Going Beyond Goal Setting

Going Beyond Goal Setting

Direction, Encouragement, Motivation, Uncategorized

Going Beyond Goal Setting

I just Googled the phrase goal setting, and found approximately 16,700,000 web pages that relate in some way to that phrase. This shouldn’t surprise us, because conventional wisdom is that goal setting is an important skill.

It is easy to document both through anecdotal evidence as well as through research that setting goals can help us achieve more. There are hundreds of books, tapes, speeches, workshops, and websites that will provide us with tools and processes to set goals. One would think for something as important as goal setting, with as many tools as there are available, that everyone would be a goal setter.

This however isn’t the case.

While I could fill a book with the reasons why, there is one that is very important.

People don’t set goals now because they didn’t achieve the ones they set in the past.

They’ve followed the goal setting process they learned or read about, but the seminar or book stopped at the wrong time. The seminar stopped with the setting of the goal. That is like ending the game after the first play, then going to sit on the sidelines, while the goal is out on the playing field.

My advice to you, if you can identify with what you’ve just read is to stop worrying about goal setting. And start focusing on goal achieving.

In other words, stop worrying about which goal setting model to use, or which software to track your progress with. Stop making the goal setting process the focus, and start putting the focus on goal achievement.

How To Start Goal Achieving

Here are three things you can do to put our focus on goal achievement and drastically increase your success:

1. Get sick and tired. It is often said that people really begin to reach new health goals when they become sick and tired of being sick and tired. Achieving a goal means that you want something different than you have now.

To build your ongoing and sustaining drive to achieve the new item, knowledge or situation, you must become disgusted and dissatisfied with the current situation. This doesn’t mean that you should become bitter or grumpy, but rather it means to develop a healthy dissatisfaction with the way things are now (current profitability, the cycle time for new product development, or your inability to find a bathroom in Brazil).

2. Get (and stay) excited about the result. To sustain the challenges, setbacks and disappointments along your way to goal achievement, you must have another motivation as well. You must really want the benefits that will come to you when the new goal is achieved. Build a clear and compelling picture in your mind of what you will feel, sense, see, and believe once your goal has been achieved. Focus on the results you will gain from the goal, rather than just the goal itself. This is important because in the end this is what you are after, not just the goal itself.

As you work towards your goal, the goal might shift, but as long as the desired results remain clear, you have improved the likelihood of achieving the end result you desire.

3. Start a plan and get started. Notice I didn’t say to lay out a complete plan of all the steps between you and your goal. If your goal is of any size and importance at all, it will require many steps, and it will be very difficult/impossible to identify them with any degree of certainty at the start. Too many people think they need the perfect plan. They delay starting so they can get the best information. They want to talk to one more expert, read one more book, examine two more options.

Get started already! Give yourself a clear idea of a general approach, and some clear first steps. Allow yourself the luxury of knowing that the next specific steps will become clear as you stay on the path.

Doing these three things will drastically increase your success in achieving any goal you set.

Actually, let me say it more strongly. Until you have these three factors going for you in large (although potentially varying) amounts, you wont achieve the goals you set. You will lose momentum. You will lose focus. You will lose hope. You wont be able to overcome the first setback. And you will fall into the convenient and comfortable thinking that goal setting doesnt work for you or that you need a new tool, a new technique or a new guru to help you set better goals.

Whether you are setting goals for yourself, a team you lead or for your organization at large, take this advice to heart.

Focus less energy on setting the perfect goal and spend more time preparing yourself for ultimate success. Stop worrying about the resolution, and start focusing on the resolve that will be required to succeed.

Solution: Be A Juggernaut Of Goal Achievement

Did you know that less than 3% of people have written goals? Studies have shown that the most successful people are the ones who have specific, written goals.

Setting a goal is not like a New Years resolution. That is just a wish. Just wishing and hoping for something isnt going to make it happen. Setting a goal is having a target to shoot for and a plan to get there.

When planning your goals, choose which categories you would like for your goals. Establish the time frame. They could be lifetime goals, 10 year, 5 year, 1 year, 6 month, 3 month, 1 month or weekly goals. Also you can have ongoing goals, such as exercising 3 5 times a week.Be specific when you write your goals. Don’t just write down I want to lose weight. Write I will weigh 180 pounds by July 2018.

Make sure your goal statement is positive. Don’t say, I don’t want to be fat. Say I will be a healthy 130 pounds by May 2018.The achievement of a worthwhile goal can seem daunting at first. The easiest way to proceed is to break your goal down into smaller steps. Start with the first step then move onto the next. When making your plans, a good way is to start is from the end part and work your way to the present.

