Thursday, December 28, 2017

WHY Do You Want To Do These Things?

I will be launching a new service in January 2018 that will help you create clarity around your goals, certainty about what to do, and help you provide a greater impact on your work environment.

In the meantime, I’d like to share a free PDF containing a useful personal prioritization exercise to help you get started.

 


 

I hope you can join me on this journey!
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Today we will combine what we want to feel with what we want to accomplish.

We’re looking for WHY we want to achieve these goals.

It’s knowing the WHY that will help us keep going when we hit the inevitable dip.


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Today’s assignment:

For each goal:

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I mentioned earlier that one of my goals for 2018 was to read 52 books.

Why do I want to do this?

To expand my influences and to return to a deeper, more comprehensive, and more relaxing way of consuming information.

How will this goal help me feel the way I want to feel?

  • Even as a kid, I found sitting down and reading a book relaxing.  Relaxed is one of my desired feelings.
  • Much of my preferred reading material leans towards non-fiction.  I have a large stack of business and psychology books on deck for this project.  The education in these areas will help my confidence.  Confident is one of my desired feelings.

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Some goals may not have a clear connection between the goal and the desired feelings.

For instance – another goal I mentioned was to launch a new product/service in 2018.

Why do I want to do this?

I want to help make work life more humane.  My immediate experience and the experiences of close friends and colleagues drives this project.

Like Simon Sinek, this particular project was born from personal pain. I’ve been trying to solve my own problem.  From that effort, I feel I have information and experience that I think will help others.

I know some of the undesirable feelings I will have as I finish creating and launch and market the project include:

  • Fear
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • etc

However, I also know that I will feel the following:

  • Loving –  I want to help my friends (many of whom are in the middle management and project management ranks) find happiness and help them feel more competent and capable.  If, through my work, I can help at least one team find the space to de-stress and work effectively with each other and with others – I will consider that success.
  • Joyful – I’m going to count the feeling of accomplishment as joy. I feel joy when I reach milestones. I will feel joy when I officially launch and complete the construction phase of the project. I will feel joy when I get my first customers.  I’m sure there will be other joyful times too during this process.
  • Confident – Even if this project misses the mark, I have gained new skills and learned important lessons while I built and marketed this solution.  I can use this information to improve the product and to improve my other services.
  • Contentment – If this project succeeds beyond my wildest dreams, the work delivers significant positive change in people’s working environments and personal lives,  and I’m able to systematize it in a way that others want to share, I anticipate feeling the contentment of a job well done.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

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Resources

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Simon Sinek is the go-to person for finding your Why.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Prioritizing What You Want To Do This Year

I will be launching a new service in January 2018 that will help you create clarity around your goals, certainty about what to do, and help you provide a greater impact on your work environment.

In the meantime, I’d like to share a free PDF containing a useful personal prioritization exercise to help you get started.



I hope you can join me on this journey!
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Today’s assignment:

With your list of all of the things you want to do this year:

  1. Categorize each goal – Process or Destination
  2. For each goal – is it YOUR goal or did someone assign it to you?  Mark the goals that you are doing for someone else.
  3. For the goals that are YOUR goals – how passionate are you about the goal?  I’m calling this the passion level.
    • 1 for meh or “I should…”  5 for “Hell Yes!”
  4. For the goals that are YOUR goals – how achievable do you feel the goal is? I’m calling this the confidence level.
    • 1 for “when pigs fly”, 5 for “No question – this will happen this year!”

How many “Hell Yes” goals do you have?  Any?

How many “No question – this will happen this year!” goals do you have? Any?

If you have one Hell Yes, this will happen this year goal – you are doing better than a lot of us.  That looks like a goal for the year.

Even a Hell Yes – I think this can happen, just not entirely sure how yet (a level 3)  is awesome.  Looks like another goal for the year.

Ultimately, we are looking for 5-10 goals we can focus on for the year.

Oh yeah – and those goals should be YOURS.  Not something someone else gave you.

