Over the last 30 years or so, I have written down my goals maybe half the time and the other half just had them in mind. In assessing the difference, I’d have to give the nod to writing them down, as you’d expect me to say. The years I would continuously reference back to my written goals, the greater likelihood I wouldn’t drift from them.
My best year that saw the most economic gains was the year I worked my plan the most consistently. Which makes sense of course – plan your work and work your plan.
The key to a successful year is a strong start, therefore, you need to start working on next year’s objectives now. The Christmas time is a great time to reflect on this year’s effort – where were you consistent? Where do you need to strategize around your inconsistency?
If you just drift from one year to another without extracting all the value of your experiences, then your trajectory will be less than it could be. Therefore take your most mature developed attitude and focus 4-6 hours on what you want next year to be like. That’s a lot of concentrated time, but maximizing your life might be worth a few hours.
Now, I’ve done the casual goal setting that doesn’t last a month and is quickly cast aside. But to truly maximize your year you need to envision each part of your life: Family, Work, Health, God, Finances, Social, Giving – in your particular order of importance – and create a vision statement as to what you want to accomplish.
From the vision statement, you need an action plan. How are you going to bring your vision into existence? Who can help you? What steps can you work on today that will move you closer? What milestones exist that would indicate you’re 10% there, half way there? What are you going to do to celebrate once you’ve accomplished it. How are you going to feel once you’re there? Is it a box to check off or is it a lifestyle that you’ll own? Not a small question.
When I got my black belt in karate, a commonplace occurrence was guys would get their black belt and never be seen again. It’s like getting your undergrad degree and never learning another thing. How will you feel once you’ve created the reality of what you’ve envisioned? Because, that vision is but a milestone in itself. Who are you becoming?
The path to creation is: Thought – Word – Deed. (Rather Biblical, I’d say). But each must be consistent.
To bring about a new and improved you that has a quality family life, great marriage, a valuable career that is stimulating and rewarding, a healthy body that exudes confidence and vitality, a connectedness with God and his creation where ego is appropriately placed, freedom to travel and enjoy life with friends, and enough substance and presence of mind to contribute back to God’s creation in such a way that makes you both bigger and smaller at the same time. Yes gentlemen, conceive of a vision, write it down, and act upon it with daily consistency.
If you are like me and pretty much everyone else on the planet, then this topic is not easily done. Because consistency is predicate on you resolving yourself to the task which waivers with each passing day. You go to bed and wake up a different person.
That’s why it’s important to have a couple someone’s in your life where you can commit your vision to. The power in this idea of creating a vision for your life and getting 2 other guys to hold you accountable cannot be understated.
Get motivated and get going on your life. There’s nothing to lose but a lower version of yourself.
By Dave Marr
Featuring in December edition of Business Talk.