I recently presented a persuasive talk to our local Toastmasters group. It resonated with many. Perhaps you could use a bigger wheelbarrow?
Have you ever been made aware that your priorities don’t match your actions?
I have and it hurts. I always felt that I was good at controlling my destiny and that my energy matched my motives and my objectives.
Where did I stumble? And who let me know?
I was becoming focused on career to the detriment of family, and thankfully my wife let me know. More thankfully, I woke up and listened.
Too many friends didn’t heed this peril and paid for it in ways they could never have imagined.
For many, including me, career is important. It provides our economic lifeblood, future security and if well chosen, a deep level of satisfaction. It also tends to thrive when you are passionate and focused upon its demands.
So then why do we struggle with the tension between career and the other aspects of our life?
It goes back to the first question above – putting our actions where our priorities lie.
For many, if you were to ask – lose your family or lose your career, there would be no contest. Many would give their lives for their family and loved ones yet few would give it for their careers. (Military and emergency services personnel are arguably the exception.) But even though we value our family and our relationships, we seldom invest the time and more importantly, the emotional energy that we give to our ‘career’.
It is only when we are reminded – do we step back and look at our actions and realize that alignment is required.
There are so many moral, emotional and altruistic reasons to be looking after all of the needs of family. The secret benefit that most of us fail to realize? – – is that you will perform better, last longer and be more effective at work, if you have your family / loved ones fully satisfied by your attention. That way, they in turn can support you. They are your fuel, your backstop and your safety net. Get the career – family balance right and look forward to a wonderful retirement.
Retirement is not important when you’re working and establishing a career, but let me assure you that it is most important when the time approaches. Are you prepared? If not, I suggest you keep in mind; the career – family balance.
So we appreciate that there is value in having a higher overarching goal that is in line with your shorter term goals. But let me ask you; how do we polish that telescope lens?
When you pick out that ‘dare to dream’ audacious incredible goal, you need to do 3 things to bring it into focus.
Before I outline those three things, let’s be clear – (pun intended), you need to own it in all respects. The vision of your goal may not initially be clear but the emotional value – the WHY, must be etched into your consciousness. For example, you may wish to be a doctor. You don’t need to identify what kind of doctor but your “WHY’ must include a ‘buy in’ to the value you see in yourself. That ‘buy in’ might be – making a difference in people’s lives that need you most. –or- providing a compassionate service at the highest possible level of professional caregiving.
Back to the 3 things…
- Write it down. ( we all know that, but we seldom do it.)
- Visualize it. Make images in your mind. Go to Google images, and make desktop images that reflect your deepest emotional triggers of why your goal is so important.
- Go public. (The most difficult of all.) In order to make yourself accountable, you need to have others know your ‘audacious’ goal. It is difficult but you may be surprised at the support you will begin to garner.
Congratulations! Your telescopic lens is now polished and you now own the direction and destiny of your design. What next? A few tools to keep your goal from fading.
Have you found yourself engaging in a scattered approach and find difficulty in maintaining; or even establishing a clearly focused goal? Like a poorly polished telescope lens, the light is refracted and it is awkward to see a distant goal. So we set closer more practical goals.
Yet, is that what we want?
Is it enough to simply limit our goals to the near and accessible because we can’t visualize a distant goal?
Let’s peek over the telescope for a minute and use the spotting scope on top instead. What if we were to build an audacious goal that would embarrass our very soul to reveal? There is an expression, if you could not fail, then what dreams would become your goals. Make it big and bold – nothing is unrealistic. Then – give yourself a fair and reasonable time to achieve it.
Remember, we always overestimate what we can accomplish in a short period and drastically – repeat, drastically underestimate what we can accomplish in a long period. That is because we don’t have the knowledge, gifts and skills to do it today.
When you set that distant goal, it does several things.
- It buys you valuable time. Yes it is time to fail or procrastinate or lose focus again. But it also buys you the opportunity to use this precious ticking commodity to prepare and set shorter goals and objectives that align with our long term focal point.
