“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Steve Jobs
Thanks, Steve, but what if you don’t know how to go after those BIG dreams?
We talked about how to set goals for your dreams. Now let’s dive deeper into the action plans for your achievement goals (not habits). The steps you need to take to bring yourself closer to living out those dreams.
Often we feel lost and overwhelmed with anxiety with the thought of sitting down to tackle those big dreams. This is because you don’t have a clear path to your dream. How do you face this unknown? I want to share with you a tested method I picked up from Jessica Abel.
First, write down all the questions that occur to you in a short brainstorming session.
You could use a journal, a digital notebook or any other means of capturing info that works for you. (NOTE: keep this list handy so you can add to it as questions pop up).
Let’s follow along with our dreamer from the setting goals post and say your BIG dream is to grow your email list to 1000 subscribers this year.
Your questions might include:
Next, break the questions down. For example:
Note, some questions will go BEYOND the project. Write those down too.
A few words of wisdom. Keep the brainstorming session to a time limit if you tend to get lost in your head. Keep the questions positive and concrete.
Finally, when you have your complete list of questions, it’s time to take a step back and think about how you might categorize your questions. The categories will vary depending on your goals but let’s keep going with the email list.
Come prepared with your list of questions and categories we created above. Also a trusted system for keeping track of it all.
Now create headers for the various project stages. For our email project that would be the RESEARCH, TECH, IDEA PIPELINE etc. As those questions pop into your head in the middle of the night moving forward you can place them in their proper stage.
Next, take just the first step of the process and list out all of the action steps. Don’t go further than that first step or you will fall again into that research rabbit hole. Use your list of questions to complete this action step list and make sure to put them into order.
Your action steps will fall into two categories.
Measurable Tasks: concrete things that need to happen like: Research Email Service Providers
Time Bound Tasks: Open ended activities that need to have scheduled chunks of time. For example: brainstorm email newsletter ideas for 1 hour.
A few more words of wisdom: make sure your action steps include a verb. Be clear on how you will know this action is complete. Some of your questions won’t have clear actions. Spend time brainstorming them and turn them into a detailed project.
This can be a scary process for those big dreams on your list but it’s necessary to move forward. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was built brick by brick and your dreams will be too.
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