Last week I was gentle with you, merely suggesting that you consider some goal setting for the new year. Now I would like to be more directive, as once you have decided exactly what you are aiming for, you have to determine how you will accomplish those goals, or your goals will merely be dreams.
When I embark on the writing of a book, I start with the end in mind, the title and front cover, what work it will attract and what impact it will make. Then I work back to decide on content and framework, research, before the actual writing. I then put numbers in place, not only to keep my accountant happy, but because business is about figures like profit, loss, sales, cash flow, print runs, chapters, pages. I write a ‘how’ for each heading. Start your plan with numbers, even if only listing your three main goals. Remember that your budget is your resources – what you have to get you where you wish to be. These are often your strengths, which range from your own special qualities and talents to the people who help you along the way. Have you considered how you will optimise and leverage your strengths to get ahead? Make a list of how you can do this.
Next, consider the value of learning, and what you will need to learn to get you to your end goal. Many people on their career starting blocks are unsure of what or where to study. It is often an overwhelming decision, best made with professional advice. Many people obtain a qualification that may not be relevant to their ultimate career, but the process of learning is one that enhances many aspects of your life. In addition to what you are studying you learn about yourself, you make contacts and you work out what you like and dislike, all valuable building blocks in your career.
For those of you who have finished studying, or may not want to, know that learning comes in many forms, like reading books, magazines, newspapers and online, attending courses, listening, observing, asking questions, the list is endless.
Every year in my goal-setting exercise I have a category called learning. Some years it focuses heavily on research on a particular subject for a book, in other years it may be something more frivolous to balance the workload, like learning Italian last year. This year, in addition to researching for a book, I want to learn more about wine…what fun that will be!