by Sandra Dawes | Featured Contributor
Goal Setting – it’s something we hear so much about, especially at this time of year. I know that I do a lot around goal setting at this time of year because I believe that it’s the best time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish next year, as you review your accomplishments for the current year. Here are my 5 keys to making your goals a reality.
- Gaining clarity on your goalsIf you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know if you’re ever getting close to arriving? We have to be able to really get specific about what it is we want to achieve. Instead of saying that you want to increase revenues or get more clients, start talking about how much of an increase you want and what kinds of clients you want to attract. When you’re clear on where you want to go, you gain more clarity on what it’s going to take to get you there.
- Silencing the “peanut gallery”The peanut gallery comes in many forms. Whether it’s well-meaning friends and family who quote discouraging statistics on the state of the economy or the media itself talking about failure rates of small business, we have to be able to allow these things to discourage us. We need to surround ourselves with positive people that support and encourage us in the pursuit of our goals. We also need to create the mindset within that reminds us when we hear the negative news that just because it’s true for some, doesn’t mean it’s true for me. This is why the third key is so important.
- Having faithI’ve written about the importance of having faith as an entrepreneur before, but it’s worth repeating. When I talk about faith, I mean the ability to believe in yourself, your abilities and your dream. If you don’t believe it’s possible, then anything you do towards your goal is a waste of time. You must believe in yourself if you want others to believe in you. You also have to be willing to accept that everything happens for a reason, even if it doesn’t happen the way that we’d like it to. Being able to surrender control of the things we have no power over is a vital lesson that will reduce heartache and stress along the way.
- Creating a planI’m sure we’ve all heard it said that a goal without a plan is just a dream. While the goal may not be reached exactly according to plan, you do need a guide, a map if you will, that will be your reference point as you pursue your goals. What benchmarks will let you know that you are getting close to achieving your goals? What will the indicators that you’re heading off track be? It can be a challenge not to become so attached to the plan that we lose sight of the goal. When experiencing obstacles, focus on the what and not the how of achieving your goals.
- The willingness and ability to put the plan into actionThis is the part where fear usually pops up. Putting the plan into action can be scary because we open ourselves up to the possibility of failure. We need to remind ourselves that we aren’t going to get any closer to reaching our goals by doing nothing. Even if you have the first four keys covered, you’re not going to achieve any kind of success if you aren’t willing to actually put the plan into action and see what unfolds. If putting the plan into action scares you, then remind yourself of why this goal is important to you in the first place. What will achieving the goal mean for your business, for you personally and who else will benefit are the things to keep in mind and use as motivation when you feel like fear is holding you back.
These 5 keys have been vital to achieving all that I have in the past year since leaving full-time employment to join the ranks of entrepreneur. There have been lots of re-calibrations of the plan and many times where my faith was tested. Thanks to the amazing support system I have and the strategies and lessons I’ve learned from experts along the way, I have been able to not only achieve my own personal and professional goals, but also helped my clients do the same. That desire to help others achieve their goals and live the life they want is what keeps me motivated and driven no matter what’s going on, what’s motivating you?
Sandra Dawes is a recovering control freak and excuse maker, as well as founder of Embrace Your Destiny, her life coaching practice. Her work involves teaching women how to stop making arguing for their limitations so that they can create the life that they want. Sandra’s inspiration to help others in this area comes from her own journey and experiences in dealing with the heartbreak of losing her father. She published her first book Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve, a story that outlines her personal journey, in November 2013.
In her down time, Sandra loves to read, do yoga and spend time with her partner Satnam and their dog Lulu. For more information on what she does, visit www.embraceyourdestiny.ca.