Goal Setting: You Can’t Hit a Moving Target!

Goal Setting…

Ok, I’ll go out on a limb here and believe that you took the time to write down all your 2017 Goals, are checking them regularly and are on track for complete success.
Wait! What? You didn’t go beyond your New Year’s Resolutions?

No! Seriously? You didn’t even get that far? Shaking my head- tsk, tsk, tsk.

Well, let me tell you the good news is that there’s still plenty of year left for you to not only consider your 2017 Goals and how to achieve them but to actually implement a plan.
So, how do you set your Goals?
First of all you need to have the big Why – and only you can answer that question. Take a pad & pen, or an electronic version thereof, and for fifteen minutes just free write the Why of some of the things you want to accomplish between today and your 2017 toast to the New Year. Whether it’s lose weight for the dreaded class reunion, develop a marketing plan for a new service or product, learn yoga… whatever it is just slap it down on the page. Once you have that done you will be prepared to take the steps necessary to turn those ideas into reality.

We need to see our Goals in writing. Our mind needs this so that the Goals turn from a vague concept to reality. We need it written down to allow the Goals become real in both our conscious and our unconscious. Yes, I know it’s old school. Stop whining. It works!

Writing down our goals does 5 important things:

1. Brings Clarity to our vision
2. Forces laser sharp Focus
3. Serves to drive us Forward
4. Creates a platform for our own self-Accountability
5. Opens us up to visualize our true Potential

My own list started with 10 items for 2017. Three of these are crossed off as Done & Done. And, yes I look at the list every single day (more than once) to reinforce to myself what I said I wanted and I needed to accomplish in 2017. I also derive a great deal of satisfaction from knowing that I have three already completed. This is the Goal-Effort-Success wheel.
Since we’re mid-2017 I suggest you select not more than 5, maybe even 3, Goals to complete by the end of the year.
How to we create these Goals? The formula is to make them SMART.

a. Specific
b. Measurable
c. Attainable
d. Relevant
e. Timely

Specificity is one of the most important aspects and can take the most time to settle in our minds. For example, if you decide one of your Goals is to lose weight you want to write it as: I will (not I want) lose 11 pounds by October so I can buy a new suit for the January class reunion. You don’t want to write it as: I need to lose weight for the class reunion.

Measurability in this instance is pretty obvious. You’re going to check your weight daily, weekly and monthly. Keeping track of how close you are getting to the stated Goal of losing eleven pounds.
Is the weight loss of eleven pounds Attainable? Only you know whether it is or it isn’t. But losing two to three pounds a month and keeping it off sounds reasonable and doable.

Finally, does this Goal really resonate with you? Is it Relevant to your life and present set of circumstances. You know that new suit will look great and you will feel sharp if you’re wearing it with a little less padding.

Goal Setting is our road map to success. Without it we’re blindly facing each day from scratch. This can be exhausting and frustrating. No matter how lofty our Goals are, no matter how many roadblocks we face in our daily lives, if we know exactly where we want to end up and have benchmarks on the way we can push through to Success!

Even though we’re half way through 2017 there are more than enough days, weeks and months for you to get some great things accomplished.

I am challenging you to stop what you’re doing right this minute, get to a quiet place and do your Goal Setting today. This single action sets you up for a planning session at the end of this year so that you start 2017 with your SMART Goals ready for take off!

The Secret to Time Management Success

We all know that old adage “Time is Money” but how does that translate into real life?

I will let you in on the secret to Time Management Success – click your heels three times and repeat after me:


To effectively manage the minutes of our work days (unless you’re an EMT) you have to stop the knee-jerk reaction of responding to every demand as if it is an EMERGENCY!!!!

Time Management SuccessWe’re all pre-wired to focus on those things which demand an immediate response, like alerts on our phones – and to postpone things which are also very most important, for instance taking the time to rest and eat a decent meal, or going to the gym (yes, you know I outsource all of my exercise but some readers actually DO go to the gum!). To gain the upper hand on the chaos that is our daily life we need to reverse that habit, which unfortunately goes against our brain and most of human society.

Let’s start by deeply reviewing how you spend your time on a daily basis.  Keep a diary of activity – as detailed as possible – for a full five or 6 day work week. Just jot down what you actually DID during that time. Then block off 30 minutes to really look at how those precious minutes were spent. Are your hours spent on tasks you planned and needed to accomplish? How much of that was derailed by a call, text or email?  Revealing, isn’t it???

OK – We’ve identified the challenge – How do we fix that with time management success?

Plain and simple, learn to say NO. Most of us follow an implicit social contract: when someone asks us to do something, we almost always answer: yes. It may feel very noble, but don’t forget we have critical deadlines and other planned tasks to support our businesses – and we just agreed to slow down and change lanes because we were asked nicely. Unfortunately, we may need to sacrifice a little social comfort to give our business the attention it deserves.

Unplug the TV or the… Netflix/DirectTV/YouTube/HBO/tablet/Ipad/Facebook/YouTube/Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat or whatever your addiction…If you work from home like many entrepreneurs, professionals or writers – or if you take work home with you – this is the biggest time stealer of all. In fact, it’s our worst enemy!

Kill notifications. Modern technology has evolved to exploit our urgency addiction: email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube will fight to distract you constantly. Yes, it gets me, too! I am the one “liking” your cute puppy posts – I admit it. Fortunately, this is easily fixed: turn off all your notifications. Choose to check these things when you have time to be distracted – say, during a lunch break – and work through them together, saving time.

Schedule your priorities. Humans are interesting creatures and we thrive on being in social setting and groups! If we have a friend to meet, we’ll arrange to see them at a set time. But if we have something that matters to us more than anything – say writing a proposal, researching new technology for our business, or even going to the gym (here we are back with the gym guilt!) – we won’t schedule it.  Treat your highest priorities like flights you have to catch: give them a set time in advance and say NO to anything that would stop you from making your flight!

So where do you start? After you complete your review, you need to consider the concept of Time Blocking. Do the task you like the least as the very first thing on that list. If it’s prospecting or cold calling, knock that out while you’re still on your first cup of coffee. After getting the least “fun” To-Do done and checked off, the rest of the day will flow smoothly. Prioritize like crazy – even if it means sacrificing checking on the progress of those little piggy’s making friends with kittens. Seriously.

Less volume, more time. There’s always millions of things you could be doing. The trick is to pick no more than 1 – 3 priority items a day and relentlessly pursue those.  The payoff is you get done what matters and your time becomes your own again.

Watch this space for more tips & tricks –  … meanwhile, I gotta check on those puppies… what? You thought I was going to the gym?


Upcoming Blog Post: Goal Setting: You Can’t Hit a Moving Target!