Step 4 ~ WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT
Now the next part of the process is probably the most exciting because this is were you start building your blueprint for the next 12 months.
What do you really want in 2013? What goals really matter?
Lots of people come up with lengthy laundry lists of vague, wishy-washy resolutions with no real oomph in them. Often we don’t even really care about them at all. They’re just fashionable or what we think we “should” care about, or based on what we think other people expect of us.
What do I mean? You know, resolutions like this:
…..I’ll cut our overheads
…..I’ll be more focussed
…..I’ll be a better ____ (parent/boss/friend/spouse), etc.
…..I’ll clear our overdraft
…..I’ll do more to bring in new business
Unclear statements like this can NEVER engender any real enthusiasm. As a matter of fact, they’re far more likely to cause you to feel bad rather than good because they all focus on something that’s MISSING rather than on what’s truly desired.
When we focus on something, we are much more likely to get it – whether it’s a car, a financial goal or even a relationship. By sending a message of desire to our brain, we start to make pictures of that and, in turn, we do what we have to do to make it happen. Rather like a builder has an idea of what a project will look like when it’s done or like a hairdresser knows what style they want to create before they start cutting, we can all design the future we want – and then go out to get it.
Unfortunately not all of us are focused on positive outcomes. Many of us are obsessed by what we don’t want, what’s wrong with us and what’s missing from our lives. We often forget to put our attention on what’s great, what’s working and what resources we already have to create even more happiness and success. Because we tend to get what we focus on, if you focus on what’s not working or if you spend all your time wondering why bad things always seem to happen to you, then you’ll simply get more of what you don’t want. What’s the point of that?
Finally, the key thing to consider when you’re setting goals is to clarify why you want something. Chances are if you set goals about things that you need in your life or that will benefit you and others, you’ll feel happy when you achieve: for example, increasing patronage in your restaurant may help your profitability.
But if you set goals just because you think you should or to please other people, you may not feel that great – even when you’ve achieved what you set out to do. For example if increasing patronage in your restaurant just increases your workload, but does little to enhance your bottom line, it’s unlikely to motivate you! You have to ask yourself ‘What’s in it for me?’ and ‘What will happen if I don’t manage to do this?
Whatever goals you set, you have to demand more of yourself to push your performance: and you have to realise that we are all more capable then we think we are. Your ability to achieve is immeasurable – and it can be easier than you think to get what you want.
It is also too easy to set resolutions or goals in some areas which are not then compatible with other areas for life. For example people often set very ambitious goals for their business, which then conflict with personal goals. So when setting goals for the coming year it is a good idea to look at all areas of life. Business and career, Personal development, Family, Possessions & things that you want , Spirituality, Relationships or personal relationships, Health and fitness and Financial. Those aren’t in any particular order of importance and ideally you’ll want to have goals in every single area of life. Even if you are currently focusing on your business goals for the coming year, at some point you have to be honest and take stock of how well these sit with your goals in other areas.
So now what I want you to do is take some time, (this is probably the lengthiest part of this process) and literally dream; picture and list all the things that you want to achieve in all those areas over the next 12 months. Most people find this easier to do on paper rather than on a computer; use whichever format works best for you to get the ideas flowing.
At this point don’t worry if your goals are realistic or achievable or not; just brainstorm. Play with the idea; focus your energy and attention on it until it’s clear and sharp and big enough to be exciting to you, until you feel great just thinking about it. (It doesn’t matter at all what anyone else might think of it.) What are all the things over the next 12 months you want to be, you want to do, that you want to have in all those areas of life. The being, the doing and having of which would make the coming year the best year ever.
From your list of goals pick your most important goal to work on for now.
The goals that you need to be setting need to be SMART. You are probably already familiar with the idea of smart goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound. Click here for a more detailed article on SMART goals. But a couple of areas I would stress are:
That your goals need to be specific. Describe in specific detail exactly what it is that you want to achieve.
They also need to be expressed in the present tense as if now; as if you already had the goal
And each goal needs a precise time: day, date, month and year, and in some cases it might even be a time of day
- Now identify your number 1 goal. What is this?
- When do you want to achieve this by?
- What will you see, hear or feel once you have achieved this goal?
- Why is this goal important to you?
- How will this goal impact others?
- What impact will working on and achieving this goal have on other areas of life?
- If you don’t achieve this goal what would happen?
- Now imagine 6 months have passed, and you’ve done it. You have achieved your number 1 goal. Write down how you would feel.
- Now repeat this process for goals 2 and 3.
- If you wouldn’t feel wonderful about each of these, then you might like to go and re prioritise.
Get your business off to a flying start in 2013 with one of my complimentary business retention strategy sessions. Find out more here.
See Part 5 tomorrow or access the whole programme online here