1. Define your goals. Get crystal clear on what you want. Imagine your future-self. Describe what you see. What are the predominant features? Put it in writing. Establish long term and short term goals that are concrete, measurable, and achievable. If they are vague ideas, they will be too difficult to accomplish.
2. Take the first step. Choose a task to start your journey toward a better future. Sometimes getting started is the most difficult part. Once you get the ball rolling it’s likely to continue. Nudge yourself to begin the momentum. What one aspect of that future-self can you work on today, tomorrow, and/or next month? Remember, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”, Lao Tzu.
3. Take responsibility for your successes, and failures. Owning your part in your life is empowering. Every time you blame someone or something else for your circumstances you are giving your power away. Growth and development happen through both successes and failures. The only true failure is not trying at all.
4. Embrace change. Change is as certain as the sunrise. Its irony is that it’s the one constant we can count on happening. Get comfortable with it. Let go of old notions about the way things are supposed to be. You are only holding yourself back by clinging to how you’re used to doing things. Take a class, learn a new skill, or join a professional networking group. Stretch yourself and step outside of your comfort zone.
5. Focus on what you can control. The best recipe for frustration and disappointment is trying to control people and situations outside of your realm of control. Adjust your attitude and expectations. What is right in front of you? What can you do about it? Where can you have a positive influence? Identify achievable tasks that will move you closer to accomplishing your dreams.
6. Notice and maximize your strengths. Use your special skills to move forward. What are you good at doing? How can you use those strengths to inch closer to your dreams? Give yourself credit for the small wins and larger victories. Self criticism is a given. Fight back by thinking positively and appreciating each of your talents and efforts. The way you think about things effects the way you feel and behave and can effect your mood and outcomes.
7. Let go of fear. Fear can be a powerful stumbling block. Acknowledge your fear and let it go. Live in the present moment with intention. Pause, breathe. Ask yourself, “If my fear didn’t exist, what would I do differently?”.