It’s often said that the first step to getting what you want is knowing exactly what it is that you want.
But, once you have a clear objective in mind (whether it’s a new career path or a personal goal), you need to figure out the simplest and most effective way to achieve it.
That means creating a solid plan, identifying key action steps, and planning for the unexpected.
Step 1: Breaking it Down Into Smaller Goals
Everything we build in life needs a foundation. Whether we’re constructing a physical building or a new attitude, we need a solid base upon which to build.
If your new goal is to create a lucrative career as a professional singer, you need to know where to start. You might ask yourself questions like these:
– Do I already have the skill and talent needed?
– Have I had any formal training?
– Do I need formal training?
– Am I practiced enough to be a professional singer?
– Do I have any connections in the music industry?
– How can I get my music out there so people will know about me?
The answers to these questions will determine which smaller goals you should work on first.
– If you have no formal training as a singer, you might consider taking voice lessons.
– If you need more practice, you can set a schedule to refine your talent daily.
– If you are already practiced and trained, you can explore ways to get your music out in the public eye, or network with professionals in the music industry.
– If you are already networking with others, you may want to have a demo tape made so you have a way to promote yourself.
Step 2: Identifying Key Action Steps – and Taking Them!
Once you’ve broken down your larger goal into smaller ones, you should see a clear series of actions that you need to take in order to achieve your goal.
Most often, these steps already have an obvious order. For example, if you have no formal training as a singer and you haven’t practiced much, you would be wise to work on those aspects of your plan before you try to get your music out to the public or network with people in the music industry.
Simply keep things in order and you will steadily and surely move toward the achievement of your goal.
However, be sure you are working on the FOCUSED action steps that count. Don’t let yourself be sidetracked by procrastination or fear.
Step 3: Planning for the Unexpected
While you’re identifying your key action steps and forming a plan to tackle them, you may also want to give some thought to obstacles that may pop up – and alternate plans to work through them.
Here’s a good way to do this: consider one step of your plan. Think about the possible complications or obstacles that could arise from taking that step. Then come up with additional steps you can take to overcome those complications.
Example: One step of your plan involves getting your music out to the public. You decide that getting a job singing at a local establishment would give you some good exposure. But what will happen if you can’t get a local singing job? By thinking ahead, you can come up with alternate plans, such as building a website with audio clips of your music, gathering other musicians together and renting a space to hold an informal musical event for your community, or researching local establishments that have open-mike nights.
You don’t have to give this stage of planning an excessive amount of thought, but try to come up with a few different options for every stage of your plan. Then if you encounter obstacles, it’s a simple matter of shifting gears and moving on to Plan B without a hitch.
Believe it or not, that’s important. Too many goals are easily derailed when obstacles appear and the goal-seeker doesn’t know what to do, so they do nothing. They give up. Don’t let that be you.