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A few of my personal goals for the year:

  • Launch a new product/service by the end of 2018 – Hell Yes, this will happen in 2018 (Passion Level 5 /Confidence Level 5).
    • I started the work last year and I’m close to launching – so I’m feeling a lot more confident about this goal.  If you asked me this time last year, the answer would have been Hell Yes, I think this can happen, just not entirely sure how yet.
  • Obtain another certification this year – I want to do this, this will happen in 2018 (Passion Level 4/Confidence level 5).
    • I have the materials for the cert I will be pursuing. I just haven’t started it yet.  The certification is more for pursuing a personal interest vs. anything I intend to use professionally.
  • Read 52 books – Hell Yes, I’m pretty sure this will happen in 2018 (Passion Level 5/Confidence Level 4)
    • This means a 1 book per week cadence.  I’ve got a long list of books to read on my Kindle and they have started breeding again on my bookshelves.  I’m finding that concentrating on longer-form writing has been helping my attention span and, because I have to replace social media time with book time, my aggravation levels.

NONE of my goals were put there by anyone else but me.

NONE of my goals are “I think I should” goals.

Yeah – those things may happen that year – but they are not MY priority.

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Resources

If you find yourself stuck with writing good goals:

Some other ways to think about goal-setting:

 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

What Do You Want To Do This Year?

I will be launching a new service in January 2018 that will help you create clarity around your goals, certainty about what to do, and help you provide a greater impact on your work environment.

In the meantime, I’d like to share a free PDF containing a useful personal prioritization exercise to help you get started.



I hope you can join me on this journey!
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Let’s return to comfortable territory. Goal setting!

I find there are two types of goals:

  • Destination Goals:  “By the end of 2018, I will launch my new product and have at least 5 clients.”
  • Process Goals: “I will meditate 15 minutes per day at least 5 days per week this year.”

I use both.

Sometimes, the process goals help move you towards your destination goals.

Example: Destination goal – Lose 25 pounds.  Process goal – Replace my morning latte with water at least 5 days per week.

Sometimes, the process IS the destination.

Example: Meditate 15 minutes per day at least 5 days per week.

There isn’t a particular destination. I keep receiving feedback from my friends that the practice makes me a nicer person to be around.  Better relationships seem like a good enough reason for me to keep meditating.

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Today’s assignment:

Free write all of the things you want to accomplish in 2018. 

It doesn’t matter how “ridiculous” or “stupid” or “unrealistic” the goal appears.

Over the weekend – write down anything else that comes up.

We are going to ask some questions about these goals next week.

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Resources

Michael Hyatt is one of my favorite goal-setting and prioritization gurus.  Two books I recommend if you want a deep dive into this process (both Amazon Affiliate links):

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want – He walks you through a comprehensive goal-setting process in this book.

Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals – This book provides more immediate and focused guidance for the year.

 

 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

How Do You Want to Feel This Year?

I will be launching a new service in January 2018 that will help you create clarity around your goals, certainty about what to do, and help you provide a greater impact on your work environment.

In the meantime, I’d like to share a free PDF containing a useful personal prioritization exercise to help you get started.

 


 

I hope you can join me on this journey!
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Part of my annual planning this year was to work through The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte (Amazon affiliate link).

Ms. LaPorte’s argument – we do what we do because we want to feel a certain way.

Why do I pursue certifications even after I earned two graduate degrees? Why am I working towards a double bodyweight deadlift? Why do I give to charity?  Why do I try to go out to lunch with friends at least 1x per week?

There are lots of reasons, but fundamentally I am aiming for “happy.”  Or any of its variants.

After working through her exercises, I came up with the following five feelings:

  • Contentment
  • Confidence
  • Loving
  • Relaxed
  • Joyful

Two recommendations while doing today’s exercise:

    • Focus on terms that resonate with you.  For example, I am uncomfortable with the word “happy” because the term seems a bit manic.  “Joyful,” to me, seems more serene. Plus, “Happy” reminds me of this video:

 

  • Focus on the feelings that do not require someone else’s action to occur.  For example, “loved” implies that someone else loves me.  “Loving” is something I can control.

Grab pen and paper, or open a word document and let’s get going!

