It’s half way through your 2013, and time to brush up on your goals. Have they changed since making them at the beginning of the year? Are you right on track, or do you seem helplessly off course? Don’t panic! Successful people know that just because the HOW, WHEN, and WHAT of Goals may change, doesn’t mean the GOAL disappears or loses its integrity. Allowing our strategies to flex and morph to fit current needs is not a failure in anyway. You can only make decisions and goals based on what you know at the time. Six months ago, you had less information about yourself, about your circumstances, and about your tribe than you do now. These past six months have informed you, educated you and prepared you to make the adjustments your goals need for success.
One goal I made at the beginning of the year was to race in the Iron Girl Seattle Triathlon. I’m not a racer, runner, swimmer or contender of any kind, so this was a pretty hefty challenge. With wet suit in hand, new tires on my college bike, and hundreds of hours on the trail and in the pool, I’m on track to meet my goal this August. This is a goal that is well within my sites.
But that is not the case for every goal I set in January. I walked away from the radio show I hosted, and I’m counseling fewer hours than I initially planned. I had to make severe cuts (ok, more like rip, thrash and set fire) to the goals I set 6 months ago because new circumstances, new opportunities, and new information came along. If you’ve had to slash some of your dreams and goals, don’t worry, you’re still on track- or at least close enough to get back on. Goals are mile markers on a map- they are not the final destination, and they are yours to do with what you need. Change them, Specify them, Shelf them, Laser-Beam Focus on them- whatever you need to do to make them work for you. You’re the boss of your goals.
It’s ok to be flexible and make adjustments to the WHAT, WHEN, and HOW of your goals. If you must let some go completely, be sure to boil them down to the essence before you do. That way, you’ll be able to keep the HEART of why you made that goal in the first place.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you re-evaluate, readjust and refocus on your 2013 GOALS.
- Name the value. What are some of your biggest values? Off the top of your head, what are the things in life that you care most deeply about? Is it family, education, faith, community service? Where does health and personal growth fit into your value system? If you say that personal growth is a value of yours you leave little time or investment for it, then spend some time reevaluating the priority of your values.
- Name the specific goal. It may be tempting to shoot first several goals that you want in the next year, but it is most realistic to pick one or two. Instead of hoping for the ideal, let’s shoot for the real. What are the top two goals that you’d like to accomplish this year? Ask yourself these questions; what value will accomplishing this goal add to your life? Why is this goal important to you? How will achieving this goal change your life for the better?
- Name the behaviors needed to reach your goal. What specific actions do you need to take? To reach my goals, for example, I’ll need to schedule one hour in every work day to focus my energy on my specific goal. This will take time, financial investment, and energy. I will not reach my goal if I wait for my schedule to allow for enough time to work on my goal. I must be proactive to schedule a time for myself. I must dictate my calendar, instead of my calendar dictating to me.
- Name the outcome measure. How will you know when you’ve reached your goal? When evaluating your outcome measures, be sure to set smaller goals that turn into bigger goals. Progress is a series of small increments toward the desired outcome. Each increment of progress is worthwhile and necessary.
- Name your threat. What are the things that will get you off course? Here are some common ones; fear of failure, lack of financial investment, lack of time investment, lack of support, distractions, and insecurities. You may be tempted to use your time and money for others sayings instead of your goal. You may be tempted to settle for the good, instead of reaching the best. Recognize the threats that will keep you from accomplishing your goals, and plan for them.
What goals have you adjusted? I’d love to hear about them. What goals have you scrapped all together? Which ones are you still working on, and what do you need to be successful?