"The best way to predict your future is to create it."
1. Begin With The End In Mind
Your vision determines your destination. In order to get to where you want to go, you have to decide where it is you want to be. Having a clear vision of where that is the first step in achieving anything. You shape your vision, and then your vision will shape you.
2. Take Full Inventory
Some goals might not require new skills or knowledge, but others will. What new skills and abilities will you need to gain in order to reach your goals? What skills do you already possess that you would like to improve over the next year?
3. Assess Your Sources
Do you need to go back to school? Enroll in an online training course? Read more books? Develop relationships with mentors or co-workers who can teach you skills or give you insights? Look for the best source for every skill you decide you need to learn to get you to your goal.
4. Create Your Gameplan
You know where you want to go; you know what you need to get there; now start creating a game plan. It should lay out the skills and knowledge you need to gain. It should include a timeline of where and when you will get there. And it should be in writing, on no more than one page.
5. Tackle Your MIT
Don't start with the hardest or easiest. What is the most important thing you can do right now? Take a look at your to-do's and rank them in order according to value. Then apply an action plan to your MIT (Most Important Thing).
6. Take Action
Execute, execute, execute. Massive, imperfect action is better than perfect inaction every time. Let go of your perfectionism and just DO SOMETHING. Commit to doing something this week.
7. Slay Your Mental Giants
We all have them. Doubts, fears, insecurities, excuses. Any thought or belief that keeps us stagnant, keeps us scared, and keeps us exactly where we are. "I'm too young"; "I'm too old"; "I don't have time"; "I don't have money"; "I never follow through"; "This won't work"; "Someday I'll". But when you identify them, they begin to lose their power. It's like shining a light on a cockroach. And once you start acting in spite of them, you will effectively slay them.
Over time you do something you didn't think you could do, your confidence builds. Action leads to confidence, and more confidence leads to more action. But the first step is always action. And that is always within your control.