As a strategist, I love to give you tips on how to clarify your vision and find your true purpose. Without these key strategic pieces, you just spin your wheels – taking action but not necessarily building towards what you want.

But where strategy really counts is when you take action. Because life is about achieving your goals through aligned action. So today, I want to share with you a 6-step process to schedule your week so that you actually ACHIEVE your big dreams instead of just thinking about them.

Step 1: Name your game-changers

Each of us has those one or two big goals that – if we achieved them – would radically improve our lives and careers. It might be finally calling that contact, writing your book, or ending that draining relationship.

Whatever your circumstances, ask yourself – What big action or change could you take that would dramatically shift your life if you did it this year?

Identify up to three game-changing actions and write them down. If you have more than three, tune into which ones will be the most catalytic and cross the other ones off. Focus is key.

Step 2: Figure out your actions

Now list out all the steps you think are involved with achieving your 1-3 game-changing priorities. If you’re not sure, take your best guess; some un-envisioned steps will always arise.

Ask yourself – To successfully achieve this goal, what else do I need to have done?

Then walk backwards from the end result, cataloging all the actions, decisions, and contacts you would have to have made to achieve your goal.

Step 3: Prioritize your actions over time

Choose one of your game-changing goals and review your list of tasks needed to achieve it.

What is the most important step you can take this week to move you towards your dream?

Don’t get distracted by steps that come later but seem important now.

For example, if your career-changing dream is to write a book, you may believe that the most urgent thing you need to do is research publishing methods. But, in reality, you can’t publish what you haven’t written, so content is actually more important. So a more transformational first step might be drafting an outline.

Get clear on a tangible step you can take now. It doesn’t matter if it’s the perfect step or if you’re 100% sure it’s the “right” first step.

The goal is to take action – clarity will come as the process unfolds.

Step 4: Estimate how long the first step will take

Think through what it will take for you to accomplish this first task. Consider all the factors – the environment and equipment you need, plus any access or needed availability of others.

Knowing yourself and your habits – How much time do you need to create the right conditions and accomplish the task?

Then add an additional 25% of the time you estimated.

Step 5: Get up close and personal with your calendar

Pull out your week’s calendar and block off all the times that you are ALREADY actively engaged in non-negotiable activities. For you, this may include phone calls, meetings, time driving the kids to practice, or meal times.

Then note – When are you available and able to take your first step towards your game-changing goal?

For many of us, looking at how little “white space” we actually have each week can be a sobering experience. It can also be an empowering opportunity to forgive yourself if you’ve been wondering what’s wrong with you that you haven’t accomplished your dreams yet.

You probably just hadn’t made time. Now that you realize it, you can take the final step and do something about it.

Because your dreams are waiting.

Step 6: Schedule your next step

Block off time on your calendar to accomplish your first task towards your goal. You may have to split up the task to fit it into the available time slots on your schedule. That’s okay. The important part is to start prioritizing and taking action on your dreams.

Be VERY clear about what you will achieve in each available time block. This will save you from wasting precious work time making lists or planning.

You can also share your expected outcomes with an accountability partner, supportive Facebook group or friend, or coach to help you stay focused and on track.

Then do the work at the allocated time – rinse and repeat!

The secret to achieving your dreams isn’t complicated. It takes dedicated focus and consistent, aligned effort.

By prioritizing and scheduling the tasks that you KNOW will help you accomplish your big goals, you’ll see incredible results. I promise.

If your fear-based lesser brain just kicked in and said things like

– I’m too busy for this
– I have a long to-do list of things I HAVE to do already

Don’t believe it.

Put yourself and your dreams first by scheduling and taking action on your game-changing goals. If an email has to be sent or another absolute must-do task has to be done, trust that you’ll do it in the time you were previously trying to squeeze in your dreams.

Because nothing is more important that becoming the person you know you’re meant to be.

Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!