I recently went to a goal planning workshop. The instructor asked us to come up with two goals of things we wanted to improve on in 2014. I had been thinking about what I wanted my year to look like before the workshop and these two goals came easy. One goal was to be more balanced and one goal was to be more focused on what I wanted to accomplish i.e. stop getting distracted. My two words were focus and balance. People tend to avoid things that they don’t necessarily like to do such as filing, follow-up phone calls, having difficult conversations with people, etc. This usually shows up as “creative avoidance”. Let’s say you have to make some calls, but instead you vacuum the carpet, or instead of filing, you organize the pantry. Creative people especially tend to get sidetracked. I know I do. I like taking on new projects or taking on new clients but sometimes those endeavors don’t meet the criteria of my focus or fall anywhere within the scope of the target.
The instructor asked us to pick a word which we could say that would trigger us to keep in line with our goals. That came easy too. I was thinking about focusing on the target, and I realized that if I stayed more in line with my target goal that the balance that I was seeking would come. It never dawned on me before. I’d never sat down long enough to make the connection, but when the connection happened, it spoke loud and clear. The word that came to me in an instant was “BULLSEYE”. If you visualize a bullseye, there are different rings. You might associate those rings with different personal relationships, different goals that will lead you to the main goal, different projects, etc. Every decision you make though going forward must fall in line within the target or it doesn’t get on the list of things to do or things that you are going to consider taking on.
She went on to explain that there are smaller goals underneath the main goal that would help me stay focused and more balanced. I figured out those goals and wrote them down. Now, how am I going to accomplish them? And what tasks will I have to do to get closer to those goals. I was doing very well and my paper was filling up. She then asked us to do the next part of the exercise and things came to a screeching halt for me. The next part was accountability. It was an icky word to me. Oh, I can be accountable to others by doing what I say I am going to do, but I have difficulty being accountable to myself. For example, I say that I am not going to eat take-out food for 3 months, but then I find myself bringing home Chinese on a Friday night, or I am going to work out 3 times a week and somewhere along the line I miss a few weeks of going to the gym.
This was not a fun part of the exercise for me, but it certainly shed some serious light on what I need to focus on to meet my goals in the upcoming year. It was a 90 minute workshop, and it really made me think. It was about a week ago, and there are many things that I am learning about myself and that are coming into my awareness even now. Awareness means that you are present, and hey, you have to be present to accomplish your goals, right? So what are the two goals that stand out for you in 2014? Can you come up with a trigger word, one that will prompt you to keep them top of mind? How will you get there? What tasks do you need to accomplish in order to reach the smaller goals that all line up with the major ones? And last, but not least, are YOU keeping your eye on your target?