1. Create S.M.A.R.T goals
I am sure that you have heard of this acrostic, but I find it most helpful when I am planning.
- Specific - A specific goal answers the questions who, what, when, why, and where. Your goal is more likely to be accomplished if it is not vague.
- Measurable - When your goal is accomplished, how will success look? How will you know when it is reached? How do will you measure the success?
- Attainable - You can attain most any goal you set, when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.
- Realistic - Optimism is great, but if I think that I am going to become the next Tiger Woods next year, then that is not realistic. Make sure that your goals are in line with your gifts and passions.
- Timely - If there is no time frame matched to your goal, then there is no reason to create one. Creating a time frame places the sense of urgency on the goal and your chances of achieving the goal becomes greater.
2. Get help from others
Once you've created your S.M.A.R.T goals then enlist the help of others. For so long I omitted this step not realizing how quickly it helps you get your goals. Getting help from others that have been down the path that you are trying to go prevents you from re-inventing the wheel and allows you to not make the same common mistakes along the way. Learn from someone else's bad experience, and let that be your teacher. This will move you faster toward your target.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a natural reader. I've developed the discipline throughout the years as I found out how great of a resource it is. Whatever your goal is, I am sure there is a book or blog that can help you learn about that certain area. Don't leave out the audio book option!
4. Take Classes
If there is class, webinar or conference available in the niche that you desire, sign up. This not only will give you valuable information, but it will also link you with other individuals that are pursuing some of the same passions. This is a great springboard to keep you motivated and in the right direction.
Keep in mind that success does not happen overnight. The decisions that you are making now to make progress will really manifest themselves fruitful later down the road. Stick to it, you can do it! Let me know your thoughts, or if you have any other suggestions on making steady progress.