A goal without a plan is just a wish. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
In my conversations with people, I find this repetitive theme. People want a better or different life, but don’t know where to start. They want change, they are not happy, but, they lack direction. They don’t realize that change just doesn’t happen, that change isn’t done for them, that change has to be an effort that they not only take part in, but have an input into how it will happen.
Where do you want to go?
Change requires looking into yourself. If you are not happy or satisfied with your life, what would make you happy? Focus on your discontent, then look at what needs to change. Now you have a new focus. It could be your job – and you need to look for a new company or even a new career. If you aren’t satisfied with your child’s school – do you need to move your child to a different school or home school? Now you have your focus.
Where are you now?
When using Google maps to chart a course, not only is the address of the destination entered, but also the current location. If you want to move to your new destination, you have to consider where you are. If you want a new job, what would you like to see different in your current position. A new career? Think about the dissatisfaction in your current career. A new school for your child? What would you like to change with the current school?
Once you know where your frustration lies and where you would like to take yourself, you need to assess the situation.
What needs to happen?
Making a change can be easy or it can involve a lot of work, depending on the situation. Changing jobs without changing careers can be as simple as asking friends or looking at job postings to find a new place to work. Changing careers may mean changing your skill set and years of schooling. Changing schools could mean working with your child as well as deciding which school would offer a better education.
Create the plan!
Now that you have assessed the situation and know what needs to happen, how will you do it? You might want to create a timetable to keep yourself on track. Will it involve doing some research? Will you need to do some preliminary work? Will you need to get others to agree with what you would like to do?
Write it all out. Putting it all on paper – or at least in a document in your computer – creates something tangible that you can look back on to see if you’re on target.
Always have a deadline. Each step should have a timeframe that the task needs to be completed by. This will keep you on task and motivated.
Just do it!
You have already taken the initiative to put a plan in place – now do it! If you don’t start, if you don’t complete, your only accomplishment will be putting together a very sophisticated exercise in wishful thinking.