Goal-oriented people, you are going to love this

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Those of you who are goal-oriented individuals, you know who you are, you are going to relate well to this post.  You are the type of person that will see a problem that needs attention and quickly a picture will develop in your mind so that you get a vision of bringing solutions to resolve the issue.

Once your mind sees the finish line, the bread crumbs of steps seems to materialize in your brain, so that a road map occurs that lines up what mini-goals you need to accomplish, in order to complete the end goal.   The world needs people like you to provide leadership.

In addition to receiving the vision of how to get things done, the goal-oriented individual  is energized by checking off each mini-goal along the way.  endorphins in the brain produce happy feelings.

I share this description of a goal-oriented person from personal experience. I am a goal-oriented person.   If this describes you, as well, let me give you a caution though that you will battle, as I do too, all the time.

Let me illustrate my point in all this by having you think of a couple of dancing. They are enjoying the music. They are enjoying each other. They know how to dance, so they are comfortable as they glide in unity across the dance floor.  It’s a beautiful, romantic vision of two people in the moment.

This dancing scene describes well the person bent on living with goals.  They embrace their goals.  They live with them always on their mind.  They glide through life having direction for where they will move and how they will move. Life, like the music at the dance hall has a rhythm to it and they enjoy their dance with their “having goals” partner.  Can you relate to that?  

BUT, ….. what happens when you get tapped on the shoulder, and someone says to you, “Excuse me, can I cut in with your partner for this dance?”

NOW YOUR PLANS HAVE CHANGED.  THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU EXPECTED.  WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW?  HOW SHOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT WHAT JUST HAPPENED?  DID YOU DO SOMETHING WRONG?  IS THIS A THREAT?  WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW THAT YOUR EMBRACING YOUR GOALS HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY SET ASIDE?

Can you relate to the change in the mindset of the person whose plans were just changed without his permission?

I think this is how life is.   We have our goals in how we want to live our life.  We feel comfortable being in control of our movements and our abilities, but then, as so often happens, things change in our life.  New, unexpected things happen in our circumstances that break up the way we were dancing through life.  At least for the moment, we are asked to deal with a new circumstance.

How can you deal with that?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • recognize that this is a common experience for us all. As much as we hate to admit it, we are not in control in our lives.  We can’t control the weather or how other people will respond to us, or the unexpected health situation,  etc.   However, we can control how we will react in every circumstance in our lives.
  • I don’t know of anyone who does not like to be in control, so how do you handle that feeling of insecurity that comes when life happens to you and your plans for living life get interrupted?  Understand that God is faithful. He will not allow you to be overcome by ANYTHING that He will not help you endure through.  Count on it.  Although the way of healing or calm might not be a quick fix, He will be there with you every step of the way and give you His amazing grace to help you persevere.  There is always hope!
  • recognize the opportunities that come with being stretched.  I believe over the years, regrettably, I have missed out on many opportunities for personal growth, and the chance to help someone in need around me, but because I so firmly had my “goal-focused” glasses on, all I could think of was myself. My obsession with meeting my own goals blinded me to many missed opportunities around me.  Maybe your new circumstances might just be a good thing—embrace it!
  • So, although I totally believe having goals is vital to personal and organizational success, I am also beginning to recognize that when the unexpected happens in life  (like someone wanting to cut in and dance with my partner),  I need to ask questions like, “what can I learn from this new development?” or “how can I take advantage of this new situation to enjoy and benefit from it?”  or “Lord, what are you trying to teach me through these new circumstances in my life?”

That’s it for now.    I delayed getting some things done this morning to write this post, so now I’m back to dancing with my goals partner!  🙂

 

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The bottom line is that most people …

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In a 2005 study by Think TQ, they looked at importance of strategy  to meet your dreams and how little it is actually done. They found:

26% focus on specific, tangible targets for what they want in life

19% set goals aligned with their purpose, mission, and passion

15% write down all their goals in specific measurable detail

12% maintain a clearly defined goal for every major interest and life goal

12% identify related daily, weekly, and long-term goals with deadlines

7% take daily action toward the attainment of at least one goal

  • In summary, the study’s authors say:

they fail to consistently take the … actions necessary to move their dreams  and visions of their heads into their lives.”  The bottom line is that most people fail to take action to achieve their dreams.  And that failure is the result of very little strategic planning.

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Let me ask you, if you don’t mind, a few questions:

  • what dreams or goals do you have in your 7 Areas of Responsibility?
  • How much progress are you making in accomplishing those dreams and goals?
  • When is the last time you took time to evaluate where you are in your accomplishing of those goals and writing down what are the next specific steps you will need to take to meet your goals and fulfill your dreams?
  • Are you willing to ask someone to hold you accountable to your making progress in your pursuits?

Is it time for you to be a “curator” in your own life?

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Right now, for many of us, we are filled with energy and hope as we envision new things happening in 2016.  For some, they can envision  taking a new job, for  other,  losing ___ amount of pounds, and others, taking a class, or pursuing a degree they’ve always dreamed about.   In this positive moment, energized as you are, let me give you a caution that I believe you will find helpful:  Before you commit to taking on anything new,  TAKE A PAUSE  and CONSIDER what your goals are in the different areas of your responsibilities.

What do you want to accomplish? What is important for you and how do you want your life to look?  This “evaluation” step is vital if you want to manage your life well.

Here’s the issue: right now you might be 100% energized about seeing your life move in some general direction.  However, without having a very clear picture of specific goals, you will begin to say, “yes” to this, and that.  Pretty soon, your 100% of energy toward accomplishing your  goals has resulted in your having 60-75% energy (or less) for accomplishing your goals and the other 25-40%  spread out among other “filler” kinds of tasks that you couldn’t say “no” to, and that you are generally, passion-less about.

With that in mind, I really appreciated this excerpt from Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson’s fine work, “REWORK”:

“You don’t make a great museum by putting all the art in the world into a single room. That’s a warehouse. What makes a museum great is the stuff that’s NOT on the walls. Someone says no. A curator is involved making conscious decisions about what should stay and what should go. There’s an editing process. There’s a lot more stuff OFF the walls than ON the walls. The best is a sub-sub-subset of all the possibilities.”  examining art

So, again, let me encourage you to strive toward visualizing what a “perfect you” looks like in all the 7 Areas of Responsibility and then CURATE your life.  Focus on fulfilling your goals and be willing to say “NO” to good things that are not the best things for you.