Sometimes our “dreams” can seem so far away from where we are right now, it gets overwhelming. Trust me, I know this. Often we gape at the sheer magnitude of the mountains ahead of us and just decide, “It’s simply too far away” or “It may never happen”. We look at the dream and realise it’s all too much and walk away.
But here’s the thing you gotta ask yourself. How is it possible for other regular human beings to get to live out their dreams despite the odds? What are THEY doing that I’m not?
Last week, I shared my Behind-the-Scenes Story of How I Started My Cake Business, and for those of you who read it, you would know that my beginning was far from perfect. I had a million reasons to walk away and do something “easier” or “safer”. But somehow deep within my gut, intuition and heart I knew I had to pursue this.
So you’ve heard my story, and now you’re dreaming up a storm for your life. What now?
Today I’ll be sharing the 4 things that helped me position myself towards actually ACHIEVING my career goals. 4 actions that made sure that I didn’t fall down the slippery slope of wishful thinking but actually DO the things I so wanted to. These are goal-setting pillars I learnt from business coaches & life mentors which helped propel me towards my own career milestones. That said, I am still walking out my own journey, and I’m soooo not done kicking goals yet (cause I always believe in the potential for even “greater things” ahead no matter what we’ve already accomplished).
So today I’m sharing my insider goal-setting actions that I know from experience will help spearhead you in the direction of your aspirations, in hopes that you get to experience the delight of walking in the future your dreams have written.
#1 Write Down Your Goals
If you’ve already done this, then big pat on the back to you. Marvelous.! But stay with me on this…
Why is this important you ask?
Let me explain…. Having a dream or idea in your head is all well and good, but putting it down on paper (or your laptop or whatever) is the FIRST STEP to actually planning our your dream-chasing course. You need to gather your thoughts and work out IN DETAIL what it is exactly that you want to achieve.
So you want to actually write & list out a 3 year goal, a 2 year goal & finally your 1 year goal (yes, working backwards).
Your 3 year goal should be your “big dream” goals. The big scary stuff you want to work towards but aren’t quite sure how they’re gonna happen.
The 2 year goals are in between milestones that you know you need to achieve in order to reach your 3 years goal.
Your 1 year goal is a list of things you have to complete by the end of the year to set you on the right track towards achieving year 2 & 3 goals. These first year goals should be both realistic, yet ambitious.
The key to all this again is to be SPECIFIC. Don’t just write down “Imma gonna be the best cake decorator EVAAA” or “I’m going to make lots of $$$$$ cha-ching!”
That is not an achievable, realised goal. What you probably want to write down is something like:
“I want to enter 2 cake competitions or collaborations by the end of the year”
“I want to start & grow my Instagram account by at least 5000 this year”
“I want to start booking $1k+ weddings by mid this year”
And so on & so forth…
You want to write & plan out calculable goals that you can actually take steps towards.
Working backwards in Goal planning in this way also helps make your BIG GOAL look more achievable. Why? Cause you’re breaking it down into smaller bite sized pieces that you KNOW will eventually lead you towards your BIG DREAMS.
#2 Invest in study & development
If you’re reading this blog, then well done you! You are INVESTING in your skills & knowledge which makes you not just a “dreamer”, but DOER. High five!
The ones who get ahead in life are really those who never ever stop learning, growing or evolving. The ones who are hungry for knowledge and who actually invest time & money in their education.
The more we apply ourselves to learning, the better cakers & business people we will be. Over the years, I have invested heavily in courses, online tutorials, live classes, books, blogs, articles…and they have been the biggest asset in my caking career. Every investment I’ve made to growing my business knowledge & cake skills have always paid off in spades not just in my confidence, or skill…but especially so in my business profits.
That’s what investing means. To put something of value into a venture in hopes of reaping a greater profit or benefit. Whatever time, effort or finance we invest into our education isn’t a lost… we reap the fruit of in in a different, compounded form over time.
It’s a lot like the act of planting a seed. We need to tend to the soil, water the seed, fertilise the ground and invest time & resources into this seed. But later on, as time goes by, we get to experience the FRUIT of our early labours with a bountiful harvest!
#3 Don’t just dream…DO.
Planning, learning, & investing in our “dreams” alone ain’t enough. We have to actually DO it. Otherwise, our goals & wishes remain just pipe dreams…whimsy’s and fancies that eventually, never go anywhere.
So what does it look like to not just dream, but DO?
Well, it would be to set aside a set amount of hours each week to action out your goals. So for example you could determine to make 1 cake or new edible décor each week. Or perhaps you could set aside 2 hours growing your social media following each week. Or you might want to learn 1 new cake skill every month.
Whatever it is, just DO IT. Set aside time each week (even if it’s as little as 1 hour) dedicated to working towards your 1 year plan.
#4 Create a Habit of Using a Planner or Diary
I would totally recommend using a planner or diary to map out each week so you KNOW you are taking small steps towards your goals. Successful people are very good at maximising their time. Think about it, we all get 24 hours a day. You, me the President of the United States. But how is it that some achieve more than others in their set 24 hours? The difference is in being organised with our daily schedule & responsibilities by planning out our weeks & months with intention.
I used the word HABIT because it is something that has to be cultivated over time. Not everyone is used to living their lives according to a planner, but this is something that should be learnt if you are serious about running a thriving & organised cake business.
You can choose to use a diary that’s inbuilt into your phone, or if you’re like me and love to scribble everything down (to have it visually & physically mapped out) you can use a weekly or daily planner. I love doing this, as it allows me to make sure I’ve got all my weekly tasks mapped out, my day-to-day mommy duties & my work all neatly slotted somewhere into my week. I don’t have to worry about doing this or that, because I’ve got it all out of my brain and onto my diary, which I simply have to follow.
Yes, sometimes things come up and our week doesn’t quite go as planned. Life’s like that. Simply reschedule and move those important things into the next week and go from there.
If you struggle with procrastination, then set yourself little rewards so you’re motivated to finish mundane tasks (like reward yourself with a cookie or something). Another great tactic which I picked up in my teenage years back when I was a junior state athlete (say whaa..?) is to mentally visualise the end goal (e.g I’m going to spend 2 hours practising my piping so I can make those beautiful iced cookies I saw someone make last week). Try it, it works 🙂
In my first Blog post of the year, I talked about Achieving Your Wildest Cake Dreams and so many of you responded that this post resounded deeply with you. One of my personal goals this year is to equip you with keys & tools to actually achieve YOUR wildest cake dreams.
So my sweet friend, don’t just fantasise about your dreams… Do something about it. Don’t live with the regret of “what if” or “if only I had…”.
It’s all possible.
Write your goals, make a plan, invest & learn deeply, map out each week & most of all….