In This Episode…
Now that I’ve got Christmas out of the way, I can start looking ahead to 2020 and begin getting clarity on my goals. In yesterday’s episode, I outline the next 6 things I need to focus on to improve my productivity and top of the list was clarity on my 2020 goals.
However, this is not the first time I have explored this topic. There are 17 other episodes on this podcast that have been tagged with the term “goal setting”. In this episode I do a quick review of those episodes and outline some of the key points and lessons learnt. These include:
- Where goal setting fits in my Pyramid of Personal Productivity.
- How I discovered the lack of clarity on my goals was a primary cause of my procrastination.
- Three books that have become my essential “go to” resources for the setting and achievement of goals.
- How weird stuff has happened to me just because I started setting goals.
- Why I think looking beyond the next 12 months when setting goals is crucial.
- The two things I DEFINITELY have to do with my goals once they have been set (not doing these two is the reason why, 8 months on, my goals are still floundering).
- What I already knew about goal setting and why I wasn’t applying it.
- And other insights too…
Episode Show Notes…
00:09 – Background to this episode. In yesterday’s episode, I set out my immediate “Next Thing” list. Top of that list was getting clarity on my 2020 goals. With just four days left of 2019, I want to get on top of my goals for next year before the usual rush of New Year’s Resolutions.
01:05 – After restarting the podcast after my Autumnal break, I have been focusing on clarifying my Main Thing. One of the ways of doing that is to get very clear on my goals.
01:35 – So far over the 175 episodes of this podcast, 17 episodes have been tagged with the term “goal setting”.
02:18 – Success should be quite simple:
- Set a goal.
- Make a plan.
- Execute that plan.
02:27 – I really wish it was that simple, but as human beings, we get in the way of making that work.
02:43 – I thought I would use this episode to do a “literature review” of the episodes where I have covered “goal setting”.
02:56 – In episode 018, I introduced my Pyramid of Personal Productivity and explained how goal setting is the main focus of the level of effectiveness.
03:42 – The impact of not getting clear on my goals was brought home to me in episode 031 when I uncovered that it was one of the two reasons I was procrastinating so much. This was done using a Current Reality Tree analysis from the Theory of Constraints.
04:07 – This realisation came 8 months ago, yet I am still struggling with it!
04:46 – In episode 129, I introduce the first version of my Productivity Improvement Operating System. That has getting a clear direction as its first step.
05:45 – In episode 34, I shared the unusual experience I had when I began setting goals. More importantly, I shared an inspiring quote that typifies the approach to goals setting that most appeals to me:
If I want something, I go into the future in my brain, which is powerful, and I visualise it exactly what I want. I’m there. I’m in my future.
And then I think about every single thing I need to do to make that happen. And then every single thing that could stop that from happening and what I need to avoid. I have to think what would be the worst case scenario. And then I have to think what would be the best case scenario. And then I eliminate every single thing that I think could happen which I call Art Detecting.
And then I put every thing, every single attitude and person around me in my vision that’s going to make me get to where I want. And also I try to get the people around me to think about exactly the same vision. So you can inspire people and all that energy is focused on the one thing they can visualise in their head.
Damon Dash on The Impact Theory With Tom Bilyeu
Then it becomes a tangible reality and I know that for a fact because it’s happened. It’s a fact for me. And I continue to do that because I know that anything I can imagine, I can make happen. So I am really careful about how small my thoughts are. Because I don’t feel like wasting time.
07:43 – One of the most useful achievement/success resources I have dipped into on a regular basis has been Heidi Grant Halvorson’s book “9 Things Successful People Do Differently“. I reviewed this in episode 041. It outlines these steps:
- (1) – Get specific on exactly what it is you want to achieve and what obstacles will get in the way.
- (2) – Seize the moment by deciding in advance when and where you will take the actions necessary to achieve your goal (use IF-THEN planning).
- (3) – Know how far you have left to go. Frequently monitor your progress and compare it with where you intend to go.
- (4) – Be a realistic optimist – believe you will succeed but realise you’ll encounter obstacles along the way.
- (5) – Focus on getting better rather than proving how good you are. This is about the growth mindset.
- (6) – Have persistence and commitment towards your long term goals (she uses the term “Grit”).
- (7) – Develop your willpower
- (8) – Don’t tempt fate. If you know there are things that will distract you or even derail you from achieving your goal, then avoid those things.
- (9) – Focus on what you will do rather than what you won’t do.
08:36 – After spending a couple of weeks looking at the concept of The Main Thing, I thought I had had my final say in episode 155. In it I talked about the importance of knowing your Long Term, Medium Term and Short Term goals.
09:02 – Perhaps the best resource of 2019 has been Gary Keller’s fabulous book, The One Thing. HIs focusing question is extremely powerful but his approach to goal achieving was broken down in episode 150.
09:40 – He calls it “Goal Setting To The Now” and is about taking a future “someday” goal and working out what would need to be in place in 5 years time. Then for that 5 year goal to be in place, what would need to be in place in 1 year’s time. You keep walking back in time to the now until you are very clear on what needs to be done NOW!
10:31 – Two things came out of Keller’s process:
- You need to visualise the end result AND the process of getting there.
- The goals must be written down.
10:36 – When I reviewed these episodes, I saw that I’d actually gone through this process for my business in episode 151.
11:31 – Whilst I may have gone through this process, it has fallen by the wayside because I have not written the goals down nor am I visualising success.
12:00 – Looking ahead to the future to set goals for 5 years time presented a problem for me in episode 162. Looking ahead to the next 12 months feels pressured. However looking ahead two years, feels a much better timeframe for me.
13:44 – In episode 032 I talked about a brain friendly goal setting process I had discovered in John Assaraf’s book “Innercise”. Visualising success is an important part of it, but crucially, so is having a strong emotional connection to the goal. The reason is our emotional brain is far more powerful than our thinking brain.
15:20 – Episode 161 brought me back to basics again. I reminded myself that I probably already know what I needed to do about setting goals. Off the top of my head, this is what I came up with:
- Define exactly what it is you want in the future.
- Describe it in exquisite detail as though it already exists.
- Make sure you write down your goals.
- Review them daily by visualising them and imagining them as already being achieved.
- Identify the stepping stone goals to bridge the gap between then and now.
- Use mental contrasting to increase the necessity to act.
- Visualise yourself taking the actions necessary to achieve the goals.
16:47 – keynote speaking will be the focus on my 2020 activities. This is what I will focus my goal setting on.