5 Questions to Help You Achieve What You Want in 2015

XYPN is excited to share this post of actionable advice and tips on achieving big goals from our marketing coach and expert, Kristin Harad. Kristin regularly shares her expertise with our members so they can better market their practices. In addition, members get free access to Kristin herself to ask questions, are able to sit in on her exclusive monthly webinars, and receive her Complete Relationship Marketing blueprint series -- these are all some of the many great benefits of being part of the network.

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It’s the end of the year and time for the obligatory Goal Setting blog post about how to make your dreams come true in 2015.

But for the end of 2014 and for the start of this new year, let’s take goal setting up a few notches. After all, if you’re an entrepreneur -- as independent financial advisors most certainly are -- you’re all about embracing possibilities and extracting your priorities from your chaotic life.

You have to be or you won’t survive on your own too long. You want to create your own future and drive your destiny.

So how can you make sure that when you look around in two, three, five years from now, you're where you want to be?

It starts with getting clarity on what you want. Answer these five questions to help you achieve what you want. (And scroll to the bottom of this post to receive your free Achieve What You Want Workbook to print and use!)

1. What Life Goal Can Help You Achieve What You Want in the Next 2 to 5 Years?

We're talking life goals here, people. It’s gotta be something BIG. Something FULFILLING. Something that doesn’t happen overnight.

But your answer to this question is something that absolutely can and will happen. Why?

Because YOU WANT IT and you’re willing to GO FOR IT!

Do you want to work and live abroad? Do you want to run a marathon? Adopt a baby? Write a screenplay?

Whatever your big goal is -- say it aloud, write it down, or draw a picture of it. Set an intention. Contextualize it and the goal becomes more likely to happen. You bring it to life.

2. When Does Your Goal Happen?

You’ve probably heard Milton H. Erickson's famous quote, “A goal without a date is just a dream.” It's true -- your goal requires a timeline and a deadline.

Get serious and pick a date. Consider the following to help you set a timeframe that's realistic:

  • Are there outside triggers that drive the timing?
  • Do you have a sense of just how long you’ll need?
  • What feels right?

You may not get the date exactly right -- and that's okay. It's more important to set up a structure that you can then create an action plan around. And it's difficult to plan the steps to take if you don’t have a timeline.

3. Who Needs to Be on Your Team?

Rarely in life do we truly “go it alone.” Yes, as entrepreneurs we often have more tolerance and capability to wear all the hats and make things happen. However, many of us have spouses, partners, parents, children and maybe employees, mentors, investors who influence our accomplishments.

Some of these individuals should be on your team to help support you, hold you accountable, and provide ideas and encouragement when you need them most.

Not to mention, when you're in alignment with certain key people (especially a business or personal partner), you make the road you travel to reach the goal much more enjoyable.

If you do have another invested party who will be helping you achieve your life goal, you will want agreement on your direction and what it takes to get there. You'll work with this person (or people) to define your specific roles and responsibilities in the plan.

4. What Areas of Your Life Will Change as You Pursue the Goal?

Map out all the areas you’ll need to address in advance of realizing this achievement. Where will you need to take considered action? To help you with this step, use a mindmapping software such as Mindmeister or NovaMind to organize your thoughts.

5. How Will You Make It Happen?

Extract the key initiatives from the mind map that you need to complete to realize your goal. Structure your action plan by prioritizing each initiative.

Once you establish a list that organizes where you need to focus and when, dive into the details. Bucket your next actions first by quarter, then drill down to week-by-week tasks for each initiative.

Combine everything into one complete ,week-by-week guide and you’ll be surprised how fast and focused you can be.

Perhaps the biggest question to answer along the way is, “Does this [effort, action, resource] take me closer to my goal?” Learn to say no to anything that doesn't get you a step closer to achieving what you want.

When you answer “yes” to your plan, you will make sure you achieve what you really want.

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