After living in Cuba for nearly two years, I’m still amazed at the daily parade of classic American cars chugging by. But I was really excited recently after seeing a Ford Edsel, which I first heard about from one of my favorite people– Zig Ziglar.
This is the last post in this four part series on focus.
If you read first three you are a wild BEAST!
Can I share something that scares me?
One of my biggest fears in my life is to work somewhere I hate when I’m elderly. I have a specific job in mind, but I won’t say what it is out of respect for people doing that work now.
Let’s just say I don’t want to be in that situation. And I’m sure the majority of the people in that job don’t want to be there either. Do you think an 80-year-old person who should enjoying his retirement wants to have crappy job? No freaking way!
You ever heard of a “Life Plan”?
I heard about it a year ago from Michael Hyatt. Last post I talked about “The Wheel of Life” which shows us the key life areas shaped like a wheel. But the Life Plan takes it down another level- more specific.
After you know your major life areas, the Life Plan helps us do a few things:
- Create a list values to live by
- Set standards for each key area of life
- Plan action steps for each key area
That’s it. Simple, right? It’s so simple no one does it and that’s the problem.
I’m sure there are tons of different ways of writing a life plan. In the one from Hyatt’s website you write a plan based on what your ideal situation would be for each key area of your life. For example this is what I wrote as the ideal situation in my health section:
“I am exercising at least four days per week; including strength and aerobic training. I am eating a balanced meal and getting 7 hours of sleep daily. My cholesterol is at a good level, my energy is high, and my mind is alert. My body feels nimble, toned, and ready for combat :). My memory is sharp and I can recall names, dates, faces, and facts easily.”
The Life Plan helps us find the specific steps we can take to stay on track for whatever goals we set on those key areas. What makes the Life Plan unique is that within each key area, there are additional categories to help us stay on track and motivated. Staying motivated seems to be the hardest part for me.
It takes time to write a life plan, but it’s worth it.
If you are not aiming your life towards some goals or objective, you can’t complain when you haven’t accomplished anything. That’s like people who complain about the President’s policies, but never vote.
This reminds of me something Zig Ziglar is famous for saying,
“If you aim at nothing; you’ll hit it everytime.”
Without something to focus on, how do you know where you are headed? No one plans to fail, we just fail to plan. And when we fail to plan, we prepare to lose.
Google some of the plans out there and see if any of them interest you. Find something to aim at. You can adjust along the way, so don’t worry to much now about what to focus on. Just take the first step. The next step will become clear as you move forward.
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
If you’re like me, you enjoy setting goals, but have a hard time following through. I usually make goals in December. I start off January focused like a laser. But by the end of February I don’t even remember my goals! Next thing you know it’s December again and the cycle repeats itself.
Desperate for something different, I signed up for Michael Hyatt’s “Best Year Ever” 5-day goal setting course last December. At first I thought he was exagerating. I mean, how can someone sell a course promising to help you achieve your best year ever?
As a long time follower of Michael’s blog and podcast I trusted him. Plus, I know he prides himself on over delivering.
So I did it. And the results?
I’m getting there…
I was right. It wasn’t my best year ever. Nothing can top the year I got married and when my kids were born. However, 2014 comes in second place. This course (goal setting) is one of the main reasons why I had a great year.
What was different? Glad you asked, bro.
For starters, it felt like goal setting on steroids (for the record I’ve never used steroids). These factors made it different:
Theme: I’ve had this “Best Year Ever” theme running through my mind the entire year. Even when I wasn’t thinking about my goals I still thought about the theme. I slacked a few months, but having the theme ingrained in my brain ensured that I didn’t relax for too long. It’s November and I’m still have about accomlishing three remaining big goals.
Intentional: This goal setting experiment has made me more intentional with my time. I created goals for nearly each month so this kept me motivated on a monthly basis. I focused on the months, weeks, days, and even minutes. I was much more aware of my time and my priorities.
Comfort Zone: A few of my goals where outside of my comfort zone. That’s where the magic (personal growth) happens. Among other things, one of my goals was to “start my online platform by September of 2014.” Guess what? I launched this blog in SEPTEMBER (check out my first post). And it felt so good! Without this course you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog post — or my future posts. 🙂 I was scared, nervous, and confused, but I went for it anyway. I’m so glad I did it.
Happiness: I discovered this year that checking off my completed goals gave me instances of happiness and fulfillment. Imagine getting stuff done, gaining control of our life, and moving towards your dreams. That’s what I felt. Completing each goal created a snow ball effect that encouraged me to keep going. When things were not going well during the year, I looked at my completed goals and felt re-inspired.
My year wasn’t all flowers and unicorns. I had some frustrating chunks of time. Life happens! That’s part of the journey.
To make the goal setting experience better next year I’m making a few changes:
1. Partner-up: I’m going to look for an accountability partner. Without one it’s easier to get off track or even quit.
2. Review Goals Daily: I went several months without even looking at my goals and that was a mistake. Next time I plan to read my goals in the morning and before going to bed. I’ll also print out a few copies and leave them in places where I know I’ll see them to keep them top of mind. Keeping a copy in my Evernote app was crucial. I might re-write my goals at least once per week. In my new favorite book “The 10X Rule” (affiliate link) by Grant Cardone, he re-writes his goals every day. He’s a beast.
3. Real Goals: One of my regrets is making goals that were too small. I learned from this experience that Average goals lead to average results. I know we’re supposed to set “realistic” goals, but why? I want more goals that force me to test my comfort zone.
I now realize that without long-term goals we don’t have any idea or control of the direction our lives are headed. If we can’t keep score how will we know if we’re winning? If we don’t know where we’re going then we can’t complain when we don’t get there.
Just imgaine what you can accomplish in one year with the right goals and motivation.
Are you planning to set and follow through on your goals for 2015?