Several years ago, I was introduced to the pageant world when I was hired to provide interview coaching for the contestants of a preliminary pageant in the Miss America system. Since I wasn’t familiar with pageant competition, I began my research, which included attending something called “Work Weekend.”
Work Weekend is the annual event held a month before the Miss North Carolina state pageant. It’s where new judges are trained and the state contestants are prepped for the upcoming week-long competition.
Each year during Work Weekend, the current Miss North Carolina gives a talk to the newest batch of state contestants. She shares her experience of winning the crown, making appearances across the state, and promoting her philanthropic platform.
While attending this talk, I observed the contestants as they listened intently to the reigning Miss North Carolina. But I noticed one contestant in particular who was writing feverishly in her notebook. She never once looked up.
At the following year’s Work Weekend, this same young woman stood before the latest batch of state contestants. She told them how, when she was sitting in their place, she was writing down what she wanted to say to them in her own speech.
I knew what I witnessed the previous year was someone who’d already won the crown and was preparing for her role as queen. Within the year, I watched this woman compete and win the Miss North Carolina title with laser-sharp focus, and go on to become the 2nd runner-up at Miss America.
She used a method for achieving success you too can apply to both this new year and this new decade.
Method to a Successful New Year and New Decade
1. Visualize it
Start by visualizing the success you want to have by the end of this next decade and by the end of the new year. Close your eyes and picture yourself having already achieved this success.
What do you see?
What do you hear?
And what do you feel?
Go back to your vision board I talked about in one of my previous posts and see what you might need to add to it. Look at it on a regular basis as a reminder of what you’re working toward.
Repeat this step each year of this next decade.
2. Prepare for it
Now, taking your vision, work backward to determine what steps must be taken to arrive at your goal.
Do you need to learn something new through training or additional education?
Do you need to expand your network?
Or, do you need to just gather the courage to take a calculated risk?
Use a mind map like the example in my recent post “Are You Happy With What You Accomplished This Past Decade?” to help you plot your steps for success.
Then, consider if there’s anything you can begin now that will be required of you once you’ve achieved the success you seek. Map out those steps as well on your mind map.
Update your mind map at the beginning of each new year of this new decade.
3. Trust in God
Like Amanda Foust said in “How To Find Peace About The Future,”
“We need to accept that the future is unpredictable in some ways, but what we do now does have an effect on where we will be later…Understanding our lack of control, continuing to work hard in the present, and letting God handle our future is the only sure way we will find peace.”
Once you’ve done the first two steps of visualizing your success and preparing for it, all you can do at this point is trust everything will work out the way it’s supposed to, as long as you’ve done your part.
It’s at this point you have to develop patience to see the fruits of your labor. And you must learn flexibility in case success might look slightly different than you originally envisioned. It may take the entire decade to develop patience and flexibility, so allow yourself time to be molded in this way.
Believe in your success in the new decade
The example of the young lady mentioned above is a reminder how success doesn’t just come from achieving your goals. It also comes from believing you can achieve your goals.
She was able to do what was within her control. She visualized it, prepared for it, and trusted God with the rest.
I encourage you to do what’s within your control. Learn to recognize when you still have more to do, and when you need to take a break and let God do the rest.
- Are You Happy With What You Accomplished This Past Decade?
- How to Make This the Last Year You Say Next Year