Column by Diane Honey
Personally, I feel like there comes a time in every person’s journey where they can feel overwhelmed with the idea of the future. I find that this impacts entrepreneurs, self-employed people, and self-made women the most! It’s hard to feel secure when your dreams require so much risk. However, it’s important for everyone to know that your dreams are very much possible and that's the first step to making them a reality.
A key part in making your goals a reality for you is by visualization. Take some time (but not too much!) to daydream and see yourself achieving your goals. Visualize yourself with your own business, cashing big checks, walking across the stage with your masters degree, launching that line. This helps you normalize the idea of you achieving your dreams, making it feel more achievable and making you feel more confident in going after you goals.
A GAME PLAN
I strongly recommend you develop a game plan for each of your goals. You can type this out, but things stick much better in your memory when you write them down. Get a notebook and a pen and simply write down all of your dreams. The businesses you want to open, the certifications you want to receive, the house you want to buy. Write them all out in creative detail. Then go back, think deeply about your dream, and write down concrete steps and requirements in order to achieve that dream or goal. For example, if you want to get your dream body, your first step would most likely be to self-examine what you do and dont like about you body and research what foods, exercises, and practices you need to do to help build a workout plan. The process of writing a game plan puts your goals in perspective, and based on what your dreams are, it can even weed out dreams that may be “unachievable” for you at the moment.
HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
Finally, start integrating your game plan into your daily routine and habits. If you want to get that dream body, make a weekly schedule that includes your workout times. If you want to ace your GRE to get into your dream graduate program, make time in your schedule to study every day. If your dream is something that doesn’t require repetitive actions, such as working out or studying, then set deadlines for yourself. For example, if your dream is starting your own YouTube channel, you could set a deadlines such as “Buy camera and accessories by November 1st” and “Have video idea list done by December 1st.” Since achieving that goal requires several large tasks as opposed to small repetitive ones, this method will help you stay as on track as you are with other habitual tasks. Setting deadlines and making routines also helps you hold yourself accountable, as the deadlines and routines are being built and decided by you as opposed to outside forces like school and work. It’s up to you whether you succeed or fail (which is 1000% okay to do, as long as you come back stronger!).
I use several small moleskine notebooks for my ideas, designs, self-reflection purposes, and daily to-do lists. I also have apps such as google calendar to help me set reminders of things that I have to do. I encourage you to develop your own way of doing it. Some people are super organized and plan things to the last detail, and some people play it by ear with a few daily reminders and tasks. You’ll be the most successful in all your endeavors if you make your schedule around yourself and your element!
A FEW REMINDERS
Ignore people who shoot down your ideas completely and people who put you down with no valid critique. They may think it’s impossible, but that may be because they aren’t you and don’t have your vision.
Ignore the little voice in your head that fills you with fear, suspicion, and hesitation. If you listen to it, you’ll look back years from now with regret.
Don’t abandon an idea the first time you lose enthusiasm for it. Revamp it! Keep innovating until it’s golden.
It’s okay to fail! Its encouraged, even. Failure is essential to success. It forces you to dig deep into your psyche and learn more about yourself, your process, and your mistakes. Embrace failure.