Setting goals can be scary, very scary. Actually accomplishing these goals, or being successful, is also something many people are fearful of. What happens if you actually get that promotion, or have time to travel the world. Now that you have the opportunity to reach your dreams, you need to show up and follow through. These are some techniques to help start you on a successful path to goal setting and career planning.
- When you are ready to sit and plan goals, it’s essential to carve out some time to think, “What do I really want to accomplish this year?” Pick a special place like a delicious cafe, your favorite hiding spot in the city, or a park, where you can enjoy a safe environment and get to work. Plan a time when it’s not New Years’ as well. This will take some of the pressure of making goals that really might not suit you. One of my favorite places is the American Swedish Institute, which is where I ended up this year. Last year, I sat on the bank of the Mississippi to plan. Chose a fun place, and open up your afternoon to planning your future.
- Tell your fear monster to take a break while you plan your goals and be open to any and all possibilities. You may start out on a great session of goal planning, but out of nowhere your saboteur will pop out and begin to tell you, “Why write that down, your art isn’t good enough?” “Who do you think you are, you don’t have enough money to travel there?” “Don’t you think your family will disapprove?” And before you know it, goal planning is a bust. Actually tell our saboteur out loud to go away while you sit and plan your goals, yes out loud. Or bring a picture of what you think your saboteur looks like. When you begin to think these nasty thoughts, remind yourself that it’s just your saboteur taunting you from your successes.
- Start planning this year’s goals by reflecting on what you accomplished this past year. Recognize that by making a list of all the great things you did, they are worthy of acknowledgment and celebration. I call this My Accomplishments list. Every year I build upon this list by adding all the goals I achieved, big and small. You will definitely surprise yourself with all that you did. You will even find things accomplished themselves without much effort on your part.
- Give yourself time. I use almost a whole day to plan goals. For some, you may need a few days or a week. Take breaks when you are tired or overwhelmed, don’t force or push yourself if planning your future takes a lot of work.
- Turn off your distractions. Get out of the house, turn off your phone, leave your computer at home. Unplug from the world so you can plug into your desires. I write down everything longhand in a notebook.
- Don’t edit any goals you have, even if is something massive you think you can never complete or if it’s simple like stop biting your nails. Big or small, ALL goals must be acknowledged. When you feel the need to edit your list of goals, make a list of retired goals. I have a list of retired goals and at the top of the page, it reads, “I acknowledge that these were once goals but are now retired. I am able to take these goals out of retirement whenever I so choose.”
- Surround yourself with dreamers and doers. Who in your life is doing great things? Are you supported by other successful people? If not, branch out. Attend classes like The Artist Way with Amy Egenberger or the Giant Steps Conference. Here you will meet some really great people who will support your life venture.
- Feed your soul and yourself. Don’t dream big on an empty stomach. Pack a snack or go sit at a quiet cafe. Indulge in something delicious and treat yourself for your hard work.
It gets easier the more you do it. And actually, it gets more fun! Yes, you actually get to do all these great things! Remember it’s easier to give up, to fail, then to be successful. Get the most out of life and really set out to experience all that you want from life.