My favorite quote by Einstein is “Vision without execution is merely hallucination.” The first time I read this I was surprised at the glaring truth to this simple statement. At the same time, I realized it’s sometimes easier said than done.
Goal setting, New Year’s resolutions, dreams, and big ideas-these are heavy on people’s minds right now as we cross the threshold into 2012. Everyone wants to make up for lost time and start off the year on a course to reach their biggest goals and why not? It’s a leap year which makes it even more exciting to think about soaring to new heights. I’m right there with you. I, too, have big ideas, dreams and goals.
Einstein’s quote helped me to realize there are two distinct parts to reaching your big ideas, dreams and goals. First you must have aVision and second, you must have a Plan to accomplish the vision. One does not happen without the other. They are like partners working in tandem. Visionaries can be challenged by creating a plan and Planners sometimes lack the necessary vision to keep the dream alive.
Vision is the dream of your desired future. It’s a picture of something you hope for, something you can see clearly in your imaginative mind. A vision is a dream that inspires and motivates you.
Planning is logical, factual and realistic. A plan is a set of specific objectives and tasks broken down into achievable bite-size goals that you can reach in a targeted amount of time.
Without a passionate dream, a plan becomes idle busyness. Without a realistic plan, your vision becomes more like daydreaming.
Below are some tips and solutions that will help you during both the visioning and planning phases for your Big Ideas, Dreams and Goals for 2012:
1. Steal Some Solitude – Having some quiet alone time to focus on your vision is vital to the outcome. Block out a few hours, a day or even a weekend to get clear on what your dream looks like and what it feels like when it becomes a reality.
2. Clarity is Key – Becoming crystal clear is a must. Visioning about the who, what, where of your dream will help you later in the planning phase.
3. Use Tools to Make it BIG – Buy some large white post-it paper at your local supply store and colorful, vibrant markers to write or draw. I always say to women I work with: “How big can a dream become on an 8×11 piece of paper?”
4. Create a Vision Board – Once you are clear about what your dream is, a vision board is a productive way to keep the dream alive every day. I use this in my “Creating The Spark” Success Circles and women share that this one tool has helped them stay on course and reach their goals. Have it laminated and place it somewhere you’ll be reminded often or make it your wallpaper on your electronic devices.
1. Set Specific Goals – Here’s an example of a general goal: “I want to have more clients and make more money.” Here’s a specific goal: “I want to increase my income by 25% and work with 10 additional people who are my preferred ideal client by April 1.” Notice the difference? The first goal is general while the second holds a specific outcome and date. You are more likely to reach your goal if you are specific. It helps you to measure your progress along the way and reward yourself when you cross a milestone.
2. Make a commitment – Create time in your calendar to work on your goals. In the example above, it will be necessary for you to decide what marketing strategies will shorten your time frame to accomplish the goals and then schedule those into your calendar daily, weekly, monthly.
3. Know your areas of weakness – Everyone has areas of strength and weakness. Operate in your strengths and get support in the areas where you are weak. For example, I do not enjoy the technical aspect in my business or bookkeeping (two essential pieces to any successful business) so I have people on my team who are experts in this area and love doing these tasks. This is where having a coach could be helpful in helping you to identify your strengths and find creative support in the areas where you need help.
4. Evaluate and Course-Correct – Along the way, you may need to course-correct your original plan because of new learning or changes that occur along the way. Being an entrepreneur means you are open to new possibilities and ready for change when necessary.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
Joy Chudacoff is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions , a Professional Certified Coach and Motivational Speaker. To read more articles by Joy and learn more about her Success Circle workshops, teleseminars or keynote topics, please visit her website.