Measure your progress. After you complete a step, check it off. Watching steady progress is a good motivator. A simple example could be if your goal was to be able to do 100 continuous pushups, you could mark off the milestones of 25, 50, 75, 80, and finally 100!

Don’t be discouraged by setbacks. All successful people experience setbacks, disappointments, and failure along the way. That’s just part of the process. That’s part of learning. Many times these act as course corrections to get you back on target.

There are several success principles used in goal achievement.

One is properly programming your mind. You need to review your goal morning and at night before you go to bed. Have your goal written on a 3 x 5 card so you can review during the day. At night, ask your subconscious mind for solutions to problems, and methods or tools for helping you achieve your goal.

Another important principle is that of persistence.

No one has enjoyed great achievement without persistence.  Its hard to beat a person who never gives up!

Do something everyday towards your goal.

A days action puts you one step closer to your objective. Doing something everyday creates a momentum that is hard to stop.

Move relentlessly toward your objective.

When it comes to achieving your goals, you need to think of yourself as a huge, monolithic juggernaut! Unstoppable!

Continuous Improvement/Staying Motivated

This may be the difference between goal setting and goal attainment. The first part is never being satisfied that you have arrived. There is always something more that you can do, another improvement that you can make. Life is a continuous journey.

Staying motivated is a challenge. Sometimes meeting our goals will motivate us; sometimes it has the opposite effect. I find having an accountability partner, a coach or a mastermind group to whom I am accountable makes all the difference. I can promise myself I’m going to do something all day long. If I don’t, who will be the wiser? However, when I say out loud to someone else what my intentions are, then my integrity wont let me fail.

Doing all this will bring you greater success, less frustration and will help you and your organization move closer and closer to your full potential.

Why Focus Is Important

Why Focus Is Important

Direction, Encouragement, Motivation, Personal Development

Why Focus Is Important

Focus is the single most important factor that will determine whether your dreams come true or not. Depending on what your dreams are, there are so many challenges and hurdles to cross. Some look quite formidable, and a lot of folks give up at the first sign of a setback.

Focus helps you put your act together. It helps you mobilize your resources and channel them in one direction. That way, you make progress consistently in the direction of your goal or milestones.

Imagine the lights in the front of your car. Most models use a similar size, bulb, and wattage. What makes a full beam is focus. Driving on a dark road at midnight, you can see up to a mile ahead. If that beam of light is focused further, it can generate heat. Focused further still, it cut through some materials. That is the power of focus.

To fulfill your dreams, you have to break it down into actionable segments: goals.

Fulfilling the dream involves achieving the goals that make up the dream. Focus enables you meet your goals.

Without focus, you become distracted. You lose direction. Your priorities get messed up. You start to look in different directions. This may involve beginning other projects, when the one at hand has not been pursued to a logical conclusion. The cycle continues, and the net effect is that you litter the landscape with abandoned projects.

If you consider the time, energy and resources committed into these abandoned projects, put together and focused on one project, results would have been achieved.

This brings to mind a simple experiment many of us did in junior high. The challenge was to draw a simple straight line from point A to point B, without using a straight edge. To do that successfully, we were instructed to mark out the two points at two opposite ends of a plain sheet of paper. Then placing our pencil on point A, we were to keep our eyes on point B, as we draw the line. The net effect was a simple (maybe not perfect) straight line from point A to B.

We were then told to repeat the experiment, this time, place our pencil at point a, and keep our eyes on the pencil as it makes its way to point B. You can guess the result; a wavy line from point A to nowhere. By the time the pencil got to the opposite edge of the paper, we had to look for point B is. We had all gone way off mark.

It was a simple and powerful lesson in focus, though sadly, few of us took it to heart; keep your eyes where you are going, and you will get there. Keep your eyes where you are, and you will get lost.

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a magnet and a nail? They are both made of carbon steel. It is in its molecular structure. Each has a north and south polarity. In the magnet, all the molecules are in perfect alignment, all north poles pointing in one direction (to make the north pole) and all south poles pointing in the opposite direction (to make the south pole). This is what accumulates to constitute the magnetic force. In the nail, the alignment is haphazard. They point in all directions. The net effect is that the electromagnetic forces cancel themselves out and the resultant magnetic force is zero.

If you bring a nail within the magnetic field of a magnet, it sucks it in. While still attached to the magnet, the nail becomes a magnet too, and can magnify other metals. What happens is the magnetic force of the magnet forces the molecules in the nail to put its act together and line up in one direction. If you remove the nail, its molecular return to their former state, and it becomes a non-magnet one more time.

