Goals: Setting and Getting

3Many people talk about goal setting but I wish to discuss goal getting.  Sure there are millions of articles and coaches who have given us ways to set goals.  There is a ton of literature about goal setting.  I do believe that you must set a goal before you GET your goal.

First, write down your goal in a clear, SMART goal fashion in the present tense.  It needs to be specific – for example, “I need to lose weight” is not specific, “I now weigh 150” (20 lbs less than I weight now) is more specific.  If nothing else make sure your goal is Measurable – “When I step on the scale on December 1st I will weigh 150lbs”.  (I can measure the date and the weight).  Attainable – I know there is no way that I can lose 30lbs in a month.  This is not attainable or realistic (R).  Timely – make sure you have a date that you will reach the goal.

Here are Seven Ways to GET your Goal

  1.  Keep your goal where you will see it each day.  If it is in your journal, on your wall in your office or on the ceiling under your bed.  Sure, if you read the secret you heard that someone put a $100,000.000. check the ceiling so when he work up he would see it each day.  I think it was Jack Canfield of the Chicken Soup for the Soul fame.  I keep my goals in my journal (first page) so I see it at least 5 times a week.
  2. Break it down… (OK my musical prodigies are now singing and dancing).  Yes, break the goal down into sections.  If I wish to lose weight I could break it down by time – 5lbs each month for 4 months.  Or I would break down a goal by parts.  Do each part by a certain date.  Go after each part of the goal to GET the entire goal.
  3. Fear!!!!  Some people feel the fear and are paralyzed.  Sometimes I have paralysis by analysis.  I think and think and don’t do.  My coach, Sheri, told me feel the fear and do it anyway. If fear interferes with your Action – just do it.  Face it head on and deal with it.  Make that call.  Go to the gym.  Meet that person.  Go to that meeting.  Once you take the first step it gets easier.
  4. Thanks!  Give thanks for all of the parts of the goal that you CAN get.   Give thanks for those who help you.  Send thank you emails, notes and texts.
  5. Ask for help.  Yes.  This is the one that gets me in trouble.  I hate to “bug” people.  I good friend told me once that I NEVER bug anyone, what I have to offer is always positive and important.  My son would disagree, but I try to keep that advice in mind.  Asking for help when I can’t do something myself (or it would take me forever) is a very important step toward getting your goal.
  6. Visualize what life will be like when you get your goal.  I always do this in the moment right before I wake up or right before I fall asleep.  Day dreaming is good for you.  Close your eyes and take about a minute to see you at your goal.  I also have a possibilities journal where I write what I want in the future — I write it as a story as if I have it already.
  7. Celebrate even the smallest victories.  Yes, I only went to the gym once this week.  But that is one more time than I went all last year!!!  Celebrate with something you love  (note:  not with chocolate if you are losing weight) – Call a friend and share your victory!

Good luck with your goal getting.  Now go out there and GET em!

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The meaning of life…your purpose unveiled.

4Recently, I have been on a month’s challenge to meditate and exercise each day.  I have noticed that for some reason I am listening other’s messages better than I ever have before.  Waiting to hear all of what someone is saying – clarifying if i don’t understand and paraphrasing back to make sure I did indeed understand.  That is a the definition of active listening and I have been noticing that I am doing much better in my attempt to communicate since my challenge.  Also, participants in my classes are asking deep, meaning of life questions.  I don’t have the answers but after listening – I blurted out what I thought was something very important.

The meaning of life is to find your gift and your purpose in life is to share that gift with others.

I realized long ago that my gift is to assist adults in learning what they wish to learn.  To facilitate their learning process, ask questions, summarize and motivate.  I hope to share this gift with others by facilitating classes in self-awareness and team building.  Also, through coaching.

Recently, I have realized that many people do not know the purpose of their life.  Most people have not reflected or sought the answer to this question.  Many  people are fumbling with the question and have not made it to the answer and others are stumbling, frustrated to find the answer.

It is quite easy to find your purpose in life, once you know the process.  Take some time to reflect about what you love, what you are good at doing and why you love to do what you do.  Learn more about yourself through self-assessments, coaching and interviews with loved ones and work colleagues.  Once you find your life’s meaning/purpose – share it with others.  If you love art – share your art.  If you love working with children – share your gift with children.  If you are gifted at fixing – fix for others.

Sure, this seems like such an easy solution to an age old mystery.  “What is my purpose in Life?  Why was I put on this planet?  What does it all  mean?”  Once you know this answer – do what you love to do – do what you do best!  Then share that with others.

Please share your gift today.

Do you know your strengths?

2Recently I was teaching life and communication skills to inmates at a Jail in south Florida.  The Sheriff’s office decided that this would be a great idea to learn these skills before they were released.  I have facilitated many audiences in my day (30 years) but this group is very different.  I asked the group of men (about 16 that day) to list 4 of their strengths on the handout; then write down 1 thing someone told you that you do very well.  Other audiences have no problem with this task.  Millenials are usually excellent at this task.  When working at the University the young people  would quickly write such things as: organizing, editing, listening or working with people.   As I walked around the inmates tables reading over their shoulders I was shocked to see listed on the handouts:  eating, sleeping, working out.  Most of them had so much trouble with this task.  And they could not think of anything that someone had said positive about their strengths.

What could I learn from this strange occurrence?  Why would they not either know or list their strengths?  What was going on here?  Fortunately this was the third class with this group.  I felt pretty comfortable just asking them.  “Hmmmm” I uttered, “It seems like a lot of you are having some difficulty coming up with some strengths”.  They asked for some suggestions.  So, remembering some of their hobbies and jobs I mentioned, fishing, cooking, working with boats, construction, making things with wood.  Each one wrote down something that they thought they could do well.  But, it took a really long time and a lot of prompting.

After the class, I was mulling over this odd anomaly.  I asked two of the guards and one of the civilian HR people what they thought was going on with their lack of knowledge about their strengths.  “They usually are hearing what they have done wrong”.  “This is a very negative place – Jail is not supposed to be positive – we don’t want them to come back”.  “Most of these men come from families with drug problems.”

Now, I understood a bit more.  Yes, I admit that I am quite naive when it comes to jails and that lifestyle.  I do realize that it takes a positive environment or at least not a negative environment if one wishes to be self-aware.  Also, being on a “substance” is not a true indicator of a strength or a time to be learning about yourself, emotions, or strengths.  Most of these men grew up in homes without resources, positive words or good role models.  They were at Maslow’s lower levels fighting for survival, food and shelter.  Now, in the classroom they had their safety needs met and began to think of self-development.

I have 4 more classes with this group.  They all participate in class and are genuinely trying to learn the skills.  It does take some time to get their thoughts in order – I have found that  having them think about what they want in the future rather than what “is” presently is quite helpful.  One man pulled at my heart strings when he said, “my strength is that I want to be a good father”.  He told the class that right now he is not –  but he wants THAT to be his strength.  We brainstormed on what strengths make a great father.  Consistency, being present, honesty, loyalty and trustworthiness were top candidates.  He decided that he would choose one of these strengths and really think about it and work toward that strength.

Sure, that is not the way Gallup teaches us to teach strengths to others.  But, sometimes, I have learned, I have to go with the group.  What works for them – works for them.  Self-development takes time, reflection and practice.  If we did not have the best past it will be harder and we may have to strive for a future strength. Remembering the young millennials at the university, I am grateful that they had good childhoods, resources and role models.  Most importantly, I am grateful to know these men and work with them.  I am learning so much.

What have you learned lately about yourself lately?