- When this focal point is far enough ahead, it also provides you more lateral maneuvering room to explore your passions and gifts that you create along your journey. Each time you make a choice, you can measure it against the criteria – does this activity assist my experience, pleasure and fufillment in my journey to my long term objective.
- It sets the trail for many other shorter goals that you can setup along the way. And as a child crawls before he walks and runs; ensure that first tasks are EASY. We need encouragement, and reinforcement. We will have doubts and failures, so we need to meet simple objectives then feel the gratification of meeting them. This will build mental muscle memory (read habits) that will slowly empower you to progress with greater ease and finesse.
- It is easier to complete smaller goals if you have your aim focused on a greater more distant goal. The first goal is simply a step on your journey. It will seem less daunting and have greater purpose in its importance when you tie it directly to the objective of your higher path.
This overarching goal will provide you the guidance to align your actions and provide you with the direction to measure all of your smaller goals against. But we need to keep the focus clear. And it is so far away. How do we do that?
How do we polish that telescope lens?
When you pick out that ‘dare to dream’ audacious incredible goal, you may wish to stay tuned for our 2015 blog when I describe 3 things to bring your distant goal into brilliant focus.
For now, I wish you all a very prosperous and fulfilling New Year.
I had a great conversation with a fellow ‘motivator’ on how to best set goals.
So often, we take a scattered approach and have difficulty maintaining or even establishing a clearly focused goal.
It seems to me that the best way to have focus is to understand the “Why”.
Why do you want this goal? Why should you care if you make; or fail to reach it?
If you don’t know the Why yet, don’t despair.
You are not alone.
You need to build your story.
A story of emotional energy that tells of the greatest impact this goal will have on your life and those around you.
Develop the story without any association to do with reaching this goal. You already have it!
In other words, the journey to the goal is not on the table here. You simply wish to develop your ownership of the outcome and the massive benefits that will be derived.
Write these benefits down. Own them. Make them emotional. Provide hypothetical examples and use examples of others if required.
Feel free to give the consequences of not having these benefits and relate the loss of opportunity and disappointment.
When you have the Story strong enough – you own the “Why’ and you are on your way to a crystal clear goal.
Next time, we’ll discuss the importance of setting the really important goals out in the distance.
The last blog described how our goals can be sabotaged through a series of doubts and regrets. We learned a great method to overcome those challenges. I hope it worked for you. This week we want to dive into how we can make the goals effective – and achievable!
It is one thing to write out your goals. They may be virtuous, courageous and provide a laser sharp light source to your objective. How do we ensure that it doesn’t just sit there and fizzle out, constantly replaced by everyday events and other bright shiny objects that bury its brilliance.
Three factors will ensure success in reaching your goals.
- Emotion. You must be attached emotionally to your goals. The buy in cannot be only logical. You own the goal – it is part of your fibre and it is something that brings passion.
- Pathway. You need a roadmap, with clear steps, and benchmarks to provide you the reinforcement and guidance during the many storms and distractions that will seduce you from your dream.
- Appreciation. Take each small step knowing that they will be hard at first, they will show negligible results and seem pointless at times, yet they are to be rewarded, praised and recorded to reinforce your bigger aim. Give yourself the gift of gratitude for having the courage to make steps in the right direction every day. Know that a stumble is likely and only an opportunity to show that you cannot not be discouraged from reaching the aim that you emotionally own.
I recently discovered an article from Communications trainer, Conor Neall. His interview of top performing athletes can help provide a blueprint for your own goal setting.
They seem to share some common traits. Conor Neall, describes what these traits are:
- Acceptance – An athlete accepts any circumstance at face value and reacts to it. They don’t judge or blame or pine over the challenge, they simply adjust to meet their objective.
- Presence – The high performing athlete will stay right in the moment. Making each action and decision based upon his or her present reality. Like a racehorse – that knows not when the end is, the horse just runs its hardest making each step. An athlete will ask the same question of himself – can I make the next step – if so – then I will do it.
- Responsibility – Conor Neall discovered that high performers seek assistance from coaches and physio trainers but ultimately centre the responsibility for all of their actions and feelings on themselves.
