This video articulates the magic I have enjoyed in flying. Especially with friends in our heavenly skies over Vancouver Island. Enjoy what we get to see on a regular basis.
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.
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…
- 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.
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.
- 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?