Success Plan 2012 – Part I: Committing to & Achieving the Dream

Achieving the dream

We all have dreams and make resolutions for a more fulfilling life. Yet we fail achieving the dream with a solid plan of attack. Dream too long and you’ll look back on a life’s path scattered with the tombstones of lost opportunities. Try something new, and 2012 can be the year you change the trajectory of your entire life; all you have to do is wake up and smell the coffee, and then start walking towards it.

Job security is a thing of the past, but you can regain control of your life by replacing blind loyalty to faithless employers with a commitment to your own long-term economic survival. Make this the year you commit to understanding and applying the new career management strategies that will put security and fulfillment back in your life. It’s just a question of making time in an already hectic life.

Steal Time for Achieving the Dream

The average American gets home from work, watches five hours of TV (25% of it commercials), and goes to bed, not always in that order. Give up just one thirty-minute TV sitcom four nights a week and I’ll show you how to revolutionize your life. Steal just two hours a week and invest it in learning how to make your life better.

It starts with understanding that no one cares about your survival except you, and doing something about this situation: Learn what it takes to get back to work; protect the job you have; get a better job, get a promotion; plan and execute job or career changes. Simultaneously you can begin to think about your entrepreneurial dreams. These are the issues of modern career management that you ignore at your peril.

A Successful Career Is Not a Sprint; It’s a Marathon

When you think about achieving lifetime plans, think in terms of calendars not clocks. Most people sacrifice a life of fulfillment to the whims of instant gratification because a life of fulfillment requires hard work. It’s time to start living up to your dreams, not your income.

Whatever your goals, the sooner you start towards them the better. Begin with evaluating where you are now and where you want to be ten years down the road. “I want to be president of the company” and “I want to be president of my own company,” aren’t mutually exclusive: This is not an either/or world anymore. You can pursue multiple career goals and multiple career paths: climbing the corporate ladder, building a successful business, making your living in the arts. There are proven paths to make multiple career goals come true. Others do it every year, so why not you?

Given your goals, all you need is a plan of attack that steadily takes you from where you stand today to where you want to stand tomorrow. Just what will you have to do to get from here to there? You then break those big steps down into smaller and smaller steps, until there is some small action you can take today, and every day, that will bring you one step closer to realizing the goals that give your life meaning. You can build plans and the stepping stones for the achievement in your corporate career and in your entrepreneurial and dream careers.

For Your Core Corporate Career

Become the best you can be, to secure the job you have today and to land the job you want tomorrow. Simultaneously, commit to learning the employment skills you need to survive: How to write a resume, how to turn a job interview into a job offer, and the handful of other critical job search and career management skills that you must master to survive.

For Your Entrepreneurial Career

Recognize that because paths running parallel to your core professional career take time, you must start walking towards them now. Study for that license, develop the skills that help small business owners succeed. Whatever puts the juice back in your life, start doing it.

Give up one sitcom a week on the TV to change the trajectory of your life. Don’t become a couch potato and watch life whizz by on the TV screen. Make the commitment to take control of your destiny by learning how to survive and navigate the twists and turns of an increasingly volatile professional life. Give yourself to achieving the dream that brings you joy, and the strategies that will ensure your economic survival. It can be done and you can do it.

What’s your success plan for achieving the dream in 2012?

Photo by pheαnix.

Martin Yate, CPC, is one of the foremost experts in the world of job search and career management. The author of Knock 'em Dead Resumes,Knock 'em Dead Cover Letters, Knock 'em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World, and numerous other books, he has helped millions of people turn their careers and their lives around. For more job-hunting resources and advice, visit


  1. Ernesto on the 2nd January

    Awesome! Great read!

  2. Bojan on the 2nd January

    What exactly is succesfull career? That term is different for everybody. Maybe someone won’t feel as successful if he gets his goals slowly, right?

    Maybe some people don’t equate that with success. We’re living in the society of instant gratification where quick results and rewards NOW, are considered success.

    Marathon isn’t.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. Thomas Baake on the 2nd January

    Very good article. I think in watching TV we can add doing time consuming things on the internet like social sites, news sites etc.

  4. Stuart Wakefield on the 5th January

    I pretty much gave up TV last year and my writing career took off. I still have a day job (and yes it does feel like I’m working two jobs) but I am finally feeling a true sense of fulfillment.

  5. Alexei on the 11th January

    Well said. This article is a good way to start out a new year.

  6. ann on the 18th January

    holy crap! 5 hours!!!??? that’s madness…life is waaaay too short. excellent article. really great points. thank you!

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