I do not believe in making New Years resolutions. Yes, saying “I resolve to….” can be a useful exercise, but not nearly as powerful as setting goals. When we learn how to set goals – we have something to work with – something that can lead us through the year with vision and focus. Goals have teeth to them – resolutions, as you have probably discovered, are easily broken.
Everybody and their brother has written about setting goals. There are books and seminars, systems and resources all over the internet and your local bookstore. Today, I want to provide you with a simple, three-step framework to help you as you think about the goals you would like to achieve in 2013.
Note: No matter what the date is that you read this – It is never too late in the year to start setting goals for your life and business.
DeLores Pressley’s Simple Three Step Framework for Setting Goals That Matter.
Sadly, we are slowly becoming a society who cannot dream. We are losing the ability (or desire) to envision our future before it happens. Our fast-paced, I want it, don’t make me wait for it, give-it-to- me-now world is the culprit. This needs to change – and change now, before we completely give away our power to the shallow, selfish desires of the so-called “needs” of the present.
We must take the time to envision.
Merriam-Webster dictionary has my favorite definition of the word envision:
“To picture oneself”
It’s synonyms are such words as: conceive, dream, imagine and visualize. Powerful words.
It was Napoleon Hill who said:
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
To envision is to picture oneself at the completion point of a desired goal. It is to visualize the future in the present. Top athletes do this all the time. They dream the dream, visualize the end from the beginning and then step out to make it happen.
To get past the “give-it-to-me-now” mentality, we must slow down, sit down, take stock of our desires and set goals.
Try this activity:
1. Set yourself up in a comfortable and quiet place – without the normal distractions of the day.
2. Get quiet in mind and body. Do whatever it is that you do to slow down. Close your eyes if needed. I suggest the simple act of breathing. Slowly in through the nose, out through the mouth until you feel a sense of calm run through your body.
3. Begin to think of your desires for your life, your home, your family, your career/business.
What do you desire physically, spiritually and financially? Dream big, positive, challenging, even scary dreams. Envision what you want. Picture yourself having it. How would you feel with it? What would you look like? What would you do? How would you live?
Note: We are thinking desires here, not just needs. Over the years, I have found that when we are able to envision and dream our desire, our needs fall into place.
4. Take out a legal pad and something to write with – your favorite pen helps this exercise to flow and makes it fun.
Write. Make a list of the things that flow out of your envisioning. Don’t analize and over-think – just write down your desires.
Feelings of personal power.
The number in your bank account or the size of your waist.
Write. Fill the page or pages.
Allow yourself the wonderful gift of envisioning a future that matters.
If you have taken the time and not judged your desires, you should have a extensive list.
Don’t freak out!
You are now going to divide that list into manageable chunks. Look topics like:
The process of division helps you to recognize themes. You begin to see patterns.
This is extremely important. Why? Because when we set goals that matter to us most - we are more likely to achieve them. When we have a personal investment, physically or mentally in a goal – we work harder to bring it to life.
The second step in division is to make a choice. I want you to chose your top five goals. Which ones matter the most to you?
Make the choice and write them down on a clean piece of papper – better yet, put them in a journal or notebook – a place where you can refer and work with them.
Top five – not three or seven – five. Trust me.
As you can imagine, this is the step where the rubber hits the road. Without action – envision and division are utterly useless.
The best way I have found to take action with my goals is to give them a set of action plans and a date of completion.
Think: For goal X, I will take these specific actions and I will complete them by ______.
What you are doing here is further division of your goals into even more manageable chunks.You are also are setting your mind to a specific timeframe for completion. Both of these activities are powerful and important to the realization of a goal.
Take out your journal or notebook daily (gasp – yes, daily) and spend a few minutes reminding yourself of the goals, action plans and dates. Get them deep into your mind.
Do some action each daily that brings you closer to your goal.
Rince and repeat.
Reward yourself along the way for successes. Evaluate mistakes. Learn from them and move past them into new actions.
Envision your dreams – divide them up into chunks – act of them each day.
There you have it – a simple three step framework for setting goals that matter.
Be diligent. Trust yourself. Believe in the power of you.
Now get going!
What do you think? Is this a framework that you can use for goal setting? What would you add to the mix?
P.S. I’m proud to announce that we are holding another UP Woman Circle on February 1, 2013. These events are changing lives. Get all the information at the UP Woman website. I personally invite you – you won’t want to miss it!