The magnet is a focused person. They pull their resources together and achieve great things. The nail is a confused person, they deploy their resources in all directions, jumps from project to project and cancel out whatever progress they would have made.

As a shrewd manager of or time, energy and resources we need to plan and focus. You may have a thousand ideas. Create an idea document in your computer and store them for safekeeping. Each idea has its time. Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. If you run before time, you wear yourself out, and add your idea to your database of abandoned projects. Instead of the idea motivating you, it now becomes a source of discouragement.

Each well-run army knows its strategic strengths, and how many theaters of war it can prosecute simultaneously. If it stretches itself too thin, it sets itself up for defeat.

It may be time step back review your current ongoing projects. Take a second look at your short term and long term goals. Do you still believe in your dream? If so, look at projects that are on the critical path to the fulfillment of your dream.

Suspend projects that distract you from getting to where you are headed. If all your ongoing projects are relevant, assign priorities to them, continue with the most critical, and keep the others in view.

Pursue one project to its logical conclusion. It may not necessarily mean staying permanently on one project. You can push it to a stage that it becomes self-sustaining or delegate-able to others, then delegate and move on. It will continue to thrive, as you break new grounds. Also you can take on other projects, if and only if they do not distract you, or slow down your primary thrust.

It does not make sense to complain that you don’t have enough time to do the things you need to do, simply because you got your life cluttered with so many things that are nice, but not absolutely necessary.

It is great to start. Most folks don’t. But starting alone is not enough. Finish what you start. The medal belongs to those who finish, not to starters.  If you remain focused long enough, you will eventually get to the finish line.


Clarity Comes From Focus

Clarity Comes From Focus

Encouragement, Leadership, Motivation, Personal Development

Clarity Comes From Focus

Photographs are clearer when they are in focus. When they are out of focus, they are blurry and indistinct. How many times have you been disappointed by a photo when the focus was off? Faces or objects are blurred, maybe even unrecognizable. Toss that one away. Chalk it up to experience. Maybe even blame it on the camera.

Just like photographs, the quality of the reality that show up in your life are also largely due to proper focus.

First, a dream must be clearly held in your mind. The result you desire to achieve or manifest in your life must first be clearly and distinctly created in your imagination. It must be ‘in focus’; that is, the components must be defined, clearly seen, and envisioned.

Second, as you go about the ‘doing’ necessary to actualize your dreams, you must remain focused on your goal and not allow yourself to get distracted by what is going on around you.

It seems pretty simple in really, but it always amazes me how unfocused people are. Ask someone to describe their heart’s desire and 90% of the time, you cannot get a clear description from them. It is blurry and indistinct. Often filled with generalities but no specifics. It’s like a description of a picture by what’s not in it.

A conversation would go something like this:

Them – “I want health, wealth, and happiness”

Me – “So what does health mean to you?”

Them – “Well, you know, to not be sick.”

Me – “So what does wealth mean to you?”

Them – “Well, you know, to not be lacking.”

Me – “So what does happiness mean to you?”

Them – “To not be sad, dissatisfied.”

Not this, not that; defining the desired outcome, the ideal by what is not in it, instead of what is in it.  The trouble with focusing on not being unwell is that you are still focusing on un-wellness, not wellness. The focus is on lack and limitation and not on abundance and potentiality.

“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.” – Mark Twain

All most people seem to know is what they do NOT want. Focus your attentions and intentions on those ideals that you want, desire, long for, lust after. Make that focus clear and distinct.

You get the clarity you have focused on. Leslie Fieger said, “Prosperity is the abundance of all things held ideal in mind and dear in heart.” How clear and exact are your ideals? How much desire, longing, passion is attached to them? How focused is the image in your mind? How focused is your desire to have that type of clarity in your life?

The complex thing about life is that it is wonderfully full of distractions. Here you are, focused on some purpose or goal and then this incredibly intrusive thing occurs.

Perhaps you are busy going about the business of creating a new company and some seemingly major obstacle presents itself, so you change your mind, change your plan, change your focus to the next great business idea and the next one after that.

Life is full of distractions making it easy to lose focus. Winners stay focused. Sometimes they are so focused that you cannot even get their attention.

Funny how that is.

How did Serena win Wimbledon? Focus.

How did Jordan become the greatest of all time?  Focus.

How did Tiger win so many tournaments? Focus.

Do you want to win the game of life? Get focused. Stay focused.

Put Wings on Your Dreams

Put Wings on Your Dreams

Encouragement, Leadership, Motivation

Put Wings on Your Dreams

We Need Dreams

Dreams are important. Not the dreams you have when sleeping. I’m
talking about the dreams you have for your future — the dreams that keep you
going — the dreams that make each day worth living.

