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Are you ready to do what it takes to get what you want this year? Then consider taking the following challenge to achieve your goals, create your path to success – and take your career wherever you want it to go.

Step 1: Dream

If you can't picture it, you can't reach it. Period. So whatever you want to achieve – you first have to envision it. How do you go about getting clear on your vision, and what you want? Find somewhere quiet where you can concentrate, and then spend the time to ask – and answer – such questions as:

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  1. What do you stand for?
  2. What do you want to have in life?
  3. Who should you associate with to achieve this vision?
  4. What are you most grateful for today, and how will you express it?
  5. How long do you expect to live, and when do you want to retire?
  6. What will you do with your time if you live longer than you expected?
  7. What are you willing to give up?

Step 2: Plan

Now that you have your clear vision, it's time to determine what outcomes or goals you need to set for yourself this year, to help you begin to realize it.

  1. What, specifically, are your revenue goals for 2015? For each fiscal quarter? For each month?
  2. How much more money will you make in 2015?
  3. What will you need to do to increase THAT number by an additional 20 per cent?
  4. How many inactive customers will you revive?
  5. How much business will you get from your existing customer base?
  6. What will you do to ensure the loyalty of your best customers?
  7. How many new customers will you bring on this year?
  8. What will you do to enhance your skill level this year?

Step 3: Act

Once you have your vision and plan in place, it's time to start taking action toward achieving your desired outcomes. Based on your list of what you're going to accomplish this year, you need to ask yourself the tough questions, such as:

  1. What specifically do you need to do to achieve your goals?
  2. What do you need to plan to accomplish your objectives?
  3. What tools do you need to realize your vision?
  4. Whose support do you need to enlist to make it happen?

If you are specific and sincere enough, the answers to these questions will tell you exactly what you need to do each day to move closer to achieving your goals, and realizing your ultimate vision.

I also encourage you to make two or three notes beside each goal, explaining precisely how you will make each one happen by answering the questions above. Then, once it is complete, prioritize this list into the following three categories:

  1. Things I commit to getting done in the next six months.
  2. Things I commit to getting done in the next 12 months.
  3. Things I commit to getting done over the next three years.

Once your list is prioritized, the final step is to do something immediately to accomplish one of your goals. No hesitation. No procrastination. And the sooner you can take action, the better – preferably within 24 hours of writing down the goal.

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For example, if one of your goals was to attend a sales conference this year, spend 20 minutes on the web searching for relevant conferences in your industry. If it's more training you're after, search the web or call some local training companies to obtain their course listings. Or if your goal is to make five new calls to prospects each day, start sourcing the new leads and entering them to your CRM now.

Whatever your goals, the important thing is to work toward them today. There's nothing easier than getting into the habit of putting difficult tasks off, and before you know it, another year of opportunities will have passed you by.

Now that you know what you want, and what you have to do to get it, acting on your plan right away will help you start building momentum toward the kind of continuous action you will need to make all those dreams come true.

Sales expert Colleen Francis is founder and president of Engage Selling Solutions and the author of the recently released Nonstop Sales Boom (AMACOM) Ms. Francis ensures clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line.

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