How many times have you contemplated actually going after a goal that you’ve been thinking about forever? Whether it’s backpacking across Europe, or finally quitting that job you hate to go after a career you’ve been dreaming of since middle school. Maybe you’ve been feeling as if the timing was never right, or maybe you’ve just gotten into the pattern of second-guessing yourself. Here’s the thing: the longer you wait, the more complacent you’ll become, and the more you’ll talk yourself out of what you really want to do. It”ll still be on your mind, though, and who wants to live life like that? Consider this a nudge in the right direction. Take a chance and stop telling yourself the reasons why “you can’t.” Start thinking of the reasons and the ways you can. Begin here.
Think About It. Like, Really Think.
Brainstorm with a pen and pad at your side and consider the goal from any angle you can think of. Think of the good, bad, and ugly results that could potentially come from going after this dream. Keep in mind, though, that you’re essentially preparing yourself, so any “bad” results that you can conjure up in your mind should be countered with potential solutions.
Be Positive. And Keep Positive People Around You.
We don’t care if it’s your best friend or a close family member — now is not the time for negativity. That type of attitude is dangerous when you’re building an idea from scratch. Negative people and their comments tend to convince people, already on the fence, not to follow through with their dreams, and we can’t have that. Of course, these people can still be a part of your life, but if you have a goal in mind and they aren’t being supportive, don’t share any of your progress or concerns with them. Be sure that you’re looking at things positively, too! Remember: it’s key to think of all that can “go right” before thinking of all that “goes wrong” — even if you have a plan either way.
After you give your goals some thought, be sure that you understand what the commitment will entail. Once you’ve decided that you’re fully prepped, go for it! Throw yourself into planning. It’s good to give something a shot, but if you only end up floundering in the end because you weren’t prepared to offer the necessary time it takes to build an idea and execute it — all your work would be for naught. And that would probably put you off from wanting to give it another go.
This one should be pretty obvious. You can’t plan for success without doing some thorough research. Read up as much as you can on the topic, career or whatever goal it is that you have. You should know it inside and out before you tackle it wholehearted — this will save you a ton of anguish in the end.
Find A Mentor.
We’re all grown, but there’s nothing wrong with finding a “big brother” or “sister” who’s doing what you’d like to do. If they’re not accessible, it’s cool. Just follow their careers from afar. Soak in whatever you can find. Interviews online, or maybe books that they’ve written. If they’re in your city, reach out to them for the purpose of potentially picking their brain. Offer coffee or a lunch date so you can get to know each other — people love to be taken out, and people in certain positions absolutely love to share their knowledge with anyone truly interested. So show interest. Nurture these relationships especially. Plus, you’re building a network from scratch and starting with the top dog. It’s brilliant.
Draft A Plan of Attack — And Actually Follow Through.
So you’ve thought about it, committed to it, and done your research. You found a mentor in a position that you aspire to be in. It’s time to start planning and setting timelines. We know, it seems like that’s what you’ve been doing this whole time right? Wrong. You’ve been preparing for this moment. Remember: the spark is the idea, the flame is the execution. So this draft has to be tight. You may have to go back and modify a couple times, according to outside factors, but try not to overthink things or you’ll start to resent it all and end up back at square one.
Use Your Network to Implement the Plan.
Remember that guy you met in passing and he happened to mention being into the same thing you’re working towards? Find his card and give him a shout, because you’ll need everyone you can find to be in your corner. Networks are really important and can save you a ton of time — if you know the “right” people. The people in your circle can plug you into the higher-ups that could bring you closer to your goal. Or they can offer advice or new ways of viewing what you have in mind. Even if they have nothing to do with the area, you’ll find that moving with people with like-minded attitudes will offer inspiration when you need it most.
Meditate On It. Recognize Goals, Learn From Losses.
You’ll need to slow down and breathe sometimes. Be still and think of how far you’ve come, even if you’ve faced certain setbacks. Setbacks come with the territory, so learn from them — but don’t harp on them. Meditating helps in keeping your eye on the ball. Don’t deter from it.