Armed with your SMART goals? It is time to take BIG ACTION and live your dream.
“You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great.” Zig Ziglar
In my previous article on how to set SMART goals (here) I outlined on where every dreamer should start. I tackled what SMART goals are and how to write them down. Now you have armed yourself with SMART goals, what next? If that is your question, then you are in the right place.
As I said earlier, it actually took me over three years to write SMART goals for African Woman 101 (blog and eMagazine) because I kept on giving all manner of excuses. I am however thankful I overcame that and put my goals down for that was my changing point.
Armed with my SMART goals, I needed to start turning them into reality. Here, I realized that this was another whole journey I needed to take and had to re-look into how to go about it. I read several articles, watched a number of videos after which I felt I was ready to take action.
Below I share with you concrete steps on how to TAKE ACTION and turn your dream into reality.
- Make a master action plan: This is the mother of them all. This is where you create and write down realistic sequential action steps that you will need to start taking from the beginning to the achievement of your dream. For instance you want to write an award-winning novel, then your action plan should entail everything from what you will do to put that first word down to the point your novel is submitted, published and actually wins the award. Remember to attach specific timelines to these actions. Here is where you ask yourself these questions: What do I need to make my dream a reality, what resources, skills, knowledge, assistance do I need to make my dream happen? If you do not have answers to these questions, do not give up but take time to get the answers. Look within you, look around you, those answers are there and no matter how scary they are, write them down.
- Set short-term action points: This simply means breaking down your master action plan into smaller actions that you can easily achieve. Remember we said the master action plan may scare you but when you categorize it further, it becomes so easy to achieve. In the same example of writing an award-winning novel, now break it down to how to write one chapter, write a hundred words or even to one paragraph depending on what works for you. Breaking down your master plan also aids in planning for the (limited) resources you may have. For instance you want to start a T-shirt branding company and your dream is to own your branding machines in the end but you do not have enough resources to get there right away. When you break this down, you can start by branding 10 T-shirts a week using someone’s machine and keep growing your business until you get there.
- Take action: This means you start acting or get moving. It is executing your short-term action points. Ask yourself, what you need to do within one week/day and what steps you need to take then go ahead and take those steps. I needed a website, I had to step out and look for someone who would do it and actually meet them up to tell them exactly what I wanted, draw the contract and have the design start. That is action.
- Stay focused: Who said once you start acting there won’t be doubts? Even after you have committed resources e.g. paid for that container of T-shirts coming in from China, then you hear that voice, what if no one wants branded T-shirts? Do not be swayed by such voices, they are passing wind. As I always say, I choose Faith and not fear. Never doubt the power of that statement, ignore those voices and follow your plan through. Remember, action builds confidence so more action more confidence and you will get there.
- Review: For you to ensure you are headed towards actualizing your dream, you must keep checking where you are and how much further you still have to go. See if your actions are still leading you to living your dream and do not be afraid to make adjustments if need be for life is not a straight line. Remember, you will be learning new things as you start acting, technology may come in and overtake some of your planned actions. All these may just make you see new ways of actualizing your dream.
- Celebrate small wins/the big dream achievement: Your dream may be your lifetime goal so do not wait for the end of life for you to celebrate it, celebrate small wins as you go along for this will give you energy to take the next action. If your dream was a short one, celebrate its achievement even as you focus on the next dream.
The above six steps may look simple but once you have set SMART goals, follow them to actualize your dream and as you set goals for your next dream do not hesitate to repeat the process. All the best and I wish to see you living your dream. May we meet on the other side of success and may God favour you in your dreams that they may turn into a magnificent reality. Choose Faith not fear.