Writing Goals You Will Stick to
Just like a heli-skier, when I wrote my goals for this year, I started at the pinnacle and worked my way down. You can do this too.
What is your loftiest goal; the one that will have you reaching for the stars?
Think about this:
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
Start by seeing yourself achieving this goal. Imagine the feelings of accomplishment you will have at that moment; remember overcoming obstacles, and revel in the sweet taste of success–of having all your hard work pay off.
Who are you with? Who was instrumental in helping you achieve this milestone? What are the resources you needed to accomplish your big goal?
These are all things you need to picture. Because, as all great athletes know, envisioning success at critical moments right before a race is essential. The Ohio Center for Sports Psychology calls this mental imagery. Successful athletes “prepare themselves for competition by imagining themselves performing well in (the) competition.”
Here is a great example of training using mental imagery. Gold medalist Billy Mills:
My loftiest goal this year is to bring my Making Time Your Ally workshop to 6 corporations in Medford, Eugene and Portland. In 2014, I spoke to 1 corporation in Portland and 2 large groups in Medford, so it is a stretch but not impossible.
With complex goals, I suggest making one list of resources and one of obstacles. What has kept you from realizing this goal in the past? Do you have any fears, tendencies or habits to overcome? How can you overcome them? Record your ideas.
1. Write your goal down. Be very specific.
2. Work from the goal backward toward the beginning. Picture a funnel, with your big goal in the large neck of the funnel. Or, if you are more linear thinker, you can put your big goal at the end of a timeline and work your way back in time.
If your goal is to finally write the book you have an idea for, what are the steps you need to get you there? In reverse order, remember: You’ve got to have a publisher, an editor, to find test readers, to give yourself deadlines, and to establish a daily time to write. Maybe your first step is to poll friends, family, and everyone you are FB friends with about their interest in your topic. Or write the first couple chapters and gauge their response.
3. Break your goal into smaller pieces or milestones by recording the steps you need to get there.
4. Set a deadline for the ‘finish line’, and for major mile markers in between.
5. Have someone to report your success to, and act as a sounding board when obstacles come up.
6. Finally, get started! With all your preparation, new knowledge and backup you are positioned to succeed.
Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
~John D. Rockefeller
Heli ski photo credit: blog.paradizo.com