Achieving your dreams is not easy. It is also never straightforward. Life is messy and so too are the paths we take, but it is only when our resolve wavers that we get strayed off course. It takes true resolve and an ability to be flexible and roll with the punches to make dreams come true. Yes, sometimes achieving your dreams means that they change along the way, and that is okay. What isn’t okay is letting your wishes and desires fall out of reach because you don’t take steps forward. It is the progression that will help you improve and lead a long and fulfilling life, but to take that aspiration and see goals reached, you will want to follow this guide:
Understand your Professional and Personal Goals
The first step to achieving your goals and personal success is to clearly define what your goals are to yourself, and to make smaller, short-term goals that will work as stepping stones in achieving them.
Personal goals should never be designed to get yourself down. Instead, they should be used to help give you the push you need to self-actualization. For example, instead of making it a goal that you want to reach this weight, make it a goal to exercise for an hour a day. Or perhaps make it a goal to make healthy meals at the start of the week for lunch. This way, you will eventually get to your main goal, but you don’t have to beat yourself up week after week the scale tells you that you’ve failed.
Professional goals are easier because business structures often have a tiered management system you can work towards. If yours doesn’t, don’t fear. Instead, make note of your dream goal, and then create possible steps you can take to achieve it. Don’t be rigid on these, however, sometimes the route you take won’t be the one you expect.
Learn How To Achieve These Goals
Setting out your goals and the steps that you need to take them is great, but you will need the right arsenal behind you to get the job done. In most cases, knowledge will be your secret weapon, and only when you can establish yourself as an expert in the field and one of the best around will you find opportunities start falling into your lap. Until then, make it your mission to improve yourself, and your knowledge, using these methods:
1. Ask Fellow Professional for Advice
Your coworkers, colleagues, and even acquaintances all have something to offer you. All you need to do is listen and ask. Listening can be key to relationship building and networking all at the same time, so ask about their passion projects. Ask their opinions. Get the inside scoop on what’s going on and how they plan on responding. People love to talk, so dial yourself back and start reeling in the knowledge and expertise that those around you can offer.
2. Gain the Formal Qualifications You Need
If you really want to get ahead of the curve, then you will want to go back to university. An MBA can take you far, but by narrowing down your specialization, you can actually become invaluable to employers in your industry around the country. This can help boost your career in an instant, and open the doors to higher ranking positions you didn’t think were possible before.
For example, say you are an engineer. Higher up positions go from working on the ground to managing a business, and therefore acquiring an online masters in engineering management from Kettering University could be key. This degree helps you direct your business management skills directly to your industry, and graduates from this program make an average of $100,000 or more per year.
3. Be Assertive in Your Career
There is a reason why 21% of CEOs are thought to be sociopathic. Rather than criminal masterminds, these CEOs are ruthless. This does not and should never mean you should try to emulate them, but to understand that sometimes to get what you want in life you need to be assertive.
Ask for that raise when you feel it is deserved. Ask for that promotion if you are taking on more work than your current position entails. Know your worth and demand that the company recognize it, and if they don’t, be prepared to find someone who does.
4. Focus on Short Term Goals as Much as Long Term Goals
Long term goals are difficult to achieve because there is no direction. Becoming CEO of a company is a great dream, but if your only plan is to work up through the ranks, you are not thinking ahead. You need to create short term goals that will help give you the leverage you need amongst the partners and owner to achieve that position, and to do that, you will need to wow them with your track record and get to know them. This could mean attending all the meetings, parties, and events that they will be in with the goal to mingle. It could mean to work individually for one of the partners on a personal project. These smaller goals will add up and are far easier to achieve.
5. Never Forget Your Wellbeing
When you are struggling to get the top, you must be as healthy and well as you can. You should never sacrifice your diet, exercise, and even your friendships for your job. You need to be strong to work hard, and these cornerstones are what will help make you into a monument.
Never Stop Learning
Even once you have made it, or have graduated from your online degree, you will never want to stop learning. Subscribe to a journal that documents key trends in your industry. Read every, hundred page plus report that gets put out. Keep up to date with the news. Listen to podcasts. Read. All of this adds up in one way or another. Even reading fiction can help you be more verbose and eloquent when talking to your team or clients.
Never Give Up
Your dreams are not dead until you are. In fact, sometimes achieving your dream is less worthwhile than working towards it, so don’t worry if you don’t become CEO at thirty. Work towards it, make progress, and better yourself. It is this forward momentum that will help you feel fulfilled and accomplished, and so long as you care for your health and relationships, you will lead a great life.