Today is the beginning of Q4, 2012. Can you believe this? How are you doing with your annual goals for this year? Are they written, quantifiable, measurable and do they have deadlines? Does that goal-setting style work for you? Or do you feel like a loser when you see goals you didn’t reach? Mixonian Institute has a different approach to successful goal setting, after
years almost 2 decades of teaching goal-setting, old style.
It’s not that setting goals isn’t important, it definitely is. But for some people, and you may be one of us, the Excel-spreadsheet approach isn’t fun and doesn’t work particularly well. What you want, using these tools or any others, is to make it EASY for you to succeed!
Before I explain this system, let me share just a few "impossible" goals I have achieved. or that have shown up in my life, in the last 3 years:
– moving to the city of my dreams, the move paid for by someone else.
– opening up a boutique coaching firm that specializes in communication, (of all things.)
– taking one of my children to Paris and London.
– participating in a high-level marketing training in Los Angeles.
– buying a home where I wanted.
– maintaining my ideal weight.
– happily (re)married.
– swimming under the bridge (a local athletic event.)
– getting my company featured in the local newspaper.
That is not to say I have done it all and am ready to retire. Not at all and far from it. However, my approach to setting goals is more right brain than left brain.
Here are 3 tools for goal setting for creative people, or anyone not comfortable with the Pass/Fail approach that is normally taught.
1. Wouldn’t it be great if…..
Finish this sentence 20 times. Do this exercise each time you feel stuck but keep going back to your lists to cross off things that have come to pass. Usually, things happen in a way that’s not what you had in mind, but you get what you wanted anyway.
This alleviates