Every year many clients come to me with fascinating goals such as multiplying their income or starting their own business. “What’s the plan?”, I ask. “It’s in my head and I’m hoping you’ll help me figure it out.”, they often answer. Here are 8 steps you can take on your own to achieve your goals this year.

1. Promote your dream into a goal

Dreams remain dreams if we don’t take certain steps. Your journey starts when you put a date on your dream. For example, “By 31 July 2018, I will have opened my Bed & Breakfast in Amsterdam.” When you do this you create a destination. Now you need a ticket to get there.

When you imagine something is possible you are no longer stuck in the circle of impossibility.

2. Imagine you have achieved your goal

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you are celebrating your success. It feels amazing, doesn’t it? Now tell yourself that whatever another human being has done in the past has proven to be possible. So, you can do it too. Why not? Give it a go and see how the power of imagination fuels your energy. When you imagine something is possible you are no longer stuck in the circle of impossibility, instead you enter a gear up mood.

Remember, what we achieve at the end of the year is the sum of bits and bytes we have achieved every day.

3. Make every day count

Get up early at the same time each morning. I get up at 6.00 am every day including weekends. This gives me a disciplined structure. Every day that goes by means you have one day less to achieve your goal. So, make sure every day counts. Each morning write your goal on paper noting the most important thing you’re going to achieve that day. 

4. Set mini-goals followed by actions

Imagine your goal is to lose 30 pounds by the end of October 2018. Every time you think about 30 pounds it probably seems overwhelming. How on earth am I going to lose 30 pounds? Instead of asking “How?”, focus on your very first mini-goal. How would you feel if you aimed to lose one pound by the end of every week starting next week? It seems doable, doesn’t it? Now write down the easiest actions which will help you lose one pound by the end of this week. For example, “Starting tomorrow, I will exercise 30 minutes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.” You might not be able to swallow a whole cow like an Anaconda can but you can enjoy a well-prepared steak (that is if you’re not vegetarian).

5. Track your progress

Keep track of your progress digitally or on paper. Imagine that you’re thinking about starting your B&B in Amsterdam. Give it a name. When you name it you connect to it. Call it, for example, Dream Bed & Breakfast. Voila! Next register your domain name on the web. If you can’t do it online, make an appointment with the relevant authorities (e.g. Chamber of Commerce) to register your business. Now tick off what you have done already. See how motivating it is?

An enemy that often gets in the way of our dreams, is our own limiting beliefs.

6. Beware of limiting beliefs

“I can’t”, “I’m not good enough.”, “What if I failed?” and many more limiting beliefs come to our minds unbidden. Challenge your limiting beliefs by asking questions. “How can I be certain I will fail when I haven’t even tried it yet?” “What evidence do I have that I’m not good enough?”

7. Turn “I can’t” into “How can I?”

“I can’t” is one of the fake havens we create for ourselves to hide away from taking action. Change this limiting phrase into “How can I?” This simple transformation moves you from a passive to a resourceful state. You become creative and think of things such as what actions you can take, and who can help you. All of a sudden you hear yourself saying: “I’ll follow that great advice my grandma gave me.”

8. Never feel too big for your boots

Many successful leaders – presidents, top performers and entrepreneurs – have had mentors and coaches. Sir Richard Branson, Andre Agassi, and Serena Williams for example. Richard Branson says: “I talk elsewhere about how much the late Sir Freddie Laker’s mentoring did for me with Virgin Atlantic and how greatly his down-to-earth wisdom accrued to my entire approach to business.” When you feel stuck pick up your phone and call a qualified coach. Many of them offer the first consultation for free.

Take action now!

Start today and take the first step of your journey. Before you know it, you will have reached your destination.

You want a hint? Write down the first easy action you will take by next Tuesday. Be it setting an appointment with your coach or calling your best friend to talk about your goal. 

Originally published at first-class-leadership.com