I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a business owner – or even a friend – say to me, “I know what I want to accomplish, but I don’t know how to get there.” Or similarly, “I know what the end result is supposed to look like, but how do I make that happen?” Do you wonder how to accomplish your goals?
It can be overwhelming to try to accomplish your goals without a good process. One minute things are progressing along fine, and suddenly you have a million things to do and they are all extremely urgent. Or you just might experience a lot of stress as you wonder if you’ve thought of everything or not. Or, if you’re like some people, you don’t even pursue that goal because you are just stuck, wondering if you could ever make it happen.
But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you break it down into steps, it is rather a straightforward process!
Here is how to accomplish your goals in 6 steps:
1. Identify your budget.
You need to have this in mind before you start, because if your budget is small that can have a huge impact on how you go about the rest of the process. As you work through the rest of the steps, always keep your budget in front of you, even as you begin to break down the process into smaller pieces. Don’t lose sight of it or you might be in over your head!
Keep in mind that if you don’t have a budget at all, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t accomplish your goal! There are so many resources out there, you just need to search and find them. You can look for donations or support, or maybe you can just find free tools! Either way, don’t give up until you’ve tried. Research your options, then press on and accomplish your goals!
2. Make a list of all the pieces of the “end result”.
Here are two examples:
Are you planning an event? Then you know you need a facility, seating, food and decorations. You also might need a subject and a speaker for the event. And you definitely have to have guests. What else can you think of? Perhaps music? Other entertainment? Maybe it’s a fundraiser, so you have to have some things for people to purchase or to donate to? How about swag bags, or door prizes? Don’t forget – you might need a rain location, or back up plans if something falls through! Make a list of everything you can think of.
Or maybe you want to create a digital workshop. What items do you need? You probably need to get all the course information out of your head, written out in logical order, and turned into segments so you can make modules. You will need a place to hold the course online. You’ll need students to take the course, so that will require marketing it. You’ll need a way for people to pay you for it! And you might want to have some bonus materials or special opportunities for your students.
3. When you’ve built your master list, study each major item and break it down.
• Decorations: balloons, flowers, centerpieces, banners, colors, confetti, lights, etc.
• Guests: invitations, addresses, stamps, and of course the details to be included in the invitations.
• Swag Bags: samples? paraphernalia from local businesses? full size gifts? brochures?
• Payment Methods: research options; open accounts.
• Bonus Features: special worksheets created and tested; 1-1 coaching time; etc.
During this stage, do your research so you’re confident that you noted all the things you needed to include. You will want to be sure to be thorough, so that you aren’t surprised later by the discovery that you need to add something really expensive or time-consuming that you weren’t aware of to your calendar.
4. When you have a full list of everything you need, start organizing all of it in order.
Some things simply can’t be done till the very last minute, but some things have to be done right away. Remember that to check off some things, you’ll have to do other ones first. For example, in order to send the invitations you first need to buy the stamps. In order to pick up the flowers you need to have first ordered them, and before that you need to have decided on a color theme and what flowers work properly with that.
5. Once you have everything in chronological order, start looking at a calendar and determining deadlines.
If you’re anything like me, your first go at it will probably not work out perfectly and you’ll have to move things around, so use a pencil! Some steps will take longer than others, and some will be more work than others.
When you think you have things laid out properly, take a step back and consider the time and the work involved in the various tasks. If you have too many big deadlines too close together you might be left really overwhelmed and unable to complete them. If this happens, just push some items back a little bit to spread them out.
Also, remember to allow a couple of extra days for each task in case of surprises! (Pro Tip: I like to just set my deadlines a few days before I know I’ll actually need them, so that I have less stress if anything doesn’t work out according to plan!)
6. Now that you’ve got a road map, get started. One by one, just take on the tasks and complete them by the determined deadline.
This is where the real magic happens. This is where you start to see that you truly can accomplish your goals! You begin crossing things off the list, and meeting deadlines, and I promise you: you’ll feel like Wonder Woman.
You won’t need to worry and ask yourself, “am I on track?” or say “I hope I’m getting everything taken care of…” because you can see for yourself that your plan is thorough and you are just crossing items off the list.
Likewise, you won’t face burnout and want to quit, because you’ve already made sure that each task is manageable.
Follow these six steps and you’ll be able to accomplish your goals!