Once you've set your goals, the next step is to brainstorm ways to achieve your goals. Develop an action plan to map out the steps you will take and the resources you will need to achieve your goals.
Writing down your goals makes them more concrete and helps you to commit to them. Don't write down your goals and then throw the piece of paper in a drawer. Post your list of goals somewhere where you will see it every day.
Why is a particular goal important to you? Write down the reason why you want to achieve a goal. It will be a good reminder when you are tempted to slip and avoid doing the hard work it may take to reach your goal
Resources can be things, like a reliable vehicle to get to work each day; or people, such as your business network; or information, such as tips for writing a great resume.
Determine the resource you will need to achieve your goal. What resources do you have and what ones do you need to get? How will you get access to the resources that you don't have already? Write down your answers to all of those questions too.
An effective way to do this is to imagine you've already achieved your goal. Find some quiet time and really picture it fully. Close your eyes and imagine that you've accomplished your goal. Where are you? What are you doing? Who is with you? How do you feel?
Now, start at the point in the future when you've reached your goal, and work backwards. What did you do just before you reached the goal that caused you to achieve that goal? Write that down. What did you do just before that, and before that? Write it down too. Work backwards from your goal to your current circumstance detailing each step you would have taken before you moved another step closer to your goal. When you finish this exercise, you'll end up with an effective road map that will help to lead you to your goal.
Once you've set your goals and implemented your action plan for achieving your goal, you will likely find that you need to make adjustments along the path to your goal. By all means, allow yourself the flexibility to alter your strategies for reaching your goal if you find a better way. That's good problem solving.
However, be honest with yourself if you're changing your original plan. Are you making a change because the new strategy is truly better, or are you not following through on your original plan because it's challenging and you're looking for an easier way out? If that's the case, revisit your reasons for wanting to achieve the goal in the first place. Do you still want to achieve that goal? Do you want to achieve the goal enough that you're willing to continue to commit to the hard work?
Be flexible with your plan, but be skeptical of your motivations any time you make a significant change in the plan.
Achieving life and career goals doesn't often happen without a solid action plan. If you implement these ways to achieve your goals, you'll be well on your way to creating and achieving exactly what you want in your life.