Here we are, the third week into the New Year, and I know that some of you have not started the process of setting your goals for 2011.
I know this because you have told me. Still others have set their goals and are already on the verge of abandoning them.
How can that be? Let it not be so.
And yet some of you are doing the daily review, setting up action plans and celebrating some early wins already. Why is that?
Remember when we spoke about goal-setting? I confessed to you that most of my adult life I had not be a serious goal-setter. As a matter of fact, I did not even believe it was worth my time. Can you imagine going from thinking: “it’s a waste of my time,” to encouraging you and everyone who is reading this to get serious about this exercise?
Friends, this is so important for your future, please take the time to look closer at this. For those of you whom are already moving forward, please encourage and inspire them others to do the same.
I feel that we need to back up for a minute. Let’s take the simplest form of a goal. Say, you wish to cook something new for dinner tonight.
1. Why do you want to do this?
2. What do you need to do to accomplish this? Is there anything standing in your way of doing this tonight?
3. Do you have a vision as to how this dinner is going turn out?
Open book quiz. Answers...
1. I want to do this because I received Ina’s (Barefoot Contesa’s) new cook book for Christmas and I wish to make something different.
2. Check the recipe to be sure I have all the ingredients. Shop for whatever is missing. Plan a little extra time for preparation.
3. I envision it to look just like the picture. The chicken will be lightly browned the sauce will be rich and creamy. I can’t wait to taste it.
This is goal-setting in its simplest form. You’re probably already doing it.
If you can plan a meal you can plan your life. So why not take this same method to help you reach what is really important in your life?
As a coach, I find the most difficult part of this for most people is not having the vision to do something new, better, or different. John Maxwell says “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.” In order to get something different you must do something different. It all makes perfect sense, right? So what’s stopping you? What is blocking your vision?
You may be experiencing one, two or all three of the following:
1. You’re not dreaming.
2. You’re listening to negative self-talk.
3. Your belief-window is fogged up and you can’t see out.
O.K. We all know that cooking a new recipe is a lot easier than planning our futures. Having said that, would you also agree that planning your future is way more important? I see you nodding and smiling,(and maybe rolling your eyes). Well, let’s do it.
First, you must have a dream. The hardest thing for most people is to dream again. We all have experienced the disappointment of past dreams not coming to fruition.
Why, I remember dreaming that my family would be like the Walton’s. Ma, Pa, John-Boy, you know. As a young woman somehow I really believed the Walton lifestyle was attainable, and that’s how my family would be. Today after 33 years of marriage, my husband still accuses me of having the, “Little House on the Prairie” syndrome.
Call it what you wish, I believe and have tremendous faith in the human spirit. So “throw you heart over the fence and the rest will follow”. But, before you do, first set some realistic goals and a plan to achieve them.
If you are dreaming about a great vacation, a new career, or a new car you must have a plan to achieve your dreams. Have you bought into the, “if you can see it you can achieve it” culture? When was the last time money showed up in your mail box just because you thought it should? I have discovered the harder I work the luckier I get. So if your dream is important enough, if you own it it is possible, you can achieve it.
I have a dream of helping people discover and live their life-mission. With a lot of planning, preparing, action and praying, I believe this is attainable. How about you? What are you really dreaming of? Are you ready to begin the journey?
Second, stop listening to that voice inside saying: You can’t go back to school - you’re stuck in this job. What strengths? “Vacation Ha! Maybe in the year 2020. You’ll never fit into that again. Might as well give it away. Stop!
Every time you hear these untruthful thoughts, imagine a big stop sign. You can change the way you think. Take the first step by getting away from the water cooler-crowd who are sharing the last episode of who wants to be the next whatever. Find people who will believe and support your dreams, people who will encourage and inspire you to become your best possible self.
Read books that motivate you to grow and reach. In order to do better you must become better. “Don’t wish things were easier, wish you were better.”
Lastly, maybe it’s time to clean your “belief” window. Just this morning one of my clients told me she was still holding on to beliefs her mother had placed in her head. Eat everything on your plate. Remember the starving children in Africa. Go to college, get a good job, life is going to be fine. Thin is beautiful.
It may be time to rethink some of the beliefs that have been imposed on you. They simply may not be relevant any longer. Discover your own core values. Consider writing them down. Be sure your life , your goals are aligned with them.
I wish you were right here in front of me. I would be saying, “You can do this. I know you can. I believe in you.” Well I’m saying it! Now go and dream, plan and take some action toward your very own vision. I am so excited for your future!
Please consider sharing your wins so you can be an inspiration to others. You may also email me with questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gail DiMarco is a certified professional coach. Visit her website at wwwiflourishcoaching.com