When NASA sends up a space vehicle, like the recently successful Artemis mission, they don’t pick a time, launch, and hope for the best. Every moment of the mission is planned out. The flight engineers know exactly where the vehicle is and where it should be. If those two things don’t agree, they take steps to get back on track.
When failure is not an option, planning and monitoring must become a main priority.
While our own life and career goals will not require the exacting calculations as a NASA mission, planning and monitoring are absolutely vital. A dream made without setting goals and knowing whether or not we’re hitting them is just that — a dream.
When we put our dream into action, however, we will make it become a reality. It will take extremely hard work, laser-beam focus, discipline, preparation, organization, and daily specific actions, but we can draw a line between our hopes and attaining our aspirations.
Setting a target
My Theory of 5 mentors and I have found that anything worth achieving starts with an idea. Either on the conscious or subconscious level, we see the results in our minds before they happen in reality. Daydreams are seen by some as frivolous — a waste of time that could be put to better use by taking direct action.
This is simply not true.
When you’re setting a goal — setting a course for your life — I believe daydreams are essential in building a vision and generating the inspiration necessary to make that goal a reality.
They provide the blueprints needed to take constant action, and action is what will make your goals become a reality.
I’m sure you understand that we can’t spend all our time daydreaming, of course — direct action is necessary. With this action, vision and belief, our emotions engage and bring us the power we need. With these tools in place, we are closer to making that vision a reality.
Making it real
My mentors have also shared with me the importance of putting my goals in writing. Once we do, these goals will become real in a way they can’t if we just keep them in our minds. Abstract concepts become specific targets, and they challenge us in a way vague notions will not.
This also lets us make our goals more directed and specific. The more detailed we make our goals, the better the chance we have in achieving them.
Every dealer wants to increase their department’s monthly sales at their dealership. “Increasing sales” isn’t precise enough to set a goal. The first question to ask ourselves is how much do we want to increase our sales? Do we want a 10% increase? 50%? Do we want to double our sales? Answering this question lets us know what our next steps should be.
Keeping track of progress
Developing and working a plan toward our goal isn’t enough. We also have to monitor, measure and track how we’re doing along the way to make sure we are on the right path. Energy spent doing the wrong thing is wasted, or worse — it might be dragging us away from our ultimate goal if we’re going in the wrong direction.
If we wanted to increase sales by 20% this month, we shouldn’t put a plan into action and just hope for the best. It’s crucial we track both our team’s progress and the progress of our individual sales team members, and make needed modifications along the way.
We might see that there are flaws in our plan. We might notice that one of our sales consultants needs coaching in a particular area. Our team might be missing tools and/or resources that could make a big difference. By paying attention to our day-to-day progress, we will gain valuable information that we can immediately put into action.
Also — and this is true for personal and professional goals — it is important to share with our team what we are trying to achieve and why. When doing this, most will support us in reaching our goal. An added benefit is that we also become accountable to them on some level for our results. Often, it’s easier to make excuses to ourselves than it is our friends, family or mentors. When temptation comes along, highlighting the easier path, this accountability will keep us moving in the right direction.
Accomplishing your mission
When we create a vision, make plans to achieve that goal, and constantly measure and monitor our results along the way, we’re building a path from dream to reality. My Theory of 5 mentors and I have found that this method offers us the best way forward in both our personal and professional lives.
Our plans may change along the way, but our overall goal of success is constant. Make your plans, launch your mission and keep track of your progress until you reach your goal!
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