In Part 1 we explored the Seven steps to write a letter to yourself from the future. The following three goal setting hacks deal with your everyday ‘here and now’ life.
Keep reading and discover three alternative goal setting hacks for keeping yourself motivated and excited as you journey through 2017.
1. Get a Sense of Courage
So long as you have courage and a sense of humour, it is never too late to start life afresh – Freeman Dyson, Physicist.
A common goal setting mistake is to put too much emphasis on how we visualise or imagine our life. Let’s say you want to travel. Yes, it’s great to make your screen saver a picture of Fiji or Mt Everest or Manhattan. Yet, we have four other physical senses at our use – touch, smell, hearing, and taste. Explore these ideas:
• Tell your friends your travel plans and really hear the passion in your voice
• Use a free app like Duolingo, and start learning a new language
• Listen to a subtitled foreign movie
• Go to food festivals and explore the different scents and tastes of the countries you’d like to visit
• At the supermarket deli, ask to sample a different salami or cheese
• Burn scented candles – coconut for Fiji or jasmine for India
You can apply the same strategy to other goals like a new car
• Test drive a car just outside your budget and let yourself feel what it’s like
• Name your savings account “My New Car.”
• Make car shaped cookies
• Change your ringtone to the sound of a revving engine
Your tactile focus could inspire enough courage to ask for a raise, find a part-time income, gain a qualification or look for a better job.
2. Find Eastern Inspiration
Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most – Buddha
Our wise eastern neighbours have a non-attachment approach to goals. They advise us to know what you want and have aspirations. However, be mindful of putting limits on how you think you will achieve your dreams.
Let’s say you want to improve your career. First, detach from limits and be open to possibilities. Let yourself dream about your ideal career. Then take notice of what opportunity is around you, right in front of you, just waiting for you to see it and take action. Be open to discovering new doors and pathways that open up before you, simply because you are willing to explore.
More Ideas … Ask someone you respect to be your career mentor. Keep sending applications. Show your current boss you are keen for more responsibilities. Get advice on how to makeover your CV. Do interview role-plays with a friend. Watch career webinars. Follow thought leaders on social media and engage in conversations. Be self-determined and self-improving. Every morning, take stock and do something new and different. Above all, stay clear about your dreams.
3. Decide Your Values
When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier – Roy Disney, CFO.
If you are not achieving your goals or dreams, it could be because these are in conflict with your core values. Or it could be that your values need a performance review shake-up.
Values are the heart of what motivates us and the way we live. There are over 100 common values including honesty, service, love, parenting and health. For example, if you are not achieving your goal of exercising every day, it could be that your ‘Health’ value needs to be taken out of the closet, polished until it shines, and put front and center in your consciousness every day. If you want to get a career qualification, but are feeling resistance to change, then get your ‘Education’ and ‘Security’ values on the same page as your dreams.
Here’s how to discover your values and align your decision-making
1. You’ll find many resources to explore online. We like this short video and values exercise from Mind Tools here>>. Keep working on your Values list until you have a firm Top 5.
2. Rule up a couple of A4 pages with a right-hand column of about 3 cm. In the larger left-hand column make a list of all the ‘to-do’ items you have swimming around in your head. Every. Single. One. All work related, family, health, home improvement, friendship, pet, lifestyle and financial to do’s. It is important to not self-censor an item as silly or trivial. If it floats into your mind, write it down.
3. Now grab your Top 5 values. In the right-hand column of your To-Do list, give each to-do at least one of your top 5 values. For example, if you wrote ‘Open a Savings Account’ as a to-do then the value could be Balance, Freedom, Security or Prudence. If you can’t find a value for your to-do, chances are it’s been on your list for a long time. Or its something you think you should do, rather than something you feel inspired to do. Find a way to rephrase the item, so it matches your values, or let it go from your list.
4. Look over your new Value-Based To-Do list and pick the top two important to-dos for each value. You will now have ten actions to make decisions on or complete. Give each action a time frame and get going. When you complete an item, revisit your list and add another item. You’ll be surprised at how motivated, excited and aligned you feel about getting things done and improving your life.