By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen LaBrosse, CAPM® , Co-Author
How do you know when you are truly wealthy? Your perception of prosperity will most likely change throughout your life. At the age of 5, being prosperous is having your favorite toys within reach, being able to eat ice cream after dinner, and being allowed to stay up an extra hour later than usual. At 16, it’s the ability to drive your family’s old beat up car, by yourself! In your early 20s, you most likely felt wealthy if you could successfully pay off your student loan payments, while still having the reserves to keep a small apartment and money to hang out with friends. In your 30s, it usually means getting a nicer home for your changing needs, being able to afford a couple of nice vacations a year, and a nicer car. Your 40s is marked by how you can provide for your family’s education and your own retirement. In your 50s, it may become more about how much time you can take off and still live the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed. In your 60s, it’s about how far you can stretch your dollar and scale back on the need to work to support yourself while helping your children launch their own families. Prosperity viewpoints are age dependent.
As we become more established in life, the concept of wealth and prosperity morph into the next phase that we wish to achieve, so that we are ever chasing a more prosperous life. This mentality can serve us well if we take smart action to reach our next goals. Here at Cheetah we call this path to prosperity GROW – Goals, Run, Organize, and Wow.
Goals – If you are like most people, you made goals for yourself for the new year. Of these goals, how many are measurable? What is the date by which you wish to accomplish this goal? What is your specific plan to reach this goal? If you haven’t answered these questions, then your chances of accomplishing the goals you’ve set are slim. When setting goals, either new years resolutions or other, make them measurable, and make yourself accountable, in order to ensure success.
Run – Once you have made a goal, do not sit back and wait for the “perfect time” to begin your journey to that goal. The truth is, there will NEVER be a perfect time! Go ahead and dive in right away to begin making your goal a reality.
If the hesitation of running toward your goal comes from your perceived lack of skills, make getting those skills your first goal. You owe it to yourself to make sure you are equipped to tackle any goals you set.
Organize – One of the biggest reasons that people don’t reach their goals is because they lose sight of the goal due to the clutter in their lives. When you can’t clearly see the steps to take next to ultimately attain success, you can quickly get lost in the white noise of life and let your goal fall to the wayside.
Start small. Organize your office, your paperwork, your bills, and your calendar. Then go big and organize the milestones that have been accomplished to reach your goal, as well as the steps that you still need to take.
Wow – When is the last time you did something to impress no one else but yourself? Perhaps you made a very fancy meal for one, or ran a mile further than you’ve ever run before just so you knew you could do it.
Make sure the goals you are setting will be sure to WOW you. This means that you are reaching for something that is challenging for you and that by accomplishing it you are bettering yourself. If you set goals to WOW others, you may find that your stamina and dedication wane before you’ve reached your destination.
To get started on the right foot, take a look at last year, and ask yourself what accomplishments you made that really impressed you. What was the path you took to reach these goals? Once you’ve figured it out, give yourself a pat on the back, and develop a plan to enhance your goal-completing machine this coming year.
Lastly, remember that becoming prosperous is a project, just like any project you have ever undertaken. The path to prosperity requires commitment, competency, and a well-developed plan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.
Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 30,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.
Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle was
previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.
Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and web sites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network is carried by over 400 publications, and her monthly newsletter goes out to more than 50,000 people.
She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Manager’s (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton.
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