A friend of mine recently posted “working on my dreams” as he “checked in” to his newly established business via social media. Whether you are starting a new business, trying to get healthy, wanting to further your education, or just start a new project… The common denominator is the same… Work!
I think when we, as people start a new venture in their lives, we expect that work is going to be a big part of it. We realize that it might take late nights and early mornings, we know that might have to sacrifice leisure activities and have less free time, and we are ok with that!
The hard part, however, is knowing where and how to get started. The task can oftentimes seem so overwhelming that it zaps us of all of our motivation, and we don’t start at all.
So what do we do? Break the task down into smaller steps so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. After that is accomplished, you can work on each “easy” task, until before they know it, the job is done!
Below are 6 steps to doing this with a large life-goal. I am going to use one of my goals as an example, furthering my education:
1. Set a Long-Term Goal: The first place to start is to set a long-term, final destination goal. Write it down! Put it some place where you will see it every day! For my example this would be: Earn my Master’s Degree in Special Education.
2. Set a 1 Year Goal: This is where the “breaking it down” process begins. For the 1 year goal, write down where you want to be in one year from today’s date in regards to accomplishing the goal. Revise this yearly. For my example it would be: Complete my first year of college .
3. Make a list of tasks needed to reach the 1 year goal: Here is where is starts to get a little tricky. Make a to-do list of a few general things needed to bring you from where you are now, to where you want to be in one year. Once you have made your list, number them as to the chronological order that you need to accomplish them. My list would look like this: research colleges, get accepted to college, sign up for semester 1, pass semester 1 classes, sign up for semester 2, pass semester 2 classes, etc.
4. Set a monthly goal: Now that you have made your list of tasks, it’s easy to set a monthly goal… Just choose the first thing on your list and it’s your monthly goal! Mine would be “research colleges”. Write it down, post it where you can see it, give yourself a 1 month deadline, and revise it monthly.
5. Set a weekly goal: Repeat step #3 in relation to your monthly goal, and pick the first item on your task list to be your first weekly goal. Write it down, and revise it weekly. For my goal, my task list could be: research how online schools work , research colleges with online programs, make a list of my 5 favorite colleges, make a list of questions about each college, call and talk to a counselor about the list of questions. And my first weekly goal would be “research how online schools work”.
6. Make a daily goal: Turn that weekly goal into fun-sized “bites” that can actually be accomplished by taking just a small amount of time out of your day. For my weekly goal it would be: Sunday– organize goal lists, Monday– read 1 article about online schools, Tuesday– read 1 article about online schools, Wednesday– read 1 article about online schools, Thursday– talk to a friend who has gone to school online, Friday– talk to another friend who has been to online school. Saturday– make a list of pros and cons of going to school online.
And just like that, with a little organization you have planned your way from where you are today, to exactly where you want to be in one year from now.
If, like me, your goal is to further your education then let me help you out with your first step… Concordia University Wisconsin. This is a program that I have started looking into (remember my month 1 goal), and am already excited about.
This is because Concordia University Wisconsin offers online programs specifically designed for people juggling family, career, and a busy personal life… Ideal for a busy mom like me! I love their philosophy that you do not need to sacrifice your roles of mother, sister, wife, friend, and neighbor, to pursue your goals. They allow you to experience balance in your educational goals and personal life through their diverse options in educational experiences ranging from free MOOCs or email courses, to low price Academies where you earn “digital badges”, to full degree programs ranging from bachelors to doctorate. I also love that Concordia University Wisconsin has a world-class team of support staff that works with you along every step of the way on your educational journey (for someone like me who has a lot of questions, this is a big deal!)
To learn more about Concordia University Wisconsin visit their website today to get started on turning your dreams into a reality!