Sometimes you have to look back to remember where you are going. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a college graduate in 2011 who could not find a job. Similar to any person in that position I took the first opportunity that panned out. For me, that was working as a full-time nanny for two years. In 2014, I was creating international education programs for the U.S. Department of State. What propelled me from watching kids to creating and managing multi-million dollar programs for the top foreign affairs agency in the world? The introspective work I did before creating clear-cut goals.
Get To Know Yourself Again
We all have an itch to pursue a certain thing. If we aren‘t careful, life can quickly get in the way causing us to forget what that is. I learned that my goals had to align with my calling, my legacy and my reason for pursuing them in order for me to be consistent. If you’re stumped, try reflecting on consistent patterns to uncover your purpose then use the 5 Why Method to peel back each layer of complexity to reveal the root of your motivation. The statement you end up with will give you the power to overcome challenging times and shrug off anything less than your best.
Believe in Your Unconventional Imagination
Belief in your ability to achieve anything you put your mind to will keep you dedicated to your goals. As a first-generation professional, I did not have models to follow so working in Washington, D.C. was an “out of reach” dream. Thankfully, my self-belief pushed me through my intimidation. Dreaming with abandon is also a common trait of high-achievers. Elon Musk is an example of someone who imagined beyond the confines of conventional thinking. He successfully launched reusable rockets into space and brought them back to Earth. Why did he pursue this despite already having Tesla? Simple. He wanted “to colonize Mars.” His belief in this simple, direct, and out of this world (pun intended) mission fueled his mind’s energy, power, and resilience to surpass NASA‘s achievements and eventually secure a contract with them to send supplies into outer space. Do your dreams scare you? Great! Do it scared. If you‘d like inspiration, read stories of others who came from humble beginnings and accomplished pioneering feats. Then, write your big dream in an open space that stays with you throughout your journey so you always remember where you are going.
Create Your Blueprint
“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one‘s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Thankfully, putting your thoughts into action just became easier with a solid plan. A plan that breaks your dream down into manageable steps one question at a time. Gary Kelly and Jay Papasan’s The ONE Thing, calls this technique Goal Setting To the Now. A practice that starts from your long-term goal then works backward in five-year increments and asks, “Based on my long-term goal, what is the one thing I can do in the next five years? This continues with, “Now, based on my five-year goal, what is the one thing I can do this year to be on track to achieve my five-year goal.” This method continues until you have worked your way to the present moment when you ask, “Based on my daily goal, what is the one thing I can do right now to be on track to achieve my weekly, monthly, yearly, five-year, and long-term goal?”
This approach not only helped me chip away at my dream of moving to D.C., but it also kept me on track to launch and create my company’s debut product, The Pinnacle Planner, a leadership development and intentional planning system that coaches you throughout the year. Over time, I got better with specifying my goals and identifying the priority tasks needed to achieve them. It also empowered me to say “no” to opportunities that did not align with my mission, consequently making it easier for me to stick to the clear and specific goals I had established.
I had bigger dreams than being a nanny for the rest of my life. The time I spent identifying my purpose helped me pursue what I saw for myself with confidence and create goals I could follow with focused determination. You, too, can live an extraordinary life based on your definition of success through the purposeful imagination you breathe into it and the clear plan you set for it. If you need help getting ready for your new next level, start with this workbook. So, go forth and dream big dreams that scare you with a clear plan of execution that empowers you along the way. I look forward to your 2019.
Author: Melinda Sims
Author Bio: I’m Melinda. A wife, mother to a mini-golden doodle, and founder of Mel Sharell Paper & Company. The idea for this brand came to me as I sat staring at my desk, head in my hands, feeling emotionally and mentally overwhelmed.
I had recently moved to Washington, D.C. for my dream job in international education when I was put into my first visible leadership role working with colleagues who had many more working years than I had at the time.
With waning confidence and a seemingly never-ending to-do list, I needed something to help me balance my desire to become an inspiring leader, manage my day-to-day responsibilities, and help me meet my personal and professional goals.
I looked for convenient and simple tools that would help me develop a leadership mindset while building intentional planning habits to use throughout my long and busy days. But, all I could find were expensive, inconvenient one-off training courses or dense reading material that didn’t speak to my situation as a first-generation professional, or as an emerging millennial leader.
I became frustrated with the search and decided to use my personal day planner to write down tips from various audiobooks, podcasts, friends, and mentors that I encountered throughout the day. I applied these key principles to my daily routine and gradually developed the soft skills to lead this new season of my life with confidence, work more efficiently, and encourage others along the way.
Finally! My personal and professional life were back in balance and I no longer felt like I was spinning my wheels.
As a new wife and entrepreneur, I understand all too well how busy life can get. This is why I created a space where you’ll find the tools and resources to help you bring balance back into your life while empowering your leadership skills.
Link to website: https://www.melsharell.com