Sunday, January 1, 2017

Guiding Star #6: Goals

Happy New Year!

I am starting off with a mistake, which might work in your favor.  I am just now noticing that I duplicated one of the exercises in my original plan.  The good news is that means SEVEN exercises instead of EIGHT.  We'll be rocking and rolling a day early.  Hooray!

Now look, I could have used that as an excuse to shut this down.  I could have thrown up my arms and said, "See?  I'm always making mistakes!"  But I didn't and you shouldn't either. It's easy to use a mistake as an excuse. It's easy to say, "Well, once again, I'm not where I want to be with my life. Even worse, I don't see a way out. I can't even get my New Year's plan done on time! I guess that proves that I should not even bother with all these stupid hats and goals and positive thinking.  Forget it. I'll just see what comes my way this year."

I suggest to you there is another way.  Stay tuned into Guiding Star.  See where it leads you.  Why not?  What do you have to lose?

Look!  Someone's waving to you through the fog.  Come on over here!

Today's exercise is my favorite.  Today you will find the specific goals you want to focus on in 2017.  If you're like me, this is where you'll find your motivation for 2017.  This is where you'll see the actual work happen.  This is where you'll see results.

At this point, I'm going to turn this post over to my Buddy/Coach, Jean McDonald.  Jean wrote the ideal post about Goals.  Read on!

My Year of Joy
I am a goal person. I have been setting (and achieving) 8-10 goals per year for the past 16 years. Last year, as I was looking over the last few years of goals, I saw that I almost always achieved the goals that were work-related, and I almost never allowed myself to follow through on the one or two goals I had that were just for me, for fun.
Ridiculous! I was turning 50 in February, and I decided to celebrate the entire year (my wonderful husband’s idea), and set only goals that sounded fun. I wrote my goals in 20 minutes (unheard of), and quickly sent them off to my awesome coach, Heidi Hayes, before I could change my mind. She responded immediately with a strong “Yes!!”
I threw myself into attaining my goals. My major focus was “Fun Seeker,” (Heidi here - That's what we're calling your Hat) and just looking at that phrase gave me a thrill. I took a short retreat, went on a canoe trip with my family, took a jewelry making class and tried Zumba. My husband agreed to a vacation at the Grand Canyon for our family – to celebrate my 50th year on the planet. Talk about Joy! Yes! This was my best year yet!
Then I stumbled. There were a few goals that included other people. I hesitated to ask them, they have busy lives too, right? Well, I was determined to achieve these goals, so I reached out and asked for help. Guess what happened? The people in my life were happy to help! In fact, I realized that the only way that some of my joy goals could happen was if my friends and family stepped in to help. Asking for help has never been easy for me, but what a big payoff. We were doing fun stuff, so my relationships were benefitting from my goals. I met my sister for a bike ride, I took an extreme hike with Heidi, I took my family to see a show. More Joy!
Now, as I look back at my year, I remember the moments of joy – big and small – and I realize that I have learned a few things. Perhaps this list will help you find more joy:

1. Allow yourself to set goals that sound fun and exciting to you.
2. Enlist the help of your family and friends. They will be happy to help!
3. Let the chores go more. They will always be there, and if you wait for them to be done, you will never have time for joy.
4. Look for small moments of joy. They abound!

And now, Joyful Reader. What will you do for yourself in 2017? Just for fun.

I’m wishing you abundant joy, the kind that bubbles up inside you and lifts you up.


With Jean's fantastic story and tips in mind, let's get to work.

Materials: For this exercise, you will need something to write on or in.  A journal, a computer, or scratch paper - doesn't matter.  The results of today's exercise will be seen by your Buddy.

Time: Start with 15 minutes, but you're definitely going to want more time.  Spread it out over a few days.  Work as you can and stay as joyful and engaged as you can.  If this becomes heavy, change your approach.  Look for the fun first.

2017 Goals Exercise
- Light a candle or find some delightful music to play.  Or both!
- It can be helpful to set the timer to a shorter period of time.  I like 10 minutes.  This will keep your brain on task.
- List anything you would like to accomplish in the next 12 months.  Anything.  Don't edit. Aim for a minimum of 5 goals. If the timer goes off and you're not finished, you can keep going, but I would suggest no more than 60 minutes.

Choose active, positive words.  Setting time limits within the goal is extremely helpful.  Example:

Tonya wants to lose weight.  She starts with the goal of lose 10 pounds.  She has failed at this goal for years, but knows it is important. She rephrases the goal as attend one exercise class every week for three months. The specificity of this goal (one class per week for three months) feels doable to Tonya. It's also realistic - even though Tonya works fulltime and cares for her father on the weekends, she already has an exercise class she enjoys in her schedule.  In addition, maintaining a specific commitment for a realistic amount of time (three months) will help Tonya create a habit.  Finally, unlike the abstract lose 10 pounds of the original goal, Tonya has more control over achieving this goal. That feels good to Tonya.  No, wait - that feels exciting to Tonya!

- Assign each goal A, B or C.  A is for priority goals, B is for important goals and C is for goals that could wait.
- Review your rankings.  Have you included a mix of personal and career goals?  Are you excited by all of the goals?  Have you used specific, active and positive language?
- Choose 10 goals that will be your 2017 goals.  If 10 feels overwhelming, choose fewer.
- Ask your Buddy to review your goals, specifically looking for realistic, positive and enjoyable goals. 

Well friends, tomorrow is the final day of creating your Guiding Star plan.  Look at how far you have come this week.  Look at the fresh approach you have crafted for 2017.  This is exciting!

Look into the light

Always remember:
Positive works
Keep it brief
Feeling stuck? One-on-one assistance is available at the discounted rate of $30/hour through February 1, 2017 (Click here to schedule a session).

Related Posts:
Find Your Guiding Star
Guiding Star #1: My Crystal Ball
Guiding Star #2: It Was The Best Of Times
Guiding Star #3: Can You Hear Me Now?
Guiding Star #4: The Shift and The Slogan
Guiding Star #5: The Hats

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