Monday, January 1, 2018

Guiding Star 2018 #6: Goals

Today's exercise is my favorite.  Today we find the specific goals you want to focus on for the next 12 months.  If you're like me, this is where you'll find your personal motivation for the next year of your life. This is where you'll do the actual work.  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 for the next year? 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.

Goals Exercise
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.

- Light a candle or find some delightful music to play.  Or both!
- It can be helpful to set a timer to a shorter period of time.  This will keep your brain focused on this single 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 2018 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 the fresh approach you have crafted for the next 12 months in one brief week.  This is exciting!

Always remember:
Positive works
Keep it brief
Feeling stuck? Starting January 4, 2018, one-on-one assistance is available at the discounted rate of $30/hour. This offer expires on February 1, 2018. (Click here to schedule a session).

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