Posts tagged goals
“Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.” ~Marsha Norman
Is it time to share your dreams? Maybe. (Sharing dreams with a friend is a wonderful way to play and sort thru dreams and see which ones are ready to move from dream to goal.) If you have a recurring dream, one that excites you and you think it might be time to go after it, maybe. If you are also fortunate enough to have a friend or partner that will willingly hear your dreams, keep them safe as your secret to share, hear the desires hidden behind the dream – no matter how silly the dream itself may sound, and then will reflect back to you gently with their own insight added; then yes it is time.
Do you have this kind of person in your life? Count yourself amongst the lucky if you do. They are quite rare and if you have someone like this in your life, I hope you are nurturing them.
Are you this kind of person in someone else’s life? It is not an easy role for most of us and it certainly didn’t come naturally to me. But wouldn’t it be a real gift to the world to become this kind of person for someone that you care about?
Next time, I’ll begin to talk about going from dream to goal – they aren’t the same thing.
Till next time…Jack
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” ~Anatole France
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
As I write this, I am sitting in a coffee shop on the South side of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have just finished walking for an hour around Lake Calhoun, one of the beautiful string of lakes and parks that help to make this city such a delight. Even though I am traveling on business here today, I made time for this walk – regular walking is a critical component to my achieving the goal that I shared last time. (The weather here is so nice today, it really was not a challenge at all to get myself out walking – today the challenge was to quit at an hour!)
I am going to be sharing just a bit more about my health goal for next year. I’m doing this for a couple of reasons. First, I want to clearly state to the world, and of course myself, exactly what I am going to do. (The how I am going to do this comes later – I certainly don’t know all of the how yet, but I have faith that I will find it.) Second, some of the ways that I have formed this goal, and am now committing to it, may be of use to some of my readers.
To recap, last time I shared that I had committed to the goal of getting myself back in shape in the coming twelve months. I made this goal public on this blog to get leverage on myself. Getting leverage on yourself can be a very good thing indeed. So can making a public commitment to getting something accomplished. I realized today that I had not been very specific in the details that I shared about that goal. Here are those missing specifics:
- By July 1st, 2011, I will weigh no more than 195 lbs (dressed in summer workout gear including shoes). This is very specific.
- My bodyfat percentage will be no more than 15% and I will have this professionally measured by a personal trainer at my health club.
- I will also be very aerobically fit. I will measure that this way: I will be jogging at least 3 times per week for at least 30 minutes each time at a pace no slower than 10 minutes per mile. Additionally, I will be bike riding at least 3 times per week for at least 1 hour each time at a pace no slower than 10 miles per hour.
Now that is a decently written goal for me and here are some of the reasons why:
- It is doable in the time frame (barely!).
- It is very measurable.
- It does take into account some larger aspects of my life. (I must be aerobically fit and has a healthy ending bodyfat percentage – it isn’t just about my ending weight.)
- Accomplishing this goal will open up lots of other aspects of my life as well.
Okay. Enough for today about my getting in great shape goal. Here is a question for you: Should you always share your goals publicly? I say no. Next time I’ll talk more about the why and why not of this.
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“It is never too late to be who you might have been.” ~George Eliot
“Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.” ~Sofia Serrano speaking to David Aames in the movie “Vanilla Sky (2001)
I’m finally going to have the time to start updating this blog on a regular basis again. I’ve spent much of the past 4 months buried in writing the first draft of a book. What time I had left over from that adventure, I split between working with my coaching and consulting clients, working out 6 days per week with personal trainers and of course, my family time always comes first. Anyhow, enough excuses and as Paul Newman said so well in the movie The Color of Money “I’m back!”
What you can expect to find here
So, what can you expect to find here? Of the many blogs that you could decide to read, why add mine to that list?
You’ll find useful pieces that you can use immediately to improve your life – these nuggets will initially be drawn from my upcoming book about goals and achievement. I’ll share everything I’ve learned about setting goals and the process of achieving them rapidly and pleasurably.
You can watch and learn the entire process of getting a non- fiction book written and profitably (I intend!) self-published. You will also learn why I decided to self-publish even though I had offers to buy my book from traditional publishing houses.
See me as I transform my 50+ plus year old body from a neglected, taken for granted shell to a fit, muscular and energetic living work of art! (Wow! That even motivates me!)
Learn from all of the massive mistakes that I have made all along the way. That way you can either avoid them or at least have a heads up on what to expect if you go there yourself.
Learn first-hand the tips, techniques and strategies that I have developed and used with my clients over the course of more than 20 years working as a coach and business consultant.
Get my take on business books that you might want to read or maybe not read. I am an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and I will be reviewing business books here on a very regular basis.
And if I go or do something interesting, you can bet I’ll share that as well.