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Today’s assignment:

How do you want to feel this year?

Take 2 minutes and free write any words that come up.

Set it aside.  Review it tomorrow.  Any new words?  Any synonyms?

Over the weekend – narrow that list down to 3-5 core feelings.

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Resources
The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul (Amazon affiliate link)- I recommend this if you want to do a comprehensive deep-dive on this exercise. Her questions allow for a deeper exploration and an eye-opening analysis of your current state and emotional patterns.

Atlas of Emotions – an interactive tool based on Paul Ekman’s research on emotions as universal categories.  If emotional identification isn’t your thing – The Atlas of Emotions narrows your choices down to 5.  Choose 1 (and I’m taking bets on which one you will choose).

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Finding Quiet

I will be launching a new service in January 2018 that will help you create clarity around your goals, certainty about what to do, and help you provide a greater impact on your work environment.

In the meantime, I’d like to share a free PDF containing a useful personal prioritization exercise to help you get started.

 


 

I hope you can join me on this journey!
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One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to find some quiet.

Extended, undisturbed quiet.

The conversation you are going to have will be between you and a piece of paper.

And you want to be alone.  No other inputs.

No friends. No phone. No computer.  Nothing to distract you.

You want to hear the chatter in your head.

Just keep an observational distance from it.

Easier said than done, I know.

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Some of the techniques I have used to find quiet space:

  • Early morning – first thing.  Before the coffee has kicked in.
    • My brain is less noisy then + I lean towards morning person, so few people are bothering me at that time.
  • Late evening after everyone has left.
    • More for night people.  I haven’t been nearly as successful with this technique.  But then, I’m a morning person.  I also find that I am either mentally burned out at the end of the day or over-stimulated and my brain has a gajillion things going on, and I can’t concentrate.
  • Hide in an unused conference room out of main traffic areas.
    • Schedule it as “strategic planning” on the conference room calendar and block off your calendar.
      • It IS a meeting – you don’t need to tell them it’s a meeting with yourself and the voices in your head.
    • If you have to have someone else schedule it for you – just tell the scheduler you will send invites separately
    • Alternately – you could just check the schedule, then squat in the room
    • Don’t use more than 1 hour for this. Ideally 30 minutes. Don’t be a room hog.
  • Take an actual lunch outside the office alone.
    • Best done during a beautiful day outside.  We could all probably use the Vitamin D.
  • On travel – conference – hide in a hallway away from the action for a few minutes
    • It’s a productive way to spend the time between sessions vs. checking your email. Just once.
    • In my experience – my slowest email times during conferences tend to be between the keynote and the first breakout session.  Depending on your circumstances, that optimal time will change.
  • On travel – client sites – leverage hotel time
    • Again, I find the change in environment helps.
    • I also don’t have the distractions on the road that I do at home.
    • When was the last time you saw something entertaining on TV anyhow?

The following techniques are less ideal.  You want to take whatever comes up and write them down in one notebook dedicated to this task.

  • Voice recording during the commute.
    • Most of us commute alone.  Most phones have voice recorder functionality.
    • I prefer writing because I know that for me writing stuff down sticks.  This technique is more “in a pinch”.
  • During lines and waits – using the note tools on your phone
    • This is the “being alone while in a crowd” technique
    • This technique has the bonus of making you look “busy” so no one bothers you.
  • Taking a notebook to the gym.
    • I lift weights – so this works for me.  I write stuff down during rest periods if something comes to me.
    • Lift heavy enough – the mind clears real nicely.
    • The change in environment also helps.
    • Many gyms have daycare (for those of you with children)
    • This won’t quite work with running, treadmills, rowing, etc.

Finding quiet may be the hardest step in finding personal clarity.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

2018 Will Be Epic!

Those who know me well know I don’t get excited very easily.

I’m excited!

I will be launching a new service in January 2018 that will help you create clarity around your goals, certainty about what to do, and help you provide a greater impact on your work environment.

In the meantime, I’d like to share a free PDF containing a useful personal prioritization exercise to help you get started.



I hope you can join me on this journey!