"If you can imagine it,
You can achieve it.
If you can dream it,
You can become it." -- William Arthur Ward

Now that you are living authentically, and have taken an inventory of your new roles, responsibilities, relationships, body and health issues, career aspirations, creative interests, volunteering commitments, activist activities, etc., it's time to work on focusing your personal vision into steps to create a new you. You no doubt have new dreams, lots of them, and they won't come true if you don't visualize them down to the last detail, and write them into goals that you can begin to work on today.

Goals are the tools we use to build a new life. They are the difference between succeeding or not. They are the materials with which you build your dreams. They provide clarity and focus. They give life and substance to our wishes. They enhance our present reality.

Studies have proven that when we write down our goals, and take the action steps to accomplish them, we are far more likely to attain the things we want in our lives. If you are serious about changing your life, you need a detailed blueprint to follow.

You must believe in yourself and in your abilities. Past failures to achieve the things you wanted do not matter now, so put them out of your mind. You are starting with a clean slate. You have a right to happiness, and it's time to collect it. The life you were always dreaming of is right here in front of you just waiting for you to start living it.

Make a list of your positive qualities to help give you courage and a positive attitude. You are persevering, resilient, hard-working, ambitious, enterprising, capable... Get them all on paper and let them sink into your consciousness.

Now write down a list of your top 20 dreams without thinking about them. Put a lock on your reason and practicality, and let your inner wisdom and intuition do the writing. Be absolutely fearless and honest. Don't censor any as being too far fetched or impossible. Anything is possible. Many great things have been accomplished in this world by people who were told that their plans were impossible.

Is one of your dreams to start your own business? Write it down. Perhaps you dream of traveling throughout Europe. Put it down. You can write a novel--a page at a time. Write it down. You really could have an art gallery showing of your work so just write that down. "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it."

Once you have figured out what you want for the next half of your life, you are ready to write your goals. Set long term goals first. The long term goals will guide you to the short term ones.

What do you see yourself doing/having/being in 20 years? In 10 years? In 5 years?

Now you have to figure out what you need to do to achieve those goals. You can't identify a goal and not put an action plan into place for it. For each goal you need to ask "How will I achieve it?"

Break each goal into smaller, doable steps that you can begin to work on now. If you want to have your own home-based business, for example, the first step would be to select the type of business you want to have. This would mean doing some research. You would need to gather information about starting up a home-based small business. You have to do market research, write a business plan, become knowledgeable of other businesses providing what the service or product you wish to provide, etc.

When you have broken down each long term goal, then give your best estimate and put a time deadline on each smaller step. Be sure to have plans for rewards you can give to yourself for accomplishing these. You can plot graphs for these, if you choose.

Now do the same process with your short term goals. Be sure to break them down as well.

Some pitfalls to achieving your goals are:

1. Not being excited about your goal or not believing you can accomplish it. One thing you can do is interact with others who share your goal. Self belief is a primary factor in achieving your goal. Post signs and encouraging quotes up around the house and in the car for yourself as reminders that you can do it.

2. Don't run out of fuel when the initial excitement wears off. Remind yourself with vivid visualization and detailed journaling what it will be like when your goal is accomplished.

3. Don't give up too soon. Everything has its price. You may start feeling that you are putting hard work into something without payback. You need to persevere through the lean times and be patient. There will be a payoff. Successful people are the ones who make it through the tough times.

4. A pitfall is not breaking the goals into small enough pieces. You can move a house all by yourself, BUT you have to move it brick by brick, 2X4 by 2X4. You can't expect to be able to do elephant sized chunks and succeed. Break it down into baby size pieces.

5. Setting goals that unrealistic or too high.

Stay focused and follow through day by day on your goals until you accomplish them. Review your progress on the short term ones daily, and on the long term ones weekly. Generate long term vision and short term motivation. Make working on your goals part of your daily routine. Never give up. Don't let a setback stop you.

When you have goals and you're working on them, you will feel more positive and motivated. You will have a sense of power over your own life. You will feel happier and more fulfilled. You will feel like the winner you are. You are busy making your dreams come true.

Author's Bio: 

As a Life Coach I will not tell you how you should lead your life. I value the process of coaching you to find your own way forward. I help people with different areas of life, on issues such as relationships, romance, families, education, stress management, wellness, career, business, finance, time management, leadership, spirituality, and any other area where clients need guidance. My state-of-the- art coaching model has proven successful in producing results with my clients, powerful questions and purposeful inquiry, empowering tools and results-driven principles.