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I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR, LAWYER, AUTHOR & PODCAST HOST. I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT LIVING MY BEST LIFE & BELIEVE YOU CAN TOO!
It is normal every year for people to set New Year’s resolutions. And it is normal that come February, and the resolutions have been well forgotten.
To make a goal or a dream happen we need to form new habits, learn new skills, do things differently in a way that we have never before. Then we need to rinse and repeat until we get to where we want to go. This could be for a health goal, relationship goal, business or career goal. They all require repeat effort over time and building up layers and layers of experience.
For a goal to be successfully achieved, it needs to be successfully constructed in a way that you are able to rinse and repeat until you achieve what you want.
During my second marriage I had déjà vu moment or maybe it was my like a light bulb moment. I want working in my then (but no longer) husbands law practice, it was a one man band and I was helping him in his business. I realised having gone through a divorce myself that I had a passion for helping others through their divorce and create a new and better life. I also realised that I needed to focus and foster my own career, rather than growing someone else business.
Having left school at a young age and already having children, it seemed nearly impossible for me to become a lawyer.
I had to break it down:
1. Get accepted into a university;
2. Work for 4 years to get a law degree, one bite at time, one subject at a time, one exam at a time – repeat and rinse
3. Finalise qualifications to become a lawyer – repeat and rinse
3. Establish a career path in family law – repeat and rinse
4. I am now qualified as a lawyer and an experienced family lawyer = goal achieved!
This goal of mine required lots of rinse and repeating!
Goals are wonderful ways to organise and structure our lives, it doesn’t mean that you can’t pivot or change your focus as you go along. But you have to start!
The best place to start is to write down what you want to achieve, not concerning yourself with the how. But rather to focus on the first step, then the second step.
Now that we have the basic “what’s” and “how’s” done, where do we start to build our goal?
What are your goals and dreams? Who are they? Take a piece of paper and write down all that you want to achieve in 2020. You can do one for yourself and one together with the family. Remember to focus on all areas of your life, e.g. career, health, education, etc.
And be very specific – instead of saying I want to be more active, how about saying I want to finish a 5km run.
Or instead of saying I want to start a business, be specific about what it is that that you want to achieve. I want to start a business that assists _______ and by the end of 2020 I want to have impacted X amount of people and made X amount of income.
When you are finished, go through your list again. Decide when you want to achieve these big dreams of yours. Indicate specific yearly / monthly time frames to these. E.g. you can search for a 5km running event and put that event date as your goal date.
Try to pick a specific number of yearly goals you want to achieve in 2020, you may form 2, 5 or 10 year goals and then smaller goals for 2020 that can contribute towards the bigger goals.
If you have a ton of ideas for 2020, see which goals you can perhaps group together or achieve simultaneously. Think about this time next year, what is it that is a non-negotiable that you want to achieve? How do you want to be looking back on 2020? Prioritise what is most important to you.
Now that it is narrowed down a bit. How will this be achieved? What is the first step that you will take in January? As per our example of the 5km above, you might make your first goal that by the end of January you will be running 1km with out stopping. Or that you will be running for 30 seconds every 2 minutes by the end of January. The list out your goal for February and keep working through it that way, step by step.
When I did my law degree, I printed out the 32 subjects on a A4 peice of paper and every time I completed and passed a subject I would highlight the subject. I had a lot of self doubt during that time…. ‘who are you I to think that you can be a lawyer?’ the voice kept saying. When I had 17 highlighted subjects, I looked down at the paper and cried. A voice, punched the other voice in the face and said… ‘look you are doing it, you are half way… you are smart enough Caralee, keep going.’
Sometimes we don’t know exactly how, but if we keep repeating and keep putting one foot in front of the other we will get there.
Also, remember again – life happens. Don’t be too strict on how you want to achieve your goals. Work in a bit of flexibility. So if the day runs away from you, the kids forgot about due school projects and the home is in chaos, it does not mean the end. Here you can perhaps swap around an exercise rest day for that day.
When I was doing my law degree, I had a baby half way through. Life was happening around me. I had to do less subjects some semesters and others I could pick up more subjects. Just because life happens, it doesn’t mean you have to give up, a smaller step is still a step forward.
How does the old saying go…? “How do you eat an elephant – bite for bite”. Break your big dreams into smaller chunks, following the same principles above. Reward and celebrate your achievements on each of these little goals. And, before you know it, your elephant has been eaten.
Setting goals and achieving your dreams should be a fun and exciting adventure! What ever your goals and dreams are for 2020, just start! Small is great, big is great, building smaller goals or dreams to create bigger ones is great.
Goals give us meaning and purpose in life – enjoy them and create an amazing energy for 2020.