By Crystal Zapata
When is the last time you hopped into your car and started driving without a destination in mind? Chances are, not too recently and not too often. Pursuing life’s dreams and goals require forethought and planning, like a long road trip. Knowing where you want to be in the future and figuring out how to get there are all key elements to improving your lot in life.
If upward mobility is your goal, whether that means economic and/or social improvement, developing clearly defined goals is crucial:
- Looking forward, a plan should be set out for what you want to develop in 5, 10, 15 years, etc. Write them down and give as much description to your goals as possible.
- Next, align your strengths and interests with your goal. There are different routes to becoming successful and some paths will be more natural for your personal make-up. How are you built? Are you a race car? An off-roading 4×4? A Smart Car?
- Take into account who you are at your core and make it work to your advantage. For example, a shy introvert might not do him/herself a favor by pursuing sales or politics. Equally, an exuberant extrovert may not thrive as a chemical engineer. Note your strengths and weaknesses and utilize that insight to your advantage in your plans.
Once you’ve determined your goals and understand how you are best built to get there, map it out. What is it going to take to get from A to Z? Education? Speaking another language? Healthier lifestyle? A broader social network? Improved writing skills? Do your research and map out what it is going to take to get there.
Get started. Simply maintaining social and economic standing can be difficult enough. Improving it takes focus, hard and smart work, perseverance, and time. So get started and get focused.