Learn From My Failures: How To Hit Your Targets This Year - Goal Setting Part 2 of 4
By Theron Glenny
Growing up, when we needed a rubber band, battery, screw or nail, there was one place to look, the junk drawer. Do you have a junk drawer? Maybe you even have a cabinet where you throw your clutter. It’s likely the place where you stuff items when a visitor comes. We have one too. Everyone does. They are very useful at times. The problem with junk drawers and cabinets is when you really want to find something, good luck! They’re a mess. Stuff is everywhere so it’s hard to find what you need when you need it.
In the last couple articles, we’ve been discussing dreams and goals for the new year. In our last article, I shared the importance of segmenting the areas of your life so it’s easier to know where to put your goals. Having one comprehensive list of goals is confusing and overwhelming. Our brains need to be able to segment and place where things fit. We need swim lanes. Understanding our swim lanes help keep us focused on our goals. I call these swim lanes, 'areas of life'. In every season of life, we have areas of life (AOLs). Some examples of AOLs could be your family, career, volunteer work, hobby, etc. Failure to identify AOLs will cause confusion about the main focuses you have in the season you are in.
Now that you have your areas of life defined, take your list of dreams and goals for the new year and put them under the right AOLs. This helps your brain see where they fit. Many times, we make a goal list and it’s so big and unorganized that its like a junk drawer. In the past I’ve made the mistake of having too big of a list. When your goal list is too big, it becomes overwhelming, causing you to lose faith that your goals can be accomplished. When it’s too big, it’s also hard to know what to focus on each day.
Don’t go overboard with goals or there will be too many and you will get overwhelmed. The result will be frustration and dissatisfaction because you didn’t accomplish it. I’ve been there. I’ve made this mistake way too many times.
Here’s the secret. Just pick one or two goals to put in each AOL. This may be hard for you to scale down your list, but it is absolutely necessary. If you don’t, your list will be a junk drawer of cluttered wishes.
Pro tip: If you are unsure of what to focus on for the year and there are multiple projects you desire to go after, consider writing a 1-page business plan on each one defining each project, it’s scope, why you want to do it, what it will accomplish in it’s impact to others, financial commitments, etc…and then present each plan to some close friends/advisors to get their opinion. I’ve done this and it really helped me clarify what I’m to focus on. This allowed me to take a list of dozens of possible goals for the year down to 4-5 that I can be laser focused on.
In the next article, I’ll share with you a secret in how to keep momentum to accomplish your goals this year. Hint: It’s where you put them and who sees them.