as published in Conway Daily Sun
I am ready! Like those crazy people who start Christmas shopping in July, so they have no stress at the last minute, I started my goal setting project last February! 2015 really will be an amazing year! If I’m honest with you, (and I always am), the only reason I am so far ahead with my goal setting work, is that last February, I was still working on the start of 2014. I felt so far behind I decided to make it an on-going project and by the time I was done, it was almost 2015. I changed the dates and voila! I call it divine procrastination; when putting things off work out in the end – it is as if it was meant to be! So how do you get ahead of the curve with this goal-setting thing? Is it really just nonsense? How many people ever keep a new year’s resolution anyway? Why do we only think about these things at this rather arbitrary date? I don’t think my weight cares if it’s a new year, I don’t think your lungs care if you quit smoking on Jan 1st or any given Monday of the year, or your birthday, or ground hog day! As a result of this thinking, I have made my goal setting project an on-going, living thing. It is a part of my life on a day-to-day basis. This practice also keeps me moving toward my goals and commitments. Today we are going to discuss clarity of purpose, passions and seven aspects of your life to consider when goal setting. In our next article, we will tackle a few steps on how to turn those goals into reality.
The most successful people on the planet, using any definition of success you like (career, personal, relationship, spiritual, etc.), have certain things in common. One of them is that they have unusual clarity. They have clarity of purpose. They have a vision; a sense of mission. For me, clarifying my life purpose was not only inspirational, it also relieved a lot of stress around the issue of feeling lost, feeling like there should be something more to life. In a more tangible sense, it helped cure me of my shiny-object syndrome. While trying to focus on one project, I am presented with other opportunities, or I spot them as they pass by. Some people do not see opportunities at all. Some folks see them like telephone poles you pass while driving slowly down the highway. I see them more like pickets on a fence, passing at high speed and I want to explore every single one of them! Knowing my life purpose allows me to use that as a filter – if the opportunity does not serve my purpose, the answer is a simple no thanks. My mentor Jack Canfield told me that if you never say “no”, your “yesses” have little value.
1. Step one is to know your life purpose. Mine is to use my capacity to love, my creativity and optimism to teach and inspire others to flourish. In my business life, I always tried to help others flourish through my work, but it was always a stretch; sort of a side-effect of the work. The more aligned your work is with your purpose, the easier it will be and the more successful you will be. Fortunately, I work now in training and coaching where everything I do directly relates to my purpose. If you need help, and most of us do, we have tools and classes to help you figure out your specific character strengths and passions to help recognize your life purpose.
2. Step two is identify your passions and set them in order of priority. This was the topic of our last article, which can be reviewed online at www.klineseminars.com/articles. In a nut shell, what matter to you most? Howard Thurman said “Don't ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
3. Step three is visualizing the various aspects of your life and deciding what you want, without worrying about how you will get there. The seven areas I use are Career, Financial, Relationships, Health & Wellness, Personal, Renewal and Personal (the have/be/do/bucket list). One of the most difficult aspects of actual goal setting is to forget about how you will achieve it. Anyone who has ever been to a goal setting workshop, or had a boss who has been to a goal setting workshop knows about S.M.A.R.T. goals. Most people have the letters messed up in such a way as to not serve them very well. Most people say the S is for specific – good. The M is for Measurable – good again. The A is for Attainable (not good, or you only set goals you already know how to achieve). Some say A is for agreed to (not bad, if you rely on others to agree or approve of your goals - danger). I say the A stands for Actionable – I like this best – you don’t want to set your goal to be something over which you have no control, or can’t do anything about. Many teachers say the R stands for Reachable or Reasonable – that would be redundant with the A for attainable and I dislike both. I say the R stands for Relevant. Relevant to your passion and purpose! For business, it must be relevant to the mission. Finally the T stands for Timed – perfect!
Once we have all these goals listed out, and we don’t have any clue how we will reach some of them, we will want to know what to do next. That is our next column. We will discuss the reality and science behind the “Law of Attraction”, we will talk about affirmations and self-limiting beliefs and why it’s probably all your mother’s fault anyway.
You have a few weeks left before New Year’s Eve resolutions. I hope by then, you will say “I do not do resolutions; I work continuously on my life goals”! One of my personal goals is to host a public one-day success workshop for you on January 16th in N. Conway. Visit my website for details and join our email list to be kept aware of opportunities.