Dreams Aren’t Enough

As important as dreams are, they aren’t enough. Why? Dreams don’t take
you where you want to go. A dream needs wings — to become a tangible
vision — a passion that will take you where you REALLY want to be.

Bethany Hamilton lives in Hawaii — her passion is surfing — her dream
is to become a professional surfer. She spends every available minute
in the water, even home-schooling so she can have more time to pursue
her vision. At 8 years of age she entered her first major competition
taking the division championships that year. Bethany’s dream had become
her passion — a tangible vision.

When Your Vision Is Attacked

Bethany’s vision was viciously attacked on Halloween morning, 2003,
when she was 13 years old. Bethany was lying on her board — left arm
dangling in the cool water.

She remembers a flash of gray, pressure, and a couple fast tugs. She
also remembers watching the jaws of a 15-foot tiger shark cover the top
of her board and her left arm.

The shark was gone as fast as it appeared. So was her arm.

What It Takes To Keep Your Vision Alive

Fast thinking friends and surgery saved Bethany’s life. Everyone —
including Bethany — believed her surfing days were over. But within a
week her vision returned — she rejected the fear and thoughts of defeat.

Less than 30 days after the attack Bethany was back in the water. Her
family and friends were there to cheer her on.

Her first attempts were failures. She struggled to push herself up with
one arm and keep her balance. Her fear was that her dream would die in
the water that day — the shark victorious after all. Bethany pushed
down her fears, gritted her teeth, and kept trying. And then it happened.

Tears rolled down her face — the crowd cheered — she caught her first
wave and rode it in.

The Dream Takes Wing

Only months after the vicious attack, Bethany amazed thousands by
achieving the unimaginable — taking 5th at the 2004 National Scholastic
Surfing Association Nationals Championships. In September she struck
again, winning the Open Women’s Division of the NSSA’s Hawaiian conference
season opener. Having placed in the finals of the National Surfing
Championships Bethany has secured a spot on USA’s National Surfing Team. She
has truly conquered her fears!

Five Ways To Put Wings On Your Dreams Bethany’s story shows how to put
wings on your dreams:

1) Your dream must become your passion — a tangible vision.

2) Everything you do needs to fuel your vision.

3) When your dream is attacked, face the adversity squarely and choose to overcome it with whatever it takes — face your fears and do it

4) Make necessary adjustments — regain your balance — and keep your
eyes on your goal.

5) Accept help when it comes — with grace and gratitude — let it fuel
your vision.

From Dream to Vision to Reality

Bethany’s vision overcomes her fear of sharks and her continued
nightmares. Her story teaches how to create dreams with wings that push you
toward your life-goals. Follow her example and your dreams will become
reality, too.

It’s Time To Invest In You

It’s Time To Invest In You

Personal Development

It's Time To Invest In You

If you are not investing in personal development, you may be limiting your true potential. Personal development affects your entire life, not just your work life or your personal life.

It’s amazing how many people don’t try to improve themselves. These are the same people that wonder why they are not getting anywhere with their lives.

You want to use some guidelines to help you which are as follows:

Imagine How You Want to Shape Your Life

Without a vision, you won’t be able to determine what kind of life you want to live. You need to balance what kinds of changes you want professionally as well as personally. The two will ultimately overlap. If you imagine yourself being more helpful to others, this trait will become part of both.

There may be certain aspects of your personal development that you believe are specific to personal life but may eventually carry over to your professional life. If you have wanted to increase your skills as a community leader, this could easily be incorporated into your professional career. The key is to identify and imagine what this new skill is going to look like.

Assess Your Current Situation

Before you make any changes in your life, determine where you stand with your life as it currently exists. Determine strengths and weaknesses to help you formulate a plan to make the necessary changes.

Set Goals

Once you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, create some goals to strive to complete. These should include high level goals as well as action steps. Most important, set milestones with firm dates for these action steps.

Consider Alternatives

There can be valid reasons why certain actions or goals can’t be met. Instead of abandoning the entire personal development plan, come up with alternatives steps. Be careful not to simply fall back on these steps because they are easier than the main goals.

Evaluate How You Are Doing

When you reach a milestone, see how you did against the plan of action steps. This is a crucial step, and it’s important to be realistic and truthful. The best way to handle this is to have someone else perform this for you. It may not be easy to hear, but the benefits will be well worth it.

Keep it Simple

If you add a bunch of unobtainable goals to your plan, you are likely setting yourself up for failure. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to push yourself. It just means being realistic about your capabilities.

Need some help investing in yourself?  Contact me with the form in the sidebar.