Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Productivity, Success
It’s March and you’ve already hit your first target. You’ve created, prioritized and scheduled your 2014 Goals. In essence you developed a “plan”. BRAVO! Check in with your friends and colleagues about their goals and I bet that most of them are still wrestling with what they want to do this year. And I bet none of them actually have a plan to keep them on track. In my experience people develop their goals and jump right into working on them. They don’t stop to plan or even create a vision of success to motivate them. What happens? Within 3 months they fall off the wagon. The allure of achieving their goals has faded. And without a roadmap to follow they don’t know how to get back on track. But you’re beyond that. You have a plan and you’re firmly on your way.
In this last installment of the Goals Development Series I’m offering you 3 Key Concepts to help you successfully carry out your plan.
Key #1: Identify Motivators Early.
Throughout the year, as you’re working on your goals, your emotional energy will go from high to low and back up to high again. During the “high” times you will feel like you can accomplish anything. During “low” times you’ll have little to no motivation to work on your goals. These are the times when you will need a person to help you get moving again. More than just a cheerleader, this motivator is someone you respect, who knows what you’re working on and who can advise you on how to regain your enthusiasm. Whenever you get off track, schedule a motivation session with your coach, colleague or friend.
Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Success, ToDo Lists
We’re almost done preparing our 2014 Goals. Last week you prioritized your Goals and the Task lists associated with them. This exercise should have given you a sense of how challenging the year will be and how wonderful you’re going to feel when December comes around and you see how much you’ve achieved. This week let’s map out exactly how you’re gonna get it all done this year. To do that we need two things: a Chart and a Calendar of your Goals. Read more
Filed under: Goals, Happiness, Live Your Dreams, ToDo Lists
Prioritizing is the process of arranging items in order of importance. When we prioritize we selectively choose what we plan to do while at the same time deciding what we plan not to do. This is important to understand because when we decide to work on our goals we are also deciding to put something else on the “back burner”. It’s not like we will neglect our responsibilities but rather that some tasks will have to be rescheduled to make room for us to work on our goals. The cold hard truth is that in order for you to achieve your goals somebody else’s goals/concerns will have to wait. That’s what prioritization is all about. This is not always easy to accept. Yet, if you want to succeed in 2014 you have to prioritize.
You might have heard the phrase; “What gets focused on gets done”. We see examples of this expression every day. People achieve their goals by focusing singularly on their target then doing what it takes to hit the mark. One memorable example of this in my lifetime is the transformation of Times Square in NY. When I was growing up 42nd Street between Broadway and 9th Avenue was filled with sex shops, cheap movie theatres and smoke dens. Drugs were sold openly on corners and you couldn’t walk down the block without having to step over someone sleeping in the street. The renowned Theatre District had become the last place anyone would bring their family. But in the 1990s Mayor David Dinkins committed to transforming 42nd Street from a place for sex and drugs into a destination for tourists and families. During his administration the city reclaimed several dilapidated theatres, moved out smoke shop owners and convinced the Walt Disney Corporation to rehabilitate the historic 42nd Street Theatre. The result?
What used to look like this….
Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Success, ToDo Lists
So far we suspended actually working on our 2014 Goals and instead spent time getting clear about what they should be. With a sense of clarity firmly in place, we can now begin identifying the specific steps needed to move them forward. These steps, also called “Tasks”, are the engine that drives goal achievement. Without Tasks keeping us moving forward we won’t be able to reach our goals. Even if today you won a $5 million lottery you would still have to plan how you’re going to bring your dreams to life. So this week we want to develop a task list for each goal.
I’m not talking about your typical ToDo list cluttered with all the things other people want you to do. A lists made up of tons of other people’s priorities. That kind of list does little to move your goals forward. What I’m proposing is a “Reach My Goals” list. Read more
Filed under: Goals, Happiness, Live Your Dreams, Success
The SMART System
“Create SMART goals!” This popular mantra is often stated but rarely put into practice. I’ve been helping business professionals create SMART goals for years and we always start by brainstorming or creating “blue sky” objectives. I urge them to bring to the table any and every idea regardless of how feasible they think it is. I remind them how important it is for them to not limit their thinking. This is the time to put on the table ideas that even seem impossible. We always want to consider the impossible, because much of what was thought to be impossible in the past has become common place today.
Remember the amazing Motorola DynaTAC? In 1983 this modern marvel was the original cell phone. Imagine a venti sized Starbucks coffee filled all the way to the brim. Attach a 6” straw to the lid, place it next to your cheek and start talking. How cool are you looking right about now? Not to mention the whopping 30 minutes talk time before it unceremoniously dies on you during your call leaving the one and only other person with a cell phone on the other end wondering what happened. And you never had to worry about matching the DynaTAC with your wardrobe. It came in two exciting colors; black or white.