- Humility – This final trait is essential to ensure that success and victories do not lull the ego into relaxing ones efforts to improve and perform at ones best.
This is fine for the Superstars – but can this work for the rest of us? I can think of no better strategy in building momentum in any challenging goal.
Next time…. Why do successful companies have mission statements, yet very few individuals have them?
To understand the importance of Goal setting, you must also focus on the concept of: “Begin with the end in mind.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? Imagine what it feels like to be passionate, in focus and congruent with thought, word and deed. Some can do this right now.
For the rest of us, we need to step back a few steps.
Let’s start with your life, as it exists today. What are your biggest weaknesses – or your greatest challenges? What are the behaviours and environmental circumstances that are holding you back from moving forward? Have you developed habits that sabotage any chance of meaningful change and improvement? Is your comfort zone so desirable that you paralyze your spirit and repeat another day – just like yesterday? This may not be you but perhaps it is someone you care about?
If so, then perhaps we are challenged to think about a few examples that may provide the starter fuel to our goal of setting a clear vision for our future.
I would like to suggest that this may be because we come from an area of scarcity instead of abundance. Sadly, many of us resist goal setting because it puts us in a place of fear or regret, doubt or shame. This scarcity focus will crash any chance of dreams as they might become nightmares.
There is good news! We can use a simple technique to put your goals in a positive light.
1. Write out as many goals as you can imagine. At least 20.
2. Write out goals or dreams that you have already accomplished or received.
That’s right. In order to place your mind in an area of abundance, you need to describe in writing your goals and dreams that are already in your life.
It may be – I want a loyal loving dog that I can come home to and this companion loves and accepts me for who I am. If you have that pet, then write it out somewhat as shown.
This exercise not only gives you great appreciation and gratitude but it is essential in your goal setting exercise. You see beyond the benefits just mentioned, it places you in a position of abundance.
3. Now write out your goals, alternating between the dreams that you have achieved and the ones that are still out there.
This technique will enable you to interleave the positive ‘abundant’ goals with the ones that may trigger doubt, remorse, shame, guilt and all of the other chains and anchors stopping you from making wonderful life filling progress.
Once that is done, you will have made a large step towards building up a powerful list of achievable goals.
Please try this now. 20 goals of hopes and dreams and 20 goals that are already in your life. You will be able to pair them down later.
I should caution that once you have these goals, you may experience some emotions that might be uncomfortable. That is normal. It is like receiving a gift that you feel you don’t deserve. Accept these feelings but then place them to the side as you understand the importance of having your goals serve your needs – (not the other way around).
Credit: life Coach School – Brooke Castillo podcast Ep. # 3 How to Set Goals.
I am so excited to start providing better content for your needs.
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get serious about what is important. The fundamentals that are important to you and valuable to your immediate world – and finally that in turn will become a benefit to our larger world; a human world where we find our path. A world where we listen to the needs of others and become more effective at helping others and as a selfish benefit, we become more fulfilled in the process.
Are you ready?
I am. I will be making mistakes along the way but with your input and feedback, we can make changes that improve lives – one step and one person at a time.
So, how do we do this?
First, we realize that we need a vision. A goal. There is no sense pursuing a path without understanding the objective. The Why?
If we want to change in meaningful ways, then our vision must be clear.
How can we articulate our vision? Many of us know that we want to be better. We ‘feel’ that in our bones. Yet we can’t express it with clarity.
In the next blog, we will start with ‘Clarity in Expressing Your Vision’. Funny play on words but pertinent as we cannot guide ourselves or others until we have that objective completed. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to express his vision. As did John F. Kennedy, Steven Jobs, Richard Branson, Ghandi and the list goes on.
Enjoy life and see you soon. We are in for an afterburner ride to success and fulfillment.
Wow, the wonders of our internet age. I joined Twitter; gathered a following and followed others; made some connections and within no time, I have an interview invite from someone more than 3,000 miles away.
Domonick Domasky is an author and host of an Inspirational Talk show. His friendly approachable character made the opportunity to share some stories a pleasure. If you have time to sit with a cup of your favourite beverage, I invite you to listen in.
Just click on the Title below.