by LaCroix Creative owner and founder, Patricia LaCroix

If I had to choose any one trait to pin on all entrepreneurs, I’d have to say it would be the adjective “goal-driven.” Entrepreneurs are successful in a huge way due to their tenacity in setting goals and then achieving them.

Count me as one of those goal-driven entrepreneurs. I love the challenge of a good goal, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a bit of a high every time I achieve one. I suppose it makes setting the goals even a bit — dare I say — addictive.

Oh, the joy of self-satisfaction! There really is nothing quite like it.

So I thought I would share with you the six steps that I personally use to reach my own dreams and desires. The beauty of these six steps is in their simplicity. These steps go beyond business and career. They can be applied to ANY goal in ANY area of your life. They help you become very specific and clear — vital aspects of achieving any goal, as operating within TRUTH and REALITY is the only way you can properly and correctly PLAN on how you will achieve your goal.

Remember that every step will take a lot of thought and soul searching. As always, I recommend writing and journaling to make your thoughts and ideas real and clear.

Here are the six steps to reach any goal, as well as explanations on how each step works.

Step 1: Define EXACTLY what you want.

Let’s say you want to have more income. But having a goal for “more income” is simply not good enough for this step. “More income” is much too vague to have any real ability to move you to reach that goal. You have to understand what you need to do to get to that goal. And just saying “more income” isn’t going to cut it.

Instead, get hyper-specific. First, what does “more income” look like? Is it $300? Is it $500? And how would that happen? What would actually bring in the income?

So let’s try again with that definition. Here’s the new goal: To secure three new editorial projects with each project costing no less than $500 each, for a total of $1,500 additional income.

Step 2: Determine what you will GIVE in return.

You have to give something to get something. It’s the way the world turns. And if you have a goal, just putting it out there to the universe is not enough. You have to WORK toward it.

So, what are you going to do to get three more editorial projects? For this example, you’ve decided to send out a significant discount for editing services to potential authors on your current contact list who have expressed an interest in self-publishing. Your discount is what you will give in return for someone who teams up with you for a project — and essentially, is helping you to reach your goal.

Step 3: Establish a DATE to achieve the goal.

This step is ultra-simple. Decide WHEN this goal is going to be fulfilled — a real, concrete date. Keep it realistic — setting yourself up for failure will only create fear and an avoidance of pursuing bigger and better goals in the future. Make it a date that’s achievable. And also think about how this date will be achieved.

Revise, now, your goal, with this date in mind. For the sake of this example, the goal is now: To secure three new editorial projects with each project costing no less than $500 each, for a total of $1,500 additional income, BY THE 30th OF NEXT MONTH.

And, revise also what you are going to give in return, so that your gift is now sensitive to your goal’s deadline: The discount is only valid if a client pays up front BY THE 30th OF NEXT MONTH.

A note on why this step is important: Have you heard the old adage, “Someday never happens”? When a goal date is nebulous, it becomes a fantasy. Like anything that is physically loose and moving around, it’s hard to reach and grab on to something that is doing the same thing — only in the case of reaching a goal, it’s mentally shifting around. A great example is the expression “as soon as possible.” When a person is told to do something as soon as possible, that individual decides that more concrete deadlines come first. It doesn’t move them to do anything more quickly. If anything, it moves that ASAP task to the bottom of the list — probably the exact opposite of the intent of the person requesting that it get done!

So don’t ASAP your goals. Create hard, concrete dates that are doable.

Step 4: Create a PLAN to do this, and START it at once.

As the saying rightly goes, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Think about it. You wouldn’t go to a town you’ve never been before without a map. You’d start out and never get there! You PLAN a trip, because that’s the only way that things will go right.

For this goal, a plan is devised. Make it in small, bite-sized pieces that you can do quickly and easily, that will continue to move you forward. For this example, you to decide that the plan will be:

1) Decide on your discount immediately.

2) Email your contacts in three days.

3) Follow up with another email a week later.

4) Use the next week to call or meet potential clients in person and seal the deals.

And don’t procrastinate. Even if you don’t “feel ready,” begin working your plan. The truth is, we rarely feel ready to do anything. The pieces will fall in place soon enough, and you will also learn more as you go along on your journey toward your goal.

Step 5: WRITE a clear, concise statement of all of the above.

There’s beauty in writing things down. Whether your type on them on a computer screen or jot them in a journal on paper, getting words out of your head turns them into hard facts. You can take a step back and now see your plan — and the big picture.

For this example, you take your steps as I did above and write them all out. Include in the statement your ultimate goal and your end date. Make your statement as clear as possible about what you will do and how you will do it to make your goal become a reality.

And you can also include it your statement an all-important “why” factor. Why do you want to make more income next month? What will that mean for you? For those you love? Why is it important?

Step 6: READ that goal statement twice a day.

Affirmation of your goals and your plans to achieve them helps to program your mind and focus on the tasks at hand that are necessary to get the job done. For this example, you will take your goal statement that you wrote, and you’ll read it twice a day — once in the morning after you awake, and again, a review of that goal at night.

By doing so, you will immerse your brain and your thoughts in what you are trying to achieve. With your goal statement in the forefront of your mind, you’ll make achieving your goals that much easier. Reading your goal statement also helps identify where you might have fallen off track or where the plan might need to be tweaked to be even more effective.

If you need more help, contact us at LaCroix Creative

Good luck on your path to making your dreams and desires a reality! And if you need even more clarity, accountability, and support with these steps, contact us at LaCroix Creative by clicking HERE and learn more about working with us to reach your creative business pursuits.