Guest Contribution By Danielle Tate, CEO of MissNowMrs.com
Do you know what your goal is? Is it happiness, independence, wealth or a combination of those things? The key to success is knowing your specific goal and the steps to achieving it. Waking up each morning with your goal burning in your brain will help you steer your day and life towards its achievement.
It is important to note that you don’t have to be entirely responsible for your path to success, you simply need to identify the dots that connect you from where you are now to where you want to be. Things like education and mentors can be one or more of the dots on your path. You can also opt to add a few dots like marriage and family that may make attaining your goal take more time, but also make your life richer.
The race to success simply isn’t. Racing implies a reckless dash, whereas the most successful people in life have strategically plotted their trajectories. Professional women don’t have to rush through life, love and parenthood to achieve their goal, they just need to keep their goal in focus and plot the next two to three dots that will move them towards it.
Plan Your Last Dot and then Your First Dot
Consider your goal with a mental telescope and a mental microscope. What is your end goal and the final step to achieve it? This is the last dot on your map to success, and should be very easy to pinpoint (as most of us dream about achieving our goal on a daily basis). Next, think about exactly what action or change is necessary to take you from where you are now to the first step on your journey to your goal. That is your first dot. First dots can be anything from writing a business plan to taking a coding course to brainstorming ideas.
Connect with People
If one or more of your dots are people, do not be afraid to ask for their help in achieving your goal. Being a self sufficient woman is great, but relying solely on yourself to accomplish your goals may lengthen the time to reaching your achievement exponentially. Remember, you are not being weak when you ask for help, you’re being strategic.
As women, we have the innate ability to multitask. This skill serves us especially well, as we can keep up with day to day life, while keeping our next dot in progress. Working towards your next dot can be a lot less overwhelming than your end goal. When you achieve that dot, celebrate your mini-success and then focus on your next dot. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you reach your final destination.
While there is great benefit in planning, there is also benefit in “doing”. It’s easy and can feel safe to spend the majority of your time planning every tiny aspect of your next step. Take action to achieve your goals. It can be scary, and you may be afraid of failure, but even if you do fail you will learn something that will make your next attempt successful. Lack of action will guarantee failure to connect your dots, so get out there and take risks…daily.
How do you stay focused on attaining your goal while juggling the various aspects of life? Remember that you are personally responsible for motivating yourself towards your goal. Write your goal out and tape it to your mirror or use it as your computer screen saver. Create a Pinterest board with quotes that inspire you to press forward. Read books about successful female entrepreneurs in your area of interest. All of these acts will fuel your desire and propel you towards your goal.
Surrounding yourself with goal-oriented friends will also help your progress towards success. Much like the concept of a gym buddy to help keep you accountable for your fitness goals, friends who know your goals and “dots” will help you stay on track. These friends will support you in tough times and act as sounding boards for new ideas and solutions you come up with.
Review & Realign
Take time to check your progress and plotted dots every 3 months. This review schedule serves two purposes. First, it will keep you on track and help you stay motivated. Secondly, the review gives you a chance to realign your next dots as life changes. With the rapid development of technology, it may be possible to eliminate dots or it may be necessary to change your course to achieve your goal. The worst thing you can do is mindlessly follow your dots for months and years without considering new ways to make your goal a reality.