Goal Series Progress
Are you living your life exactly how you have pictured it?
Chances are you’re not.
Don’t take offense or get down about this. Although it is not an easy fix, it is a simple one.
It just takes a little time. If this doesn’t sound fun, just think of the alternative…actually, if you are human and answered ‘no’ you’re already living the alternative.
It is no secret that most people are not living the life they have always dreamed of. Why is that?
The answer, in large part, is given to us in a Harvard MBA study. It is simply that almost no one has written down what his or her dream life looks like.
In his book, What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark McCormack cites the study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program. In that year, the students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Only three percent of the graduates had written goals… and a staggering 84 percent had no specific goals at all.
Ten years later, the members of that same class were interviewed again, and the results were truly incredible.
The three percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.
The first and possibly most crucial step is to begin with the end in mind, as the late Dr. Stephen Covey said in his hugely successful The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Covey says, “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” He discusses this idea beautifully with Habit #2 in his book:
ALL THINGS ARE CREATED TWICE
Begin with the end in mind is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.
Take the construction of a home, for example. You create it in every detail before you ever hammer the first nail into place. You try to get a very clear sense of what kind of house you want. If you want a family-centered home, you plan to put a family room where it would be a natural gathering place. You plan sliding doors and a patio for children to play outside. You work with ideas. You work with your mind until you get a clear image of what you want to build.
Then you reduce it to blueprint and develop construction plans. All of this is done before the earth is touched. If not, then in the second creation, the physical creation, you will have to make expensive changes that may double the cost of your home.
The carpenter’s rule is “measure twice, cut once.” You have to make sure that the blueprint, the first creation, is really what you want, that you’ve thought everything through. Then you put it into bricks and mortar. Each day you go to the construction shed and pull out the blueprint to get marching orders for the day. You begin with the end in mind.
For another example, look at a business. If you want to have a successful enterprise, you clearly define what you’re trying to accomplish. You carefully think through the product or service you want to provide in terms of your market target, then you organize all the elements—financial, research and development, operations, marketing, personnel, physical facilities, and so on—to meet that objective. The extent to which you begin with the end in mind often determines whether or not you are able to create a successful enterprise. Most business failures begin in the first creation, with problems such as undercapitalization, misunderstanding of the market, or lack of a business plan.
The same is true with parenting. If you want to raise responsible, self-disciplined children, you have to keep that end clearly in mind as you interact with your children on a daily basis. You can’t behave toward them in ways that undermine their self-discipline or self-esteem.
To varying degrees, people use this principle in many different areas of life. Before you go on a trip, you determine your destination and plan out the best route. Before you plant a garden, you plan it out in your mind, possibly on paper. You create speeches on paper before you give them, you envision the landscaping in your yard before you landscape it, you design the clothes you make before you thread the needle.
Excerpt From: Stephen R. Covey. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
A widely used and very easy to implement plan is to ensure your goals are SMART-ER.
- Time Sensitive
Don’t forget to approach each day with Enthusiasm! There WILL be tough days. There WILL be setbacks. That is just life. Maintain your enthusiasm and picture your victory day!
And set Rewards proportionate to the goal/effort.
>>Ice cream on Sunday for a full week of dietary discipline (provided you’re not diabetic) = Good
>>A family trip to Disney World for a day without smoking = Not Good
This is an enormously deep topic. This post is simply to get you started on your victory path.
Stay tuned for part 2 where we will get into the sequence that you’re already following and could be sabotaging your results.
To Your Success!
Here’s Dr. Covey in a preview of Habit #2…