Record unemployment, bankruptcy filings by iconic businesses and tightening consumer credit…
Stark realities like these are the reason many of today’s young professionals have experienced corporate lay-offs, income cuts, diminished revenue at small businesses and fewer contracting opportunities as consultants.
What it boils down to is no matter what your job, it’s more important than ever to be disciplined and to make sure that you are doing your very best. If the definition of self discipline is “the ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it whether you feel like it or not”… ask yourself; “What decisions must I make today to start moving toward the top of my field?”
In its Spring, 2009 issue, The National Urban League’s Urban Influence Magazine presented a seven-step formula for setting and achieving goals for the rest of your life including in times of stress and uncertainty:
- Decide What You Want – decide exactly what it is you want in each part of your life. Become a “meaningful specific” rather than wandering “generality.”
- Write it Down – Write it down clearly and in detail. Always think on paper. A goal that is not in writing is not a goal. Rather it is a wish with no compelling energy behind it.
- Set a Deadline – Set a deadline for your goal. A deadline acts as a “forcing system” in your subconscious. It motivates you to do the things necessary to make your goal come true. If it is a big enough goal, set sub-deadlines as well. Don’t leave anything to chance.
- Make a List – Make a list of everything you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. When you think of new tasks and activities, add them to the list.
- Organize Your List – Organize your list into a plan. Decide what you will have to do first and what you will have to do second, third, etc. Prioritize in order of importance and then diagram it on paper in much the same way that you’d develop a blueprint to build your dream house.
- Take Action – Take action on your plan. Do something…anything to get busy and move the plan along.
- Do Something Every Day – Do something each day that moves you in the direction of your goal. Develop the discipline of doing something on each day of the 365 days in the year that will propel you forward.
Make your plan and then GET STARTED! That single act could change the direction of your life.
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