Coaching and Mentoring Can Lead to Professional Success
We all have dreams and aspirations. We all have ideas for our futures. We all have plans for how we want to live our lives. However, not all of us are able to make these dreams a reality.
Why are some people able to turn these fantasies into realities while others are not? It could be due to personality differences, commitment to realizing their dreams, a change in priorities, an inability to complete tasks, trying to take on too much too fast, and numerous other reasons. Yet the people who make their aspirations a reality have one thing in common: they continuously work toward their final objective no matter how large or small their progress may be. One way to bring an aspiration, dream or desire to realization is setting forth clear, measurable, attainable check points along the way—in other words, setting goals.
I’ve spent much time trying to achieve my professional dreams and aspirations and helping others do the same. Here is some advice I can share to put you on the path to achieving your professional dreams.
Strategically set developmental goals
To fully realize your dreams and aspirations, you must first identify what it is you want to achieve. To begin, reflect on your aspirations and define them. Push yourself to answer these questions:
- What is their purpose?
- What are they telling you?
- What are your underlying motivations?
- Where might they be leading you?
From there, create 1-5 goals that will bring you closer to your desired state and truly acknowledge them by writing them down, even if it’s on a scrap of paper or the notepad on your smartphone. Remember that your goals should be incremental and realistic; you typically don’t achieve your dreams overnight. Instead, put time on your side and assign a realistic deadline to achieve each.
Create actionable steps
After creating goals to help you fulfill your dreams and aspirations, you can focus on dissecting each goal into actionable steps that you can take on a regular basis, daily or weekly for example. The sum of all these actionable steps will be the achievement of your goal. Help yourself answer these questions:
- What skills do I need to improve?
- What learning must I engage in?
- What people can I reach out to who can help me develop?
- What type of learning and development activities can I engage in to help me gain the knowledge I need?
- What learning resources are available to me and relevant to my learning?
Breaking down large goals aimed at fulfilling professional dreams will not only help you get to your desired state more easily, it will make you feel more capable and in control of doing so. Believing you can do it is half the battle.
Commit and DO!
Now that you’ve created a roadmap and plan for your journey toward making your dreams a reality comes the most difficult part–the part of the journey where most people get stuck and stall out. You must commit to your goals and engage in the activities that you’ve lain out that will get you to your desired destination. Your goals are nothing more than an acknowledgement of hope until you commit to act. Go beyond believing that you can achieve your goals and act on your intentions. The path before you seems much less lengthy and arduous once you’ve began to walk it and when you can look back on how far you’ve come or the distance you’ve already conquered. You can always tweak and adjust your goals and your path toward their achievement as you learn and as life inevitably happens. Remind yourself that a delay or setback isn’t a critical failure. If I’ve learned anything from my own experiences and those of others, it’s that to make your dreams a reality, you have to go beyond hoping, intending, planning, and the like and start doing.
Aspirations and dreams can take many different shapes. For some it might look like a desired level of professional success. For others it may look like expertise or mastery in a particular field of interest. No matter what form they take, your aspirations are key to your sense of personal fulfillment. Getting in touch with your dreams will have a noticeable impact on the quality and success of your learning and your life.