I recently presented a persuasive talk to our local Toastmasters group. It resonated with many. Perhaps you could use a bigger wheelbarrow?
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.
I enjoyed a coffee with a fellow speaker and we were discussing the importance of bringing value to not just the audience but also the people that are supporting you.
I am speaking of the good folks that work to get you on stage and ensure you can perform at your peak.
The first point of contact is your event or Meeting Planner. They have a responsibility to ensure that the speakers and other presenters are suitable to the task. They also coordinate many of the details to ensure you arrive on time and are prepared to deliver as expected. Hopefully your success will ensure that you are invited back again.
So what can a speaker do to ensure the Event Planner is eager to have your services?
Simple as it sounds, you should focus on cooperation. The lower the maintenance you are to the planner and the other support staff the more appreciated you will be.
They have many stressful duties before and especially during a conference and if you are professional, provide clear communication and assist in making their job easier, you will have a much higher likelihood of being recommended and perhaps even given greater positions on the agenda – if not this year, the next.
Low maintenance as a professional speaker, is basically polite consideration, few if any demands and a complete understanding of the organizers’ needs. This can be shown by your professional independence and courtesy of being well prepared.
So, please – arrive early, provide your technical requests well in advance and have your own back up plans should the technology breakdown.
Your time slot may be shortened or moved or any other forecasted event can send many speakers and the planners into a tail spin.
Be part of the solution and you will score big points to all involved.
Remember you are there to put a light into the hearts of the audience and your audience includes your hosts at all times.
We all do it. We may set the goal and have clarity and understanding.
We emotionally absorb that our goal has purpose and we are excited and motivated to get started.
It takes time and we let other priorities slide light gauze mesh over our target and that starts to obscure our objective.
Before long it loses its shine and sadly transforms into something that is all but invisible.
How do we stop this fade?
Do we remind ourselves of why we placed the goal there in the first place?
Perhaps we doggedly find ways to re-invent the passion that will drive us there? I’ve been there and tried that. It didn’t work.
Here’s what does.
You have developed your dreams into a goal. It has clarity, passion and meaning.
You are determined to reach it with all of your heart.
You accept that you will have doubts and may even inadvertently sabotage your progress.
Instead of allowing the goal to vanish here’s a tool that works like magic.
Are you ready?
You simply connect your present daily habits and routines with the new goal reaching steps that you desire.
For example – If you have a habit of getting up and making coffee in the morning, then apply a small step just prior to that task that will be a positive movement toward your goal.
If it is fitness, then do one sit-up, one slow jumping jack and one push-up. If it is research that you are required to do, then build a checklist of what you will study while you drink your morning coffee. Complete the task and then celebrate with a big arms raised ‘hooray’.
It seems trivial and trite however it will be a building block that is locked into your present routine.
Each time you link a behaviour to your present habits, you engage a process of consistent reinforcement and the association with what you presently enjoy doing is even more powerful.
Another possible example – If you like to watch a favourite TV show, then take the remote control and place it in the location where you need to do the required goal achieving task first. When your task is complete, then reward yourself with another ‘hooray’ and go watch the show.
Again, this may seem silly but when you appreciate how our minds work, we have little capability of appreciating future benefits that show no rewards in the near term. By building better habits that are linked to our present reward triggers, we develop new habits that will soon become stronger. It won’t be long before one sit-up will become more, and the checklist for research will become an agenda for bold action.
I have often had difficulty with motivation for things that are too far in the future – but when my goals are linked to something close to the present, I find it so easy that finding motivation for these short, linked up activities is a non-event.
Link these activities with the steps of your goals and you will enter a building block approach that is achievable, measurable and time accountable.
Without even realizing it, you kept your goal sharply shining and a step closer to your reality.
I appreciate any comments or ideas you may have. Please enter them below.
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…
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.
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.
My challenge to you is to write out a mission statement for yourself. Right now. You can send yourself an email or put it on your desktop as a note. Spend the moment right now to define who you are. It is one of the best ways to work toward the goal setting that we all need in order to change the perspective on our abilities.
Write your mission statement now. Put it in the first person. If you would like an example here is mine. For good measure, I also included my Value Statement.
Dale’s Personal Mission Statement- Bring out the best in others. Through dynamic and caring communication, I describe life experiences and values to enhance the performance and actions of those who seek to have a better life.
If you notice this Mission Statement covers the Why, the How and the What. You must have a “Why“.
Dale’s Personal Value Statement – Present to people with honesty and integrity – providing interest and value so that they can be inspired to improve their lives as well as those around them.
There are many fine examples available online, including some very successful celebrities. I hope you find one that matches your values.
Notice the “Why”in the Mission Statement of Starbucks –
“Our mission: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”
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.
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:
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.