1. Define your future. Describe the life you’d like to live. The future you see defines the person you’ll need to be. Identify the traits and qualities you’d like to acquire. Think bigger than yourself. An acorn that only thinks as an acorn will never become a mighty oak. Stretch yourself. You are undoubtedly capable of more than you ever dreamed is possible for you.
2. Become the person who would achieve your goals. As you develop the skills, knowledge, relationships and demeanor of the “future you,” your goals will be the natural by-product of your growth. Spend an extra hour each day in the study of your chosen field.
3. Give more than you must. Nothing advances until somebody does more than they are paid to do. Always deliver more value than others expect. Don’t require others to acknowledge your generosity. Give with “class.”
4. Make time for what you love. If you don’t live fully, you deny the world your potential contributions. Your “play” sometimes contributes as much as your “work.” What you love reveals the value you bring to the world.
5. Refine your Inner Circle. We define ourselves through our key relationships. Explore the mix and depth of those with whom you spend most of your time. Release those who limit you and connect with those who can help you live more fully.
6. Resolve your unfinished business. Either deal with it or discard it. Say your apologies, face your fears, pay your debts, express your gratitude and get on with living. Don’t let yesterday drain value from today and tomorrow. Break out of the limited world of your past and start to grow.
7. Rethink existing habits and routines. Describe your typical day and then reconsider every aspect of it. Change or expand the places you go, people you see, things you do, and the time you devote to each. Try new things. Learn a new language, go someplace different, do some things you’d typically pass by. Find out what your possibilities really are.
8. Lighten up. Stop stressing over things that only matter to you emotionally. When life isn’t fair to you, get over it quickly. Take your misfortunes as “course corrections” rather than “catastrophes.” Let go so you can grow.
9. Tighten up. Sloppiness in life allows more variables to creep in and spoil your plans. Stay on target, increase your self-discipline, master the art of self-motivation. Sometimes details matter a lot.
10. Profile yourself. Keep a journal of your goals, concerns, fears, and dreams. Review it at least once a year. Look for patterns that reveal your core values, natural velocity, natural intelligences and recurring situations. Realize how life ebbs and flows for you. Notice the natural cycles of life. Know yourself.
11. Invest in yourself. Set aside a portion of each year’s income to acquire new tools and teachers to increase your potential. Refine your systems, get expert coaching, attend special conferences, cultivate a study group, and appoint a board of advisors. You are your only true asset. Send part of today ahead to the person you’ll be in the future.
Jim Cathcart is a motivational speaker, author, and executive coach. Visit him at cathcart.com
-what ideas would you add that are important? Share in the comments below.