You may have a goal that you’ve dreamed about for years. But you may also have a job. And a family. And responsibilities. Is it possible to pursue your passion AND successfully manage all of the other duties on your plate? Absolutely! It’s important to dream big, but you must also plan well, work smart, and prioritize.
More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle advised his students, “First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal – a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends – wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”
Affirm What You Want
Ask yourself the following questions:
• What would I like to BE?
• What would I like to DO?
• What would I like to EXPERIENCE?
• Why is what I want to BE, DO, and EXPERIENCE important to me?
To create a plan that leads to what you want to be, do, or experience, you must chart a course of action that will move you in the direction of your passion.
Create a SMART Goal
“You were born to win, but to be the winner you were born to be, you have to plan to win and prepare to win,” said Zig Ziglar, author of Born to Win. “Then, and only then, can you legitimately expect to win.”
A SMART goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. The act of writing your goals packs your passion with power and sets the dream-to-action process onto a course headed towards success.
Consider the following questions as you transform your passion into a SMART goal:
Use the information from your responses to compose a SMART goal statement that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
Powerful Tips for Writing SMART Goals
Here are additional tips to consider as you compose your SMART goals:
• State each goal as a positive statement. Express your goals with positive words.
• Be precise. Set specific goals; include dates, times, and measurable amounts so you can track your progress.
• Set objective performance goals. As you write goals, use action verbs that can be observed and measured as opposed to abstract and subjective goals.
• Set priorities. Prioritizing tasks protects you from feeling overwhelmed and anxious by focusing your attention on important choices and activities that are directly connected to your goals. Clarify your priorities so you can make best use of your time.
• Arrange time in your schedule to pursue your passions. Finding creative ways to fit specific tasks aligned with your goals into your schedule takes work and effort. You must consider how much time you have within a twenty-four hour period that can be devoted to tasks that will help you meet your goals.
Align Your Schedule With Your Priorities
There are only 24 hours in one day. As you build a plan to pursue your passion, you must consider the time you have available and make deliberate choices.
A tool such as MY PLANNING TABLE helps you balance your most important priorities and find time in your schedule to do what you most want to do. As you plan, you must distinguish between the urgency and importance of your daily tasks and responsibilities:
• Nonnegotiable Activities at Fixed Times: Important priorities and obligations that occur at times determined by someone else.
• Nonnegotiable Activities at Flex Times: Important priorities and obligations that occur at a time set by you.
• Negotiable Activities at Fixed Times: Activities you may want to participate in at times determined by someone else.
• Negotiable Activities at Flex Times: Activities you may want to take participate in at a time set by you.
You can find free goal-setting planning tools on my website at www.DrJulieConnor.com. More tools to help you transform your dream into a plan of action are also available in my dreams-to-action goal-setting workbook, Dreams to Action Trailblazer’s Guide.
Network with those who support you and your vision. Be open to learning new information. Find resources that will help you refine your skills.
Passion fuels dreams. Commitment fuels action. Get clear about what you want to do and why you want to do it. Allow time to regularly reevaluate and refine your goals. Make adjustments within your schedule to engage in goal-related activities. And, most importantly, commit to the work of pursuing your dream. Take action.
Your time is now!