Where are you going? (Part 2)

Returning to the topic of goals and to an idea I often recommend: how about creating a “mood board” for your goals?

Interior designers create a collage of samples of materials and colours; they sketch details and plans to help them clarify and communicate their ideas.

A clear picture in your mind of how your life will look with the goal achieved is a powerful motivator and you can enhance it with a tangible version of your vision – your “mood board” for your future life.

Why? Well, apart from making your vision more real and graspable, it’s also fun – and, I repeat, working towards your goal has to be pleasurable wherever possible so that you don’t lose momentum.

Gather pictures that illustrate what you’re aiming to achieve. Let’s have an example….

Maybe your goal is to run your own restaurant: your board could include pictures of successful restaurants, the chefs who inspire you, the type of food that you want to create.

You could also include other people’s rave reviews to remind you of what success looks like and how other people will see you.

Your values are also key to the whole process so add a statement of the values that will underpin your venture. Service? Quality? Value for money? Sustainability? It’s up to you.

(Your goals and your values have to be aligned or you’ll be fighting yourself every step of the way: for instance, making a lot of money very quickly and being environmentally friendly may be hard to reconcile.)

Many companies these days have mission and vision statements to steer by and they’re just as appropriate for individuals.

Tip: If it’s all in your head – or even in words and pictures on your board – nothing’s going anywhere until you take action so remember to work out what step you need to take first and do it!

Dos and don’ts of reinventing your career.

Do ignore the naysayers who’d have you believe that going for your dream job is unrealistic: they’re very keen for you to be “sensible” and “pragmatic”.

But if this is what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life, you need to go after the biggest and the best that you can possibly get – settling for something “sensible” will leave you bored and frustrated.

Do take the time and make the effort to explore the critical factors that will help you find the work that fits you like a pair of handmade shoes.

You need to be very clear about what values are important to you, what your preferences are in terms of interests, locations, colleagues etc and what resources you have or need to acquire.

Do make the process of clarifying the critical factors as fun and creative as you can: use MindMaps with lots of colour and pictures. Create a mood board with pictures from magazines to illustrate what you’re aiming for so that you have concrete evidence of your goals to inspire you.

Do find yourself a buddy who can give you support and cheer you on: maybe someone who wants to change their life for the better, too, so you can help each other out. A word of warning, though – choose carefully! You need someone who can be objective and won’t just use the opportunity to tell you all about their experiences.

Do consider investing in professional help – then you know you’ll get the objectivity and support you need for as long as you need it.

Don’t assume that you’ve failed if you don’t get what you’re aiming for exactly as you want it or immediately. Put the idea of failure out of your mind – you’ve only “failed” if you’ve given up trying!

Don’t let other people put you off. If you’ve done your research and preparation carefully and thoroughly and you know it’s what you want, go for it.

Don’t forget the benefits of your success for other people – seeing someone else achieving their dream career is very inspiring and motivating for the people around you.

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