Someone recently said to me that by now (the 3rd week of January) everyone has already decided on their goals. “Who wants to talk about them anymore?” Actually, high achievers revisit their goals all the time. And, depending on what’s going on in their lives, they may even add new or change their goals! But there are some people who aren’t quite settled on their 2014 focus. These first weeks might have been too hectic for them to sit down and decide on what they really can commit to. That’s why I’m offering a Goals Development Series. Over the next several weeks we will work on developing goals, planning how to achieve them and ways to keep track of progress. Whether you have already set your goals or are still deciding what to do this series will help you solidify where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.
Let’s begin at where it all started…
Part I: The Dream Read more
Last week we looked at the importance of reflecting on past performance to influence the goals that we set for ourselves for the future. I offered up a weekly reflection of 20 questions from Southern Hills UMC and asked that you consider these questions at the end of the week. So how did you do? Here’s what I learned from my weekly reflection.
1. What was last week’s biggest time sink? I spent an inordinate amount of time listening to people’s holiday stories some good and some bad. The only consolation I have is that now that the holidays are over this time sucker will go away. Whew!
2. What have I struggled with in the past that might also affect the upcoming week?. Working while the family watches TV won’t help me advance my goals. I don’t have a home office so the living room doubles as my work area. But this is also the seat of activity. Read more
Christmas 2013 is over….you survived! Somehow having December 25 fall in the middle of the week was a little anticlimactic for most people. A smattering of folks were back in the office on Thursday with still one more day still ahead of them before the weekend. Many people talked about the gifts they received and retold stories about visiting family both good and bad. Eventually the conversation led to 2014 Goals. Everything was on the table; losing weight, saving money, finding love, leaving this @#$@#% job, traveling more, spending less, visiting family, you name it they ‘goaled’ it.
Throughout the dialog I noticed that not one person celebrated their achievements of 2013. In truth there was no reflection on 2013 at all.
What if your goal was to lose 20 pounds this year and you actually lost 22? What if you only lost 10? Read more
Filed under: Happiness, Productivity, Time Management, ToDo Lists
The Early Bird
So you find yourself again at the office Water Cooler. This time you’re getting water to make a hot cup of tea. The hustle and bustle of the season has you kinda dragging. You may even be catching a cold. You’re thinking to yourself that some warm tea will feel good going down right now. It’s at that exact moment that Tom shows up. He’s on his usual stroll around the office. His lazy unhurried gate gives his personality away. He’s “The Early Bird” and Christmas time is his favorite time of year. He’s had all his shopping done since before Thanksgiving. For weeks he’s been telling whomever would listen how good it feels to be “finished”. He then follows up his bragging with the obvious question; “So, how much do you have left to do?” Let the gloating begin! No matter what response you give, it sounds lame against his “I’m all done” smirk. In that moment you want to lash out with some choice words about his goodie two shoes attitude, his lack of creativity, his incessant gloating and how much people dislike him around the office. But instead you smile, take a deep breath and deliver the “BTFU”. The BTFU is a facial expression that alerts the Early Bird to close his beak pronto and get outta your face! Follow it up with; “Have a good one Tom!” and you would successfully managed the Early Bird. Here’s the thing about Tom. He’s always the early bird for everything. Clothes, technology, gadgets, travel you name it, he’s done it. By the time December rolls around you’ve just about had it with his bragging. This time don’t engage him. Deflect him! Use the BTFU face to keep the “Toms” in your life at bay. Once you get good at it you can flash it and Tom will spot it from way across the room and won’t even think of heading your way. SUCCESS! Read more
Its 14 days till Christmas and people are panicking. Black Friday’s buildup to jump start your gift shopping led to a letdown when you didn’t get everybody a present. Now you’re in a tailspin because you don’t have time to run out and buy more stuff. Holiday responsibilities like shopping can distract you from having a strong year end for your goals. Last year was so hectic for me that I just took two months off. All I did was try to maintain the status quo. In hindsight it turned out to be an ok strategy.
Added to everything else that you have to deal with are the proverbial holiday personalities you’ll encounter. These familiar, often annoying, people show up each year at the same time just to drive you nuts with their attitudes and idiosyncrasies. This year, instead of complaining about them, let me offer you a “heads up” that they’re coming and offer a few tips to manage them. Hopefully with a little forewarning and a little strategy you can expertly navigate the upcoming holiday events, keep your cool and hold on to a little of your sanity along the way. Here are the first two. Read more