As a coach and a creative, I often feel sadness when I hear why my fellow creatives state why they can’t follow their dream. I understand that life is messy and can be a roller coaster and it seems so far out of reach to create a life in which you are thriving with peace, joy, and freedom.
I know exactly what I am talking about because I’ve been in the place of make a list of excuses of why I can’t and trying to push through but despite my efforts, week after week, month after month, and year after year, I remained stuck in the dreaming phase.
And it had nothing to do with laziness, it’s just that the transition from a dream to a well-structured plan, fell a bit short.
Starting with the Long-Term
One of the important things to consider is the long-term vision. It might seem like an unusual question when asked in a job interview: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” But even as a creative who wants to make a living from their skills, this question is pretty important.
Without a clear understanding of my long-term destination, it’s impossible to chart a course to get there. I needed to define where I wanted to be in the distant future so that every day, week, month, and year, I could assess my progress and ensure I was still on the right path.
Once the be, do, and have goals have been created, I can begin drafting a detailed plan to reach it and identify the interim goals that will keep me on track.
For instance, let’s say my five-year goal is to be free to travel for eight weeks each year. To make that a reality, I must have certain elements in place:
- Sufficient income to cover travel expenses.
- Passive income streams to sustain my business during my absence.
- People to house sit and respite care giver for my adult son with disabilities who has his own life.
With this checklist in hand, I can work backward from my five-year goal and create milestones along the way. For example, if I need to earn $150,000 annually to fund my travel plans and I’m currently making $60,000, my reasonable milestones might look like this:
- Year 1: $70,000
- Year 2: $85,000
- Year 3: $105,000
- Year 4: $125,000
- Year 5: $150,000
These milestones serve as signposts that make it much easier to determine the exact steps required to achieve them, right down to setting monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
Creating Small Goals
When faced with the task of increasing income from $60,000 to $150,000 in five years, it can feel overwhelming. After all, it’s a substantial $90,000 jump, and most people might dismiss it as unattainable.
However, when I break it down as I’ve done above, and then further dissect it into smaller, manageable steps, the challenge becomes far less intimidating.
In the first year of this plan, my income only needs to increase by $10,000. That’s less than $1,000 per month! Suddenly, it seems entirely achievable. I can break it down even further: $1,000 per month translates to just $250 per week. By selling one more group coaching package or add 27 members a week to the Go Ask Petra Membership, I’ve already hit that milestone.
It might involve sending one more email to my list, investing an extra $20 per month in Facebook ads, or reaching out to one more joint venture partner. The point is, that reaching this much smaller goal feels far more manageable than contemplating the grand five-year plan.
So, what’s my big dream? How can I break it down into achievable milestones, workable goals, and, ultimately, daily and weekly tasks? I know I can do this, and with this approach, I can achieve anything in both my business and my life.