Welcome to the first installment of the “Becoming a Ngo-Getter” series!
Before we begin, there’s one thing I’d like for you all to remember as we begin our journeys to becoming Ngo-getters:
Success doesn’t happen overnight.
Got that ingrained in your mind?
Make sure it sticks.
Even those musical artists who seem to be “overnight sensations” worked their butts off for months, years, even decades, to reach that tipping point, when the culmination of all their work finally comes to fruition. A drastic mistake that most of us make when working towards a goal, working towards success, is that we constantly compare ourselves to others. With social media, we only get a glimpse of people’s lives, and it’s easy to forget that those people who’ve found success have also put in the work to get there—and you haven’t seen that work, just the results.
The good thing, though, is that you can achieve those results too. Just as long as you don’t shirk from the effort required of you.
The journey that we’re embarking on is the nitty-gritty, not-so-pretty side of success. We’re in the part that requires 100% effort from you, and no amount of likes or shares will get you to where you want to be until you put the elbow grease into it.
By planning and writing down what you want to accomplish, you’re setting up an outline on how to achieve your goals. It’s the first step to committing to your success, and promising yourself that you’re going to damn well put in the time.
So how do you plan? First off, write down your goals. I’m all about actually writing it down somewhere, using pen and paper, because it’s much more concrete than just simply typing it out on a Google Doc (and there aren’t any take-backsies or backspace buttons with pen & paper, so there’s a sense of permanency to it).
If you don’t know what goals you want to achieve, or if you’re lost on what your next steps in life should be, think about it now with this exercise (which I did with my mentor a little over a month ago—it’s super helpful if you’re unsure of what you want to improve on):
- If you had all the money in the world and could just stop working tomorrow, what would you do? Think about hobbies or any other interests you have that you would like to delve into WITHOUT using the internet. Write at least ten ideas down on a piece of paper (trust me, writing it out helps).
- After you’ve got your ten ideas written down, write another ten ideas for how you can or like to make money. Don’t discount any ideas here! Just list out ALL the possibilities. This is a brainstorming session, after all. You’ll be able to sift later.
- Once you have a list of twenty ideas, look at each one and pick out the top five that you’re most interested in pursuing.
The five ideas you get from this exercise will give you a good start on your planning phase to becoming a Ngo-getter. Goals that focus on mental and physical wellness are great ones to add to your list, too. Add, adjust, and remove goals as you need. Another important thing to remember is that your list of goals will change. And that’s okay. Life is dynamic, and so are you.
Once you have a nice list of goals that you want to accomplish, next is researching on how to achieve those goals. I like getting into the very specifics and set them up to be “SMART” goals— specific, meaningful, action-oriented, realistic, trackable (there are many different variations of the acronym, but I like this one for our purposes).
So how do you make a goal—
Define it to its simplest terms that anyone could understand.
Example: Run a 5k
You’re more likely to achieve it because you have some personal commitment tied to it.
Example: I want to be more fit in 2017 for the sake of my health.
Identify what steps or actions you need to take to achieve your goal.
Example: In order to successfully run a 5k, I should try to improve my endurance, improve my running speed, and get better sleep on the norm.
Based on your other commitments and any other limitations, make sure you’re not overreaching with your goals. You should be comfortably uncomfortable with your goals.
Example: I should not be thinking about running a full marathon by the end of 2017.
Think about how you will measure your progress to your goal, or how you will measure your level of success. There should be numbers attached to your goals.
Example: To run a single 5k by the end of the year, I should be able to run for at least 30 minutes without stopping at a 6.0mph pace (that’s 10min/mi).
Okay, so what should my goals look like?
Sometimes it’s easier to explain how to do something when you’ve got an example to work off of. While you’re planning out your own goals, feel free to use mine listed below:
- Become a better writer
- Practice writing for at least two hours each week
- Read at least one book on how to improve writing (fiction or non-fiction)
- Build the RampantAsian blog
- Increase web traffic to 100 visitors per week
- Increase social media presence by posting about the blog:
- Once per day on Facebook
- Twice per day on Twitter
- Once per week on Instagram
- Once per week on Pinterest
- Be at peace with myself
- Identify 25 moments through the year where I refrained from reacting by reflex by taking a step back and analyzing the situation
- Continue the reading habit
- Read 20 books by the end of the year (about 1.5 books per month)
- Try vlogging
- Create and upload one video per month
- Improve photography skills
- Practice taking photos for at least one hour per week
- Run a 5k
- Build up endurance to be able to run at least 30 minutes without stopping
- Improve running time to 10-minute mile
- Sign up for 5k
- Learn banjo
- Practice playing banjo for at least two hours per week
- Learn to play one song well (fewer than 2 mistakes)
- Relearn Japanese
- Practice writing and speaking Japanese for at least three hours per week
- Learn/relearn first 100 kanji
Don’t let the number of goals I have throw you off; it’s completely okay if you have fewer than this. I just get very excited in the planning stages and sometimes get a little carried away! Anyway, I hope this gives you some inspiration while you plan your goals for the year.
Let me know in the comments what goals you’re planning to work on! I’d love to hear about them. 🙂
Until next time,