7 Steps to Reach Your Goals
In business there is a lot of focus on plans. Often times at job interviews potential employees are asked what their 5 year plan is. Words like success, growth, management, key-player, may be spoken. Interviewees speak of themselves in the best light usually with their strongest attributes at the forefront of the conversation. I have made many 5 year plans in my life, I know mine…do you know yours?
When I was in college I made a 5 year plan that was something like this
1. Graduate with a Liberal Studies Degree by age 24.
2. Begin teaching.
3. Get Married by age 25.
4. Purchase a house.
5. Have a child after 5 years married.
Um…none of that happened, haha.
Well…it did, but not in the time frame I originally planned and not in that order.
What actually happened was more like…
1. Got Married at age 20.
2. Graduated with a degree in Liberal Studies at age 23.
3. Started teaching.
4. Had 1 child after 3 years married.
5. Had another child a few years later.
6. Moved to 4 rentals before purchasing a house.
7. Quit my job.
8. Had 2 more kids.
9. And come to the realization that I may apparently never work again.
Planning is soooo important. It is incredible to set goals. All of the biggest mogels in entertainment, media, and Fortune 500 companies set benchmarks and goals to track progress, growth and wealth. Sometimes as a stay-at-home-mom I forget to set tangible goals. Yes, I make a checklist most days where I need to get 15 things done in between pick ups and drop offs, but I don’t really put a lot of forward thought on the future. But hey, that 20 something girl in me craves the competition and accomplishment that comes with reaching goals. So I have created a new 5 year plan and you know what…whether you have one or not, there are 7 steps that will help you get there. Five years may seem like a ways off…especially with little ones running around…sometimes days seem to last a week from sun up until bedtime…but it’ll be here sooner than you think.
Here is what you need to know to reach your goals:
1. Be Committed- In order to be successful you need to have a plan and take steps to make it a reality. What tangible things can you do to get there? If you want to be a teacher then the first step would be to get your degree and work towards your credential. So who do you want to be in 5 years? And what can you do today to get closer to your goal?
2. Be Realistic- Becoming a doctor in 5 years isn’t realistic if you are taking gen ed courses in a junior college, but that’s ok. Maybe making a 7-10 year plan would be better for someone with your sought out level of excellence. But if you want to be the manager at your branches bank, restaurant, or company then set those goals today.
3. Be Prepared- Start researching what you need to do to reach your goals. Would taking a course at a college help you progress up the ladder quicker? Figure out how taking baby steps each day could get you closer to your goals.
4. Be Informed- Learning is never over…well it shouldn’t be. The more information you can gain on your goal will benefit you. Do you wish to adopt? If yes, then take the time to research and figure out what will be expected of you to make you a good candidate. Interview others, read statistics, and understand your end goal.
5. Be Positive- Once you know what you want and how to get it, stay optimistic. You will reach your goal!
6. Be Focused- If you are going to reach your goal in 5 years then stay vigilant and focused. Come up with a timeline that is broken down by months or semesters or mini-goals to help you keep on track.
7. Be Flexible- Finally, be flexible. Learn to reroute and adjust. If you take a step back on your journey, don’t lose hope. Get yourself back on track by making small adjustments to your plan and remember that life happens.
So perhaps the five year plan of the past is now in year 10, that’s ok. Be serious and thoughtful and make your dreams happen. I will leave you with something that has stuck with me over the last two weeks. I have had conversations with a couple of people recently each in their 60’s after talking about life goals and dreams with them they revealed the longtime dream of their younger days. I was surprised and felt sad that neither of those specific dreams came true. Perhaps there is still time, possibly they may take steps in the future to make those dreams a reality? Many factors but mainly a fear of the unknown and a lack of a planning were the culprits in both instances. I realized with their guidance and the fact that they encouraged me to set my sights high in my 30’s and make my goals a reality, that I want to live in a way that I am forward focused.
As a mother with young children I find that making goals helps keep me sane and focused. If I can take care of my family and work towards goals that I have for myself then I will never be lost to motherhood. I won’t become a mommy-martyr, I will be strong and become energized for what wonderful things are up ahead.