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” ~Goethe
Just before I wrote this blog entry, I had been working on reviewing my goals for the year. As I write this, the 6 month mark is passing and I am heading into the second half of the year. How have I done so far this year on achieving my most critical goals? Frankly, not very well yet! It’s a good thing that I still have 6 months to get them done!
As part of the goal review process, I was thinking about new skills or habits that I had started to use this year – skills and habits that helped me to achieve more and have more fun along the way. The biggest beneficial new habit, other than lifting weights at 5am, is the use of a stopwatch! I’ll get into exactly how this ‘using a stopwatch’ has helped me later, but now I must go make a quick revision to my book in process and add some information about this very subject!
“If you don’t have a plan for yourself, you’ll be part of someone else’s”. ~American proverb
Last time I talked about my new laptop running Windows 7. I’ve been using it many hours a day for a couple of weeks now and I still love it. Windows 7 is a great improvement over Vista, so much so that I am going to convert two of my other computers to run Windows 7. And the new Sony Vaio “F” series? I have never had a computer boot up and settle down so quickly and the hd screen and blu-ray player are just great!
How Far Should You Plan Your Life?
How far should you plan your life? In my opinion: as far you’d like to be alive living it! In more practical terms, I encourage my clients to have motivating and exciting goals that go out at least 10 years. In 10 years you can accomplish virtually anything – as long as you use those 10 years wisely.
Planning and goal setting go hand in hand. I set goals that excite me and then I put together the best plan that I can, to make that goal happen. Does that mean that goal setting and planning happen at the same time? Generally speaking – no. For most people, and most businesses, the process of setting goals and the process of making plans to achieve those goals should be very separate. For companies beyond a certain size, goal setting and creating workable plans to achieve those goals may even be best done by different groups of people. I’ll talk more about this separation of creation and planning in larger companies in another post.
Do You Have 10 Years of Exciting Goals?
If yes – great! Congratulations! Now go set some great and motivating goals 15 years out and soon we will talk about the process of creating plans to make these goals part of your everyday reality.
You don’t have any goals that go out 10 years or more? Then here is some homework. Remembering that you can accomplish virtually anything in 10 years, and being completely unconcerned (at this time) about what it will take to make these goals a reality; set at least 3 goals that stretch out at least 10 years. If you need a little help, consider these questions:
If you were certain that you could accomplish it, in the next 10 years,
- Where would you like to be living?
- How much money would you like to have saved?
- What would you be doing for a living?
Next time I’ll talk more about 10 year goals – big goals – and a great attitude for creating these goals. (And soon I’ll give you a simple technique to put yourself in a great mental frame for setting exciting, compelling and authentic goals.).
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“Wishing consumes as much energy as planning”. ~American proverb
“None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Birth of an Executive Coach
Last time I finished talking about my decision to self-publish my first book even though I had traditional publishing offers on the table. This time I’m going to talk about some of the actual content of my upcoming book – a book about goals and achievement.
I was born as an Executive Coach in May 1989, although I did not know that this was my destiny at the time. Like most newborns, I did not have a clue what was going on and it would take me a number of years to make sense of the world around me.
In May of 89, I left my well-paid job in Retail Mega-Box management, well-paid but otherwise boring and totally unsatisfying, and went into Executive Search (headhunting) and the temporary employment business. I had only trivial experience in either of these businesses. I had been called by headhunters a few times, looking to move me from one Mega-Box to another. These headhunters didn’t seem too bright and they seemed to make a great deal of money. (Interesting combination. I certainly wanted to make a great deal of money and at times I was a veritable idiot. I filed this information away for further analysis.)
In the world of temporary employment, I had worked extensively at numerous temporary agencies in Southern California after I graduated from college. Eventually I found my first career position and stopped working temporary assignments. While working, I had gained some great information though – there was a great deal of money to be made in the temporary business and they, the owners that I had met, didn’t seem all that bright either.
What does this have to do with my first book on goals? I’m getting there, I promise!
Death as a Counselor
In December of 1985 my father died of leukemia. He was relatively young, 61 years old, when he died. Vibrant and healthy for most of his life, in 18 months he was stripped of virtually everything – his physical vitality, his freedom of movement, his privacy and eventually his life – in 18 short months he lost all of these.
I visited him almost every other day for most of this time. My blood was helping to keep him alive and we saw more of each other in this short time than we really had in years. He talked often of the things that he was going to do if he got out of the hospital. He was going to travel again. He was going to go see the pyramids. He had a long list of things that he wanted to do and experience. He died without having done any of these – he died with most of his dreams unlived.
His death affected me deeply. I was 26 years old when he died and I swore that I was going to do my best to retire before I was 40 years old and I was going to live my dreams – for both of us.
