope your company to be making, how many employees you will have, etc. Write a one-year business plan as well to show in clear steps how you will begin and the progress you plan to make during the first year. Be realistic, if you are just starting out don’t assume that at the end of year one you will be employing 200 people and have offices near Times Square. To make a realistic business plan, you also need to look at the competition and your chosen industry and assess where your business will stand. Know what will make yours unique and make sure you plan to highlight that in any marketing or media work.
Make sure you have the money
To achieve your goals, whether they are traveling the world by campervan or climbing up Mount Everest, you need to make sure you have the finances you need in place. If you have a creative idea or a community event you want to plan, try crowdfunding as a way to raise the money. Popular crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe allow you to campaign to raise the funds you need, as well as raising awareness and interest in your project or idea. If you want to launch a new product or business, think about where you can find angel investors who can help get your new venture off the ground. Research your options if you want to take out a bank loan, and know what the rates of interest are before you sign up to one. Be wary about securing your house against a loan, as should you new business not pan out as hoped you might find that your house is seized as repayment. If you have a bad credit rating and fear you won’t be able to get a loan, you could consider bad credit loans as an option. Not only will you be able to get a loan, but they can also give you advice on your finances, helping you to get back on track.
Visualize your success
An important but often overlooked element of achieving your dreams is mental tenacity and motivation, to keep on going when it gets tough or when a minor setback throws you off course. Try meditation to help you visualize your success.
There is a reason that top athletes and sports players visualize winning before a game, and that is because visualization can be a powerful tool. Choose an image that sums up success to you and try to spend at least five minutes focusing on it daily. Make the colors in the image brighter and see yourself stepping into the happy image, making it real around you. If you do this daily, you will be helping your subconscious to work out ways to get closer to that image becoming a living reality.