Strategic planning requires not only taking the steps to accomplish your goals, but also realizing that things don’t happen overnight just because you will them to. Affirmations and positive thinking are great as long as you take the action that is required to reach your dream. You can start anytime. It is never too late or too soon to start but by not doing anything, your dreams will not come to fruition and they will always be unattainable.
What if you want to become a professional writer, photographer or artist? Could you quit your job tomorrow and jump right in? If you are fortunate enough to do that, wonderful but for many of us though this concept is just not a reality.
You dream of being a photographer, here is a possible goal-setting scenario:
Six – Month Goals
- Research photography or if finances allow, take a course.
- Start by setting up a savings account to save for a new camera or equipment. You can set it up so that from every pay cheque, a certain amount goes in a savings only account. You might have to make sacrifices, for example, do you really need to eat out as often or go out to movies once a week? By not going out as often, you could save a large amount of money to help finance your goal.
- Start taking pictures with a regular disposable or digital camera for now.
- Download a free image editor such as Gimp, which has most of the features the more expensive ones do and begin setting up a portfolio.
One – Year Goals
- Continue to build a portfolio. Aim to have at least 10 great pieces by this time.
- Post some of your photos online.
- Enter photography contests.
- Volunteer to take pictures of your friends’ birthday party, engagement photo or, if you feel confident enough, even some of their wedding photos.
- Start shopping for new camera equipment, it need not be expensive, but get something that is upgradeable or that you can build on.
Three – Year Goals
- At this point, aim to have at least twenty-five pictures for your portfolio.
- Start researching markets.
- Start trying to pick up some freelance jobs to get your feet wet.
- Create business cards and flyers. Place ads in your local newspapers or online.
These are just some of the goals, which you might do to become a photographer, but you can apply some of these principles to any goal you may have. You might need to set one, three and five, year goals instead, but make them realistic for you.
It is important to remember that by setting and following your goals you are taking action towards making your dreams come true. In three-years time isn’t it better to accomplish something rather than just saying “maybe one day”?