After we have made an honest assessment of what our values are and how our choices aligns with our values, we can think about how we should go about this change.
It is important that this is personalized because this is your path. Then we can take inventory of where we are and where we want to go and how long it will take to get there. In this article, I will talk about the process of executing our plan.
First thing we need to do is to commit mentally to this process. We cannot allow ourselves to suffer from analysis paralysis. If we spend too much time deciding if we should do something, it will take longer to accomplish anything. The other thing is that you want to spend your mental energy searching for solutions to your goals, not deciding on whether you should do this or not. Give yourself a specific amount of time to decide to commit to your goals or not. Once we have committed, then we can go to the second thing. The important thing to do is take action. You must move beyond the idea to the execution of the idea.
Second thing we need to do is research the best way to execute this plan. Informational interviews are a great start. There are a number of ways to do this. Start with friends and family and then branch out. You can look to your contacts on LinkedIn and ask for an introduction. You can attend seminars that cover your area of interest. You can go to tradeshows or other events that are important. Your goal is to gather enough information to make a plan.
The key is to break the process into manageable and actionable steps with defined timetables. As you think about what the exact action items will be, I think you need to include an aspect of creativity, appropriate use of your skill set and appropriate tools available. You will need creativity to cater to your specific goals to your plan.
You need to include both your present skills and tools so that it has a chance to happen successfully. Any plan that includes the tools you don’t have access to, will not work. The tools can be any physical thing you will need to reach your goals. Reading material, a physical place etc.
Time tables are critical because they will hold you accountable to take action. Thinking does not count at this point only actions. If you start to take action, but find it not possible to execute then it is not manageable. This means that this part of the plan needs to be broken down into smaller steps. This what I call the process of problem solving. If you cannot do this then you need to go back and get more information. The more information you have the more targeted your plan can be.
Sometimes, you will need to do an internship or volunteer so that you can answer some of the questions that you have. The point here is to make a plan that speaks to why you are doing this and how you plan to accomplish this through the process. Finally, your plan will be more specific as you execute it because it will also reveal your specific passions in pursuing this goal. In the next article, I will describe how you address problems as you move through the process of discovering how to align you skill set with your values through good communication skills. Stay tuned.