This month’s installment of “Be My Guest” comes to us from Devani Anjali Alderson – a fellow Tribe Writer as well as author, globetrotter, marketing maven and photographer…not to mention CEO of Marketing4Traffic…with an important message about something so many of us do and so many of us ultimately fail at – setting goals. As in other years, I wrote up my list in January…and despite intentions to the contrary, haven’t looked at that list since. I’m convicted…how about you?
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Goal setting. It’s such a mainstream thing to do. New Years, birthdays, five-year markers… So many people wait for a “big” occasion to set a goal. And yet very few people sit down and create a strategy for actually making it happen. You don’t need to wait for a significant event to change your life. As Tony Robbins says, “You need to be sick and tired of being SICK and TIRED.” That’s when you decide it’s time to stop making excuses and just get things done. The time for procrastination is over. Dead and gone.
Crystallize your goals and have a WHY. Do you know why so many “diets” fail? It’s not necessarily that the “diet” itself doesn’t work. It’s that people jump in without crystallizing the reason behind their desire.
Recently I had a coaching session with my mentor, Jim Sheil, co-founder of Board Meetings International. He explained a process to me for setting goals that would easily get accomplished. Below are the top takeaways I got from him:
1. Write Down Three Highlights from the Previous Year: This is important so you can see the “ups” you had. It will help motivate you for the year ahead. It will also show you the activities you enjoy, so you can incorporate them into the upcoming year.
2. Write Three Lessons From Last Year: Knowing what you learned helps you feel proud about yourself and reminds you of life’s lessons. And it crystallizes the key points you learned.
3. Write Goals: There is a specific process to writing goals.
a. Make them realistic. Everyone’s version of “realities” is different, so when brainstorming what you want to happen, make it doable. But remember that realistic doesn’t mean “dream small”… It just means maybe you should start with baby steps!
b. Make them measurable. Add a time limit and date you want each one accomplished by.
c. Stick with a list of 3-5. Don’t make some long list of a dozen goals. It’s much better to get a couple of goals accomplished than have a dozen that have been abandoned.
4. Look at the list DAILY! If you don’t remind yourself each day about what you want…you’ll eventually forget and burn out. You need to ingrain your goals. Put the list everywhere – on the bathroom mirror, in the car, in your wallet, everywhere!
Here is an example of one of my goals: “On August 1st of 2014, the first draft of my marketing workbook is complete and with an editor.” For me, this is realistic; there’s a date I expect to complete this, and it’s not daunting. My original goal was: “I am a published author of a bestselling book/workbook that inspires speakers, authors, and business owners to get back to the core passion of their business.” It was too grand, and I was setting myself up for disappointment. There was no way I could realistically complete this.
You want realistic goals so you don’t get disappointed. That sets you back and makes it that much harder to accomplish what you want. You want to make it EASY to move forward. Once you’ve gone through this process, share it with close and uplifting friends. People whom you KNOW will help and cheer you on when you feel down.
Here’s the thing: goals are awesome. They give clarity and purpose to our lives. But what’s the point if we don’t act on them? We’ll end up depressed, sad, angry, bitter, and with other negative feelings that harm us and the people around us. While it may seem convenient to set goals during major events, there’s no reason to wait. Waiting means you’re letting life happen, you’re giving up your power, and you’re not living up to yourself. That might sound harsh, but frankly, if you’re not living up to what you know you can do, you’re wasting your beautiful, precious life, and the world will not get to see or be helped by your gifts.
Love yourself enough to step into your skin and raise the standard. There’s no reason to hide, no reason to wait, and no reason for excuses.
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How about you? Have you set goals you had trouble fulfilling because they were unrealistic or lacked passion – or have you aced them and are moving on to new ones? Has something stopped you from even setting them? Devani would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. And be sure to check out her website at http://marketing4traffic.com/.