Goals were the Starting Place
I did manage to retire before I was 40. This early retirement only lasted about 10 years, no one had told me how much money could be spent if you had full time to devote to the process of spending, but my next early retirement is coming up fast. And this time, well, I have a much higher number in mind for my retirement! Come back next time and learn more about how goals were the starting place for me then and the drivers for me now.
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” ~ Sir Edmund Hillary
“The greatest dreams are always unrealistic.” ~Will Smith
Here is the promised update on the “Come As You Will Be Party”. Again, the idea for this comes from chapter twelve of Jack Canfield’s book: The Success Principles. The basic concept is this: you get together with a group of people of similar ambition and you completely pretend to be living your dream life from five years from now. All of you talk up your current life: Where you are living; how you make your money; the kinds of cars that you now drive; the trips you are able to take; the people that you now hang with; the books you have written; whatever; this is your chance to feel what it will be like to really be living your dream life. You don’t worry about how you got there. You don’t worry about seeming outrageous. You listen to each other tell your more exciting dreams as though you have already accomplished them and you be excited for each other.
Do you want to feel what it is like to be a best-selling author? This is your chance. Do you want to feel what it is like to own a vacation home for your family and friends to use on the Amalfi Coast of Italy? (These are two of my dreams, but you can use them too! )Feel that way now. What ever your dreams – come as though they are already real. Bring props, dress as you would, really be your future self; these are keys to making this exercise really useful.
For me, I thought this would be easy and feel very natural. I was surprised. I had a hard time at first really stepping into my future life. I had trouble really saying my dreams aloud to other people as though they had already happened – were already a part of my day to day existence. This was great information for me. I am not mentally ready yet for my dreams to happen. Wow! I am still reeling from that. I have some work to do on myself yet; this is not a surprise – I am just surprised how much work I have left to do!
Overall, this was a great experience. After the initial disorientation of living my future, I felt great! I could see and feel so many things that I had not even imagined and my motivation – Wow! I am completely committed now to doing what it takes to make my future life a reality and I gained lots of insight into what it will take to get me there. This was one of the most powerful exercises that I have done in years.
How about you? Do you know some like-minded ambitious people that would like to take a very powerful step towards making their dreams become real? Time to make some calls and schedule a party! Have fun and let me know how it goes.
Till next time…Jack
“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” ~Arnold H. Glasow
“Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.” ~Mark Twain
Last time I encouraged you to set a small goal – to make $250 dollars per month from your online business – each and every month. I still think this is a great goal and only the smallest percentage of people trying to make money online ever even make this goal a reality. Wow – why? I think it is because they are all going for the big quick score without doing the groundwork first.
It was interesting the huge number of tweets that I received yesterday promising overnight riches from online business. (For those of you that are not yet on Twitter – a “tweet” is a 140 character micro-blog. Twitter is becoming a force that must be taken into account and I will talk more about how and how not to use this service soon.)
Today, I just want you to think about your passions and your hobbies. What do you love to do – not for money, but because you just love it? Or think about it this way, if money was no concern, how would you honestly be spending your time? This bit of self-analysis is critical for your future online success and is my suggested homework for you. Look at what you love to do – even if you have never had time to do it and just write that down. Next time I’ll talk about why this was important.
Till next time…Jack
“I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.” ~Buckminster Fuller
“The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking”. ~Albert Einstein
Last time I talked about what I do when I don’t achieve a goal on time. This happens quite often by the way. I would say that I only achieve my goals exactly when I first wanted to get them done perhaps 40% of the time. However, that doesn’t mean that I give up on my goals. I am passionately committed to making my dreams become my waking reality! Overall, I achieve something like 95% of my goals and the rest…well somewhere along the way of pursuing them I changed and I no longer wanted them. That is also fine – I grew and things changed for me.
So, on to questions and goals that I didn’t get done exactly when I wanted them to happen. (Please notice how I structure this sentence – I am presupposing that I will get this goal done – just my estimation of timing was off!)
Questions to ponder and answer when you don’t get a goal done on time:
First off: Honestly answer this question: Do you still want this goal? You must really want it! Assuming that you do then answer these questions:
- What stopped me from getting this goal done on time?
- Did I have a great plan for achieving this goal?
- What part of the plan was easy for me to do?
- What part of the plan was hard for me to do?
- Did something or collection of somethings stop me from following through on my plan?
- If something stopped me, how can I change this now or soon?
- Was I afraid of something…is there something about the goal itself that I am afraid of?
- Was I afraid of something…is there something about a step or steps along that way that I am afraid of?
- If I was afraid of something, what steps will I take to eliminate this fear or eliminate these fears?
- Did I model someone that had already achieved my goals and the steps that they took?
