One of the questions I hear the most is, “How are you able to achieve so much success after only 2 years of becoming a professional photographer?”
My confidence in my own photography skills aside, and trust me, that’s a huge hurdle in itself for most photographers… my answer to that questions is first and foremost, I don't like that term professional, to me its somewhat elitist... I am a businessman and i use photography as a means to earn a living. As a businessman, I had set achievable goals, I did not waiver from those goals and I surrounded myself with positive people that were willing to help me achieve my goals. I told them what I wanted to achieve and they play a critical role in my success each and every day…
Everything we accomplish in life takes steps. To help us achieve our desires we need to set goals, but not large goals, make them manageable and realistically achievable.
Here is a list of 10 steps that will help you create and achieve your goals.
Making and Achieving Goals
1. Pick ONE Goal: This is important! You can only achieve your goals if you focus on them one at a time. Once your goal has been accomplished or made into a stable habit you can start on the next goal.
2. Start Small and Easy: The best way to succeed with your first goal is to pick something you are already doing, once in awhile, but want to do daily. This will build your self confidence as you achieve the goal and help prepare you to work on future goals.
3. Simplify: Choose a small, specific goal, or break up larger goals into small pieces that can be done on a daily basis. Big successes start with little ones.
4. Write It Down: Write your goal in large letters and place it where you will see it several times a day. Putting your goal to paper makes it official: You Want It!
5. Keep Track Every Day: This step is VERY IMPORTANT! If you don't keep track of your daily progress you won't progress. Everything we accomplish takes DAILY steps which turns the goal into a habit.
6. You Have To Want It: If you don't really want to do it, you won't succeed. Pick goals you want to achieve or change your attitude so you REALLY do want it.
7. Schedule Time: Here are three ideas to help you make time for your goal:
Prioritize: Make time by not doing things that are of less, or no, value. Hours in front of the TV or computer can be used productively by first pushing the off button, or just walking away.
Say No: Learn to gracefully say no to those who ask for your time when you already have too much to do. Saying no can be done in a kind way, just be clear that you cannot do what is being asked of you.
Make the Time: You have to MAKE the time or you won't MAKE the goal. Pick a time when you will work on your goal, such as early in the morning, late at night, during lunch, when children are napping (watching TV, playing with a friend/spouse), or when you're waiting in line for something. If you "just don't have the time" then wake up earlier. Most people only need 6 hours of deep sleep. If you have trouble sleeping try the following: don't eat after 8:00 and don't rehearse the day's events or tomorrow's plan. Instead focus your mind continually on a black hole of nothing. This always works for me, if I do it!
8. Be Firm Yet Flexible: To achieve your goal you have to be firm with yourself. You have to do the required work to accomplish your goal. You also have to be a bit flexible. Make a backup plan for days when achieving your goal might be difficult. i.e. If your goal is to study a new technique daily and you know on Friday you'll be running errands the entire day take your learning materials with you. Study them during the moments you're waiting for something to happen, such as standing in line. BUT be firm with yourself that this is ONLY for rare occasions.
Also, if your goal is something that you want to do six days a week but not on Sundays you can pick a similar activity to replace your goal. For example: One of my goals is to work on my writing, so on Sundays I write tutorials to put on your blog, which counts to wards achieving my daily goal.
9. Be Positive: Doubting thoughts, and words, will crush your goal. Think and say positive things. "Talk to Yourself" by picking a positive, "phrase that you will train your mind to focus on at different times through out the day until it begins to dominate your awareness and reshape the person you are."
10. Share Your Goals: Verbalize your goals to the people in your life. If your spouse or friends know what your goals are, the better chance they will support you, or ask how you are doing in your attempt to achieve your goals.
Ending up achieving your ultimate goals takes time… do not beat yourself up if you stumble, we all do that… just stay the course and never be afraid to ask for help.