Ever feel like progress isn’t happening the way you anticipated?
Sometimes the hustle behind the accomplishment is hidden. From the outside, it can even look like success is falling into everyone else's lap.
People who achieve their seemly unachievable goals make a series of small steps before accomplishing the big picture. A lot of hustle, combined with a little luck and good timing can all lead to your dream interview, career change or amazing promotion. If you feel like you’re on a flat trajectory here are 5 simple steps to activly move you towards your goals.
1. Write down your goals
The simple act of writing down your big ideas will move you ahead. This isn’t magic, it’s your ability to articulate the vision that provides assistance. How are people supposed to know what you want if you can’t even describe your goals for yourself?
Write down the stretch goal and start thinking about how you can make little movements towards it. If you want a major promotion, what series of smaller promotions will you need? What skills can you develop and what resources are available in your network to start working towards your goal.
Write the stretch goal at the top of a page and fill in the rest with supporting tasks. Don’t be afraid to call out your own weaknesses. Know where you need support because it's your ability to accomplish a series of supporting activities that will help you achieve the overall goal. Also, re-write your goals at least once every 6 months. Revisiting them helps keep them top of mind.
2. Put your goals in plain sight
Reminders are a powerful tool that can assist you with follow through. This concept applies to life and your goals. Some places to display your goals are on your screen saver, desktop. Paper versions can function as book mark, or simply live on your fridge. Make sure you have a copy somewhere visible. Use the list as motivation to work towards the goal in your spare time. If you don’t make time for your goals, they don't get accomplished.
3. Take small steps often to move you closer to your goals
Do you need training to get to your goal? Many companies host events, or have volunteer opportunities that may help you build your skills or your network.
Work with as many organizations as is relevant to help you build your resume or skill set. This can happen over multiple months so don't feel like you have to fill all your spare time. Stick with each organization until you can show your contribution, or until the relationship naturally ends.
Informal experience or skills training still counts if you can show evidence of your improvement, contributions or progress over time. Also, take the time to get to know the people at these organizations. Professional relationships can grow into friendships and friends are more likely to stand behind you and support your goals.
4. Have and elevator pitch and talk to people about your vision
Talking to people is the best way to get where you want to go! It’s amazing how helpful people want to be! For someone to be able to provide a warm lead or even a job opportunity they have to know what career direction you’re headed.
Having an elevator pitch allows your to briefly talk about your goals. This helps other people to get excited about your goals too. Show passion, and evidence that your making steps to move yourself towards the long term vision and you will be pleasantly surprised how supportive the community can be.
5. Don’t limit yourself before you try
Don’t limit your dreams before you see what you’re capable of! You’re allowed to have stretch goals. Break them up into smaller attainable segments and check them off as you learn and grow professionally. Aiming for CEO of a 500 person company the minute you graduate from university sounds fun, but can that really happen? Becoming CEO of a 500 person company might be attainable after some industry experience, so write down a series of necessary promotions and make sure you check in with your goals regularly to ensure you’re moving forward. Avoid saying “I can never do that” unless you know it’s something you don’t want to do. Don’t count yourself out before you’re even in the game.