- Who else can I model…who else already has what I want and what did they do to get there?
- What do I believe about this goal; do I need to install some additional beliefs in myself to make achieving this goal easier?
- What do I believe about this goal; do I need to change some limiting beliefs in myself to make achieving this goal easier?
- Did I underestimate how much work it would require to achieve this goal? (My number one personal tendency!)
- Do I have a compelling enough set of reasons why for this goal…have I put down exciting reasons why I want to achieve this goal?
- Did I review my reasons why often enough to stay in touch with my source of motivation?
- What can I eliminate from my life, from my days and weeks, in order to free up more time to achieve this goal (and my other goals!)
By the way, this series of questions asked at the beginning of a goal setting session will give you a wonderful plan for achieving any goal! These are powerful questions and they require significant effort to answer. Also you may not know how to do some of the tasks that the questions will reveal as needed…together we will explore these techniques.
These questions also are the basis of my work with clients – who always hire me to achieve a goal or goals – and the basis of the book that I will be releasing later this year on the subject of goals and goal achieving. May you find these questions illuminating!
Till next time…Jack
“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again”? ~Winnie the Pooh
“Come to the edge, He said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, He said.
They came. He pushed them,
And they flew . . .”
~Guillaume Apollinaire – French poet
This is going to be a multi-post series of articles about planning. I am going to show the exact techniques that I teach to my clients and I am going to illustrate these techniques by creating my own plan for getting back in shape.
In the last entry I shared and clarified the goal: “I will return to my optimal bodyweight before the end of 2009.” became “I will return to 195 pounds of bodyweight by the morning of December 31st, 2009.”
So the first step was to clarify the goal – to make sure that it was easy to understand and told my brain exactly what I wanted to achieve by what date. (By the way, if there is some big goal that you really want to accomplish, you might consider taking it through this process with me. I know that you will find it useful.) So, now I have my goal and my deadline. The next question that I am going to ask is: Is it possible to achieve this, is it reasonable to achieve this, in the time that I have allowed? I believe yes, just!
Let me explain. I have 11 months to achieve this weight loss and I currently weigh around 330 pounds. I intend to return to my ideal weight of 195 pounds which means that I must lose 135 pounds in 11 months. Simple math tells me that equals 12.28 pounds per month or approximately 3.07 pounds per week. Is this possible? Yes it is. From my past efforts at losing weight and my research, this is indeed possible. Is it reasonable – probably not completely. It is however exciting, and I will take the excitement over a more reasonable goal.
How about you? Does your goal excite you? Is it possible? If it seems impossible to you, then move out the date or reduce the goal until you get a signal from your brain that you believe it can be done. It is okay to be afraid, we will talk about what that means in this series, but you must at least believe that the goal is possible in the time that you have allowed. If not, make a change in the quantity of the goal and the time allotted until you believe that it can be done. It is okay if it is a stretch. It is okay if it feels a little scary to write it down. It is okay if you don’t know how you will achieve it yet. It is okay if you have failed to achieve this same goal in the past. We will deal with each of these things.
How about excitement? Is this an exciting goal? Make sure that it is very exciting to you and that it is your goal – not a goal that someone else has given you. If you have been given a goal by someone else, then rewrite the goal until it deals with rewards directly related to you and it excites you!
For example, your boss might tell you: “You need to open 50 new accounts this year and they need to each buy an average of $4,000 dollars.” This is actually a more clear goal than most bosses will actually give. Still, it has nothing directly related to you in this goal. There may be an implicit “or else”. This might be: or else we will demote you. It might be: or else we will fire you. There will certainly be some negative consequences associated with a goal that you are given – an “or else”. Rarely, there will be some positive consequences discussed. For example: Do this and we will promote you or do this and we will give you a $10,000 bonus. This may or may not be enough to excite you.
For me, I am not directly excited by money. I am much more excited by thinking about the freedom and the experiences that the money will buy. I don’t know what motives you most – what turns you on – but you do! So rewrite any goal that you have, self created or given to you by another, until in positive terms, it talks about benefits that excite you.
What about my goal? Does “I will return to 195 pounds of bodyweight by the morning of December 31st, 2009.” excite me? Yes it does. Does it clearly state why I am excited about this? No. It doesn’t. Next time, I will show you how to create a vision to go along with the goal that will do this very thing.
- Write down your goal
- Make sure your goal has a clear and easy to measure “What by When”
- Check for reasonableness or possibility – can this be done?
- If it can’t or feels impossible, the rewrite the goal, changing the amount or the time frame until you can believe it.
- Check for excitement. Make sure that you are excited about this goal.
- If this a goal that was given to you by another – check for all of these same things.
Till next time… Jack
“Courage is being scared to death—but saddling up anyway.” ~John Wayne