Who do you want to be remembered as when you die? If people were to think of you or say your name, what would you want them to say about you? Once you know what you want to achieve and what the outcome will look like, you can start planning how you are going to get there.
First, decide your goal. Second, know the outcome. Third, be committed. Fourth, tell others so they can hold you accountable. Fifth, plan. Sixth, GO!
There have been many tips written on achieving life goals and tools to help set goals. They all conclude that you have to figure out the big picture and go from there. Break up the big picture into smaller targets and start working down the list to achieve the goals. Write them down. Tell others. Celebrate the small wins. A helpful activity to help you conquer your goals is crafting your own personal mission statement for your life. What drives you? You can try backwards goal setting. Once you have chosen the goal(s) you want to achieve start from the end result and write down the steps backwards, it may be easier to set goals this way. For example, instead of starting from scratch to bake a cake start from the finished cake then write down the directions backwards.
I set out to speak to two accomplished women to better understand the obstacles faced in successful women’s career. One of the women was my very own mentor, Brenda Borwege, Senior Vice President of Strategic Accounts for ABC Bus Companies (one of North America’s leading motor coach distributors). Her dream as a teenager was to be a TV news anchor or flight attendant. She mentioned that the most significant barrier to female leadership is, “Women have a career, are mothers, scheduler of all details, overseers of homework and have many more responsibilities than men.” After earning a college degree in Fashion Retail Management, battling through divorce, and raising two beautiful children, Brenda has made her way up the ladder of success. She thinks the hardest struggle for the generation of women following her will be realizing that the “June and Ward Cleaver” family image is not reality in this day and age. With divorce as her toughest struggle, she says that her motivation derives from her kids, “The largest, single best gift I can give them is education. I work hard every day to pay private school tuition and offer opportunities that will aid in developing who they are as human beings. I also personally enjoy a nice lifestyle.”
Rachael Dickens, Creative Director for OC Style Report discusses how the greatest challenge for the generation of women following her is, “Work ethic and unrealistic expectations of what it takes to make a career. I find that younger women in the fashion industry lack the understanding that the industry is a business. It’s more hard work than glamour.” Rachael overcame her toughest challenge by starting a brand new business in her mid-thirties, forcing her to learn new skills. It also allowed her to reach out to other knowledgeable women that offered constructive feedback, learning that being prepared and open to change is incredibly important. Both of these women had an importantly commonality: they held themselves accountable for their success.
A great way to be prepared on the road to success is to evaluate your own SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). If you’ve done this, when barriers get in the way you have a better chance at overcoming them. The website Hamilton W.A.G. provides a focus group for women who desire to move forward in their life, and is a great resource that helps women accomplish their goals. This website allows women to get help from others to take action in their goal setting, they even offer sponsors. Sometimes we need to let others in on our success plan so that they can help us stay accountable, increasing the chances of us reaching our goals.
Write your goals down, be precise and set priorities. Put together a personal portfolio that contains inspiration, goals, tips, schedules, ideas, network/connections, etc. and continuously add to it. It can be your very own little black book but much larger and packed with many more resources that will contribute to your success.
Image by: Chrstina Heaston