You have some goals, perhaps written or held in your mind. For your business or for your life. Yet you’re feeling uninspired for some reason and can’t seem to get moving.
What might be wrong and what can you do about it? Part one of a three part blog issues today; you’ll have time in between the posts to look at your goals and find your answers.
What’s it all about, Alfie?
Sometimes, the goal is clear and measurable, but it’s not enough to get you moving.
What is the point of achieving each goal? What will it mean, to your life?
- Even for a business goal, what will achieving it mean to your life?
- At the end of each goal, add the phrase “so that…” Articulating why success matters, and seeing this reminder will engage your mind. Example: Saving money: for what, exactly? It’s not “saving” that will keep you motivated; it’s what “saving” means to your life, what you will do with that money.
- If your goal is too far out in the future, for example, saving for college for children, you’re going to need to find a way to bring the goal into the present. A time too far into the future doesn’t do much for our motivation, so says the research. So how could you break up your goal into something tangible for the short term?
Does each goal feel achievable, and with enough of a stretch where you want one?
- Sometimes, there isn’t enough stretch to inspire and motivate. Other times, the stretch is too high and the goal does not feel doable. Examine this. What would make you feel proud?
Notice how how you react to each goal, as you read it aloud.
- If you’re not feeling the energy on a goal, what is missing ? Is there an obligatory “should” in there? Is this a goal someone else suggested? Is it something you’ve tried doing before (and haven’t succeeded at), so you want to give it another try? How about trying differently this time? Reword the goal so it fits you better.
- Find the spark, because without energy around the goal, you’ll have a tough time getting started. And you’ll have difficulty following through. Imagine how that feels, if you were to move through the year, kind of knowing at the outset that you won’t make this goal. Catch the energy, now.
Feeling Clueless: Getting Started on a Goal
Do you know how you’ll get started? What is the smallest step?
- Even smaller than the one you are thinking of right now. A small win, with an easy first step gives you momentum to keep going. And taking a step will usually add to your clarity around what you really want, too.
- Write out (or mindmap) what you know so far about how to get this goal done. Sometimes, the answers are right there, but there’s so much in your head, you don’t see everything.
- You may not be able to write out every step to get that goal done. You may need to write out a few, get those done, and see where the path leads to next.
- That’s fine, so long as you regularly create the time to review where you are, and where to head next.
- Or take the big picture view. Create a rough outline of the chunks, phases, or stages. For some people, knowing the big picture first is what creates engagement around the goal.
Tools to break down your goal:
- Brainstorm with someone else if it helps to talk it through.
- Or use your whiteboard, your post-it notes, Trello or other software app.
- My favorite for brainstorming (with myself!) is SimpleMind. When the steps are organized and out of my head, I often use Trello to keep myself on track and easily see what my next step is. I also have a reminder in my daily to do list to check on projects, and include a link to the Trello plan. One less obstacle and a faster, distraction-free path.
Goals matter, not only because we get things done. Not only because they help us live the one life we have in ways we want.
- They give us energy for our days and purpose for our life. We are excited about working on our goals or focusing on our intentions.
- Goals show us what we are capable of, which is sometimes different from our self-perception.
- We add richness to our work or personal lives.
- Goals teach us about how we get things done best.
- And goals also show others our standards and our values. We are a role model, whether we see people watching us or not.
How rich is your life, personal and business? How could you make it be more of what you want?