Monday, February 18, 2008

Learn to Set Goals

Do you have a goal that you're working towards? One of the most important aspects of successfully saving to quit is having a concrete goal that you are working towards. That involves learning to set goals.

What? Do you really need to learn to set goals? Isn't a goal just a dream that you have for the future?

Well, yes and no. You may dream of winning the lottery, but that's not a very realistic goal. Quitting your job to work on your own business, however, can be realistic.

Successful and unsuccessful people are largely separated by the ability to set goals and follow through to see them accomplished. It's actually that simple.

Learning to set goals is not really's sticking to them and acting on them that usually falls by the wayside.

But here's what you should do:

  1. Write down your goal and make it specific. Include an end date. For example, you might want to say "In one years time, I will have an article published in a magazine."
  2. Break your goal down into smaller steps. In the above example, some of the smaller steps might be brainstorming ideas, querying the magazines, and actually writing the article. Make sure that you are also very specific in the steps you are writing too. You may want to say something like "I will send three query letters every week."
  3. Schedule time to work on these smaller steps. I know that it's sometimes difficult to make that time, especially when you're working a 9-5 job, but it's probably the most important thing. Without taking action, your dreams will just sit there. If you spend just a little bit of time working on them, however, you'll get closer and closer to actually accomplishing them.
  4. Enlist help. You may need some help in achieving your goals. Don't be afraid to ask for it. Ask some friends to look over your query letters. Network with people who can help you out.
  5. Revise as necessary. You may find that things come up and you may have to push your date back. Maybe you don't yet have all the skills needed to achieve your goal. Maybe you find that another goal is starting to take priority. This is all OK.

When you learn to set goals, you are setting yourself up for success. Setting goals (and following through on them) is sure to help you achieve your dreams.

If you want to learn more about how my husband and I achieved our dream of saving enough money to quit our jobs and start a business, check out Save to Quit.


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