I’m going to use my goal of “Be financially self-sufficient” as an example, as I feel that it will be the most challenging of my three. But first, let’s recap:
What makes a goal good:
A good goal is clearly defined, actionable and measurable.
My goal, as written, is not a good goal: “Be financially self-sufficient.” Let’s fix that.
- Clearly Defined – What do I mean by “financially self-sufficient”? I further defined my goal by specifying that I want my income to not be dependent on an outside company; I don’t want to fear that I won’t get enough hours this week, that the boss will fire me or that the store will go out of business.
- Actionable – A vague goal does not provide a target to work towards. A good goal narrows your aim.
This is part of the reason that I combined this goal with another: “Have own successful business.” I can work towards building a successful business.
- Measurable – You have to know when you have reached your goal. Being measurable draws that line in the sand. To cross my line, my business has to provide enough income each month to cover my budget.
Ok, now that we’ve got a good goal to work with “Control my own income by owning a successful business whose monthly income covers my budget” it’s time to get started!
Plan Your Steps
Figure out how you are going to reach your goal, actually write down the steps. This process can be handled in a couple of different ways. You might want to work from beginning to end: the first thing that you need to do, the second, next after that, next after that, reach your goal. You may prefer to work backwards: reach your goal, the last thing you did, the thing before that, the one before that, the first thing you do. Is it easier for you to picture yourself completing your goal, or working towards it? Whichever it is, start at that picture, and work to the other side of your journey.
To build a successful business, I have to:
- determine where my strengths are
- figure out how I can use those strengths to provide value for others
- determine how best to monetize the providing of that value
- set up a vehicle (business) through which I can share that value
- begin providing value
- expand my efforts until I reach my target income
What is the first step that you need to take to reach your goal? Do you need to find out just how big around LBL is, when and where you are most likely to see a moonbow or what strength you want to build your business around? (Probably not, unless you are borrowing my goal list.) Whatever it is, find out! You will probably be surprised how reachable your goal is.
Schedule Your Plan
With a calendar in front of you, lay out a time-line for each step in your plan. Keep in mind that these are not set in stone. Some of them will be take less time than you think, while others will stretch out longer. Don’t be surprised when things don’t go according to plan and be willing to work with these changes.
During this stage it is also a good idea to see how your different goals fit together. Perhaps your goals are large enough that you don’t need more than one or two. If that is the case, allow yourself to put the others on hold. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Two of my goals are relatively easy to achieve, both requiring more in the way of deciding to pursue them than planning and effort. The financial self-sufficiency goal is much more involved. I scheduled the smaller goals so that they serve as much-needed recreation during some of the harder times as I build my business.
Only One More Thing
At this point, the hard part is out of the way… figuring out what you have to do, determining a time-frame to do it in; only one thing is left. Take out that calendar, look at that first step and DO IT!