Goals should be geared to creating life! More life, to be lived and enjoyed. The more I mull the goal setting and tracking and achieving paradigm the more I think that there is confusion between goals and tasks. The road and the journey. Time and life.
If we are to look forward into our lives, we must not look up the rocky paths that are ahead of us, but rather lift our heads. Look ahead as the proverbial crow flies and look to our goals. That for me is what goals are about. They have to be the compass that guides us out of the wandering paths which split into path after path detour after detour. Goals are the kick in the nuts we need to remind us that the path is not the destination and why giving up is not an option.
Goal gym: Goal Big, work hard!
What does it help us to set these tiny goals? Why aim to get out of bed early if we aren’t planning to use the extra time to take over the world?
- Pick Goals that make you feel!– If a goal doesn’t scare you, thrill you, make you smile like a fool it’s not going to fuel you. Goals only work if they light a fire under you. If you need to keep topping your goals up with interest, passion or excitement you’re destined to fail.
- Pick Goals for yourself! – Only you are accountable to your goals so go large or go home, when you pick goals for yourself you’ll feel the lid lift on what you’re capable of doing.
- Send your goals out into the world – When you go and goal big you need to stay accountable, make your goals a living statement of your life. Blog about it, put up posters notes tattoo your goal above your navel. Turn other people on with your passion!
- Turn your world into a “Goal gym” – Surround yourself with the tools you need to leverage your reality into your goals. Work out on them often. There are finite steps between where you are and where you want to be. Start walking now!
- Go big but keep your number of goals down – This is the big one. Do choose big nasty scary goals. However do choose fewer goals. If you are going to pour your heart, soul and more into your goals you can’t spread yourself thin. Go big on the important goals and the rest will see to itself.
It’s a tricky business. You can think you’ve pulled all the weeds of in-authenticity and the next thing you know, you’re realizing you’re doing something for the sake of “growth” that doesn’t really matter. The prolificacy of fake growth often hides in hard-to-find corners of your mind. It often arrives in unassuming forms.
In the realm of Personal Development, Real growth is the key indicator of success or failure. So what defines real growth or false growth? Much of the information and programmes in Personal Development available are at best insincere and at worst scams. The belief that your problems can be fixed from the outside in, that your goals can somehow be found in between the covers of the latest glossy Personal Development book is the myth. Personal Development is well, personal. The Personal Development industry can only help accelerate real growth, it can’t start it.
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People want change in their lives. We all want to achieve our goals and feel that focus in our daily lives. We all want to live longer happier richer goal focused lives. We all feel that need to fulfill that purpose that only you and I were placed on this earth to perform.
During the course of every single day, you and I each have 24 hours at our disposal and most of us do dispose of it! We send the carcass of each day off with meat still hanging off the bones. The next morning we wake up, moaning and groaning that yesterday just wasn’t satisfying. To quote Moose of that lovable Archie and his gang, “Duh!”. If you have 24 hours and you use none of them to get closer to your goals, your passion or that burning desire which drives you, guess what, you’re not going to get any closer to it. Get rid of all hope. Abandon all your dreams you are stuck with your current life for better or worse.
Try is nothing
‘Try is nothing, do or do not’ was originally uttered by that great philosopher Yoda and it’s wisdom has stuck with me for as long as I’ve started trying to accumulate wisdom. Now I put this up as my Gtalk status recently and got some nasty nasty comments. This mentality that trying is enough I find quite amusing. Try to my mind is a utterly and depressingly disempowering word. Try unpacks the power of my action and unloads it at the doorstep of fate and fortune. Try is self-defeating it allows the possibility of failure in. It’s a weak verb that sparks weak action.
Do or Do not
The most important reason for me, try is not enough! Unlike conventional wisdom suggests it’s not good enough to try. Trying to be a blogger is not the same as being a blogger. Trying to spend within your budget is not the same as staying within your budget. Only in our minds is trying enough. The real world doesn’t care that you’re trying to lose weight or trying to write a novel. We are judged by our actions. When we try something and it doesn’t work we need to try something else that’s what doing is about. Doing is knowing that trying is part of a process not the process. When we do we commit to do, we commit to the outcome of doing not the process.
When you focus on your goals do try everything you possibly can and don’t stop till you Do achieve your goal
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A while back I discussed the Price of Perfection, as it related to my writing goals. Writing that post reminded me once more to find ways each day to reconnect with my passion for writing and for life if I want to achieve my goals. I have never been one to spend my time obsessing about my goals but it is important to internalize goals if we are to have any chance of achieving them.
You’re probably motivated by fear of failure
Without clearly defined goals I can guarantee you one thing. You are just as likely to achieve what you value as goals as you are to achieve what you don’t. That’s a 50% chance of failure right off the bat. Now I see you looking at me with pleading eyes, “please Michael can’t the glass be half full” I hear you cry. Ok for you I’m going to make the glass half full … Except now that I think about it, one of those thick books on my bookshelf is on NLP. Would you believe me if i told you that 9 out 10 people reading this post are motivated by what they don’t want not by what they do want and value. We are very literally running on auto-pilot away from our goals. The problem is all our goals and everything we value is on the far side of that mountain of fear and self loathing not in the other direction.
Your fear is your fuel
I see I’ve got you thinking now. To those shaking their fist at me, no I’m not a quack, in fact stay behind after class I have a note for your mother. The proof, as one of my best friend reminds me so often, is in the pudding. The majority of people on the planet today are living lives that are less than or equal to mediocre. Your life probably has a fair sprinkling of mediocre in it too. When you are not connected to your goals you are probably connected to your fears. Your fears are feeding your mediocrity, keeping your goals at arms length.
Passion is about values not value
It’s not about your bank balance, car or your salary. Mediocre is about how well you are living. How closely your life, goals and your values are aligned. How proud are you when you speak about who you are, not about what you have? Any Yahoo with enough money can buy a shiny BMW. Only you can live a life that allows you to sleep soundly at night with a faint smile. Only you can figure out how to fall asleep secure in the knowledge that today you exercised your purpose achieved your goals on this planet and added value to the world.
These are some of the best ways I’ve found to integrate my goals with my life:
Spend at least 5 minutes a day dreaming
This tip is the most fun on the list, for each goal you are working toward spend part of your 5 minutes visualizing what achieving that goal will look like, smell, like, feel, sound like and what it will taste like. The more senses you call upon the better. Visualizing helps to make this possible future and achieved goals more real. Only when your dreams and goals exist in your minds eye completed and achieved will your body start taking the many steps toward them.
Leave yourself visual reminders of your goals
Put up post it notes with your goals on them. Write your goals in the margins or inside covers of your notebooks. Send yourself future dated e-mail reminding yourself to focus on your goals. Get software get posters get crayons if you want just get creative with remembering your goals. The only way these reminders of your goals will work is if they can knock you out of our stupor during your normal work day.
Tell your friends
Speak about your passions and goals often. Tell your friends tell strangers tell your cat. The more you involve other people the more committed you force yourself to be to your goals. All the poor people you tell will become walking breathing reminders of your commitment to your goals and the fact that your name is on the line. Always remember though your goals are for you. So use the livestock around your cubicles and the love of your friends and family to your advantage for a change.
Spend your free time reading about people who exhibit the values you wish to have. Find people who have succeed in areas you desire success. The exercise will teach you how how it’s done also you’ll learn from the mistakes from others. The most powerful lesson I take from research is that it is possible. How empowering is that statement? It is possible! As soon as you allow that thought into your life a lot of excuses disappear like manure in the sun.
The only way to achieve your dreams is to live your goals. Use these techniques and any others you come across to incorporate your goals in your living.
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Refocus is a great productivity tool which I think will prove quite useful as a goal tracking tool, keeping my motivation levels up during the course of my busy professional and social life. The Refocus goal tracking tool is aimed at tracking the actions that you’ve taken during the week across your personal, social and professional goals. This is an excellent paper based goal tracking tool that can easily be organized into your daily life.
As with all goal tracking tools the biggest barrier is finding a way to integrate the tool with your busy work and social life. As life becomes more and more demanding it is critical that your tools fit your life. Goals need to be internalized and integrated easily.
This is a paper based goal tracking tool. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but for me Goals, goal tracking and prioritising for my life and work have never left the realm of the paper and pen. There is something truly rewarding in the hard slog of writing and re-writing, scribbling notes in the margin and doodling while the creative juices flow as you pen your goals and goal tracking strategy. When it comes to Goal setting and goal tracking I like to have the flexibility to engage my whole mind and nothing does that for me better than some low-tech pen and paper based tools.
Download the WhiteHateBlackbox Refocus tool
- Life Hacker also recommends the Day Grid Balancer goal tracking tool and organizer for your paper based goal tracking.
If you’re not as technophobic as I am when it comes to your Goal capture, Goal tracking and review then perhaps try some of these online Goal tracking Tools:
- Joes Goals an online goal tracking tool with a very simple interface allowing quick updates on the go
- 43 Things is a social bookmarking type site where you can track and share your goals with anyone interested
- LifeTango is similar to 43 things a is social bookmarking and goal tracking site allowing you to be part of a community of likeminded goalers
- Getgoaling is a really slick goal tracking tool that lets you put together a detailed goal tracking schedule which you can update as you progress.
- StiKk is a goal tracking tool that lets you set up contracts where you can outline objectives timelines rewards etc.
- For niche goals try FitDay a tool for helping you with your fitness goals
- Wesabe is a goal tracking tool for your financial goals
The WhiteHatBlackbox site seems to be down for the foreseeable future so in the interim visit -> DiyPlanner Refocus tool for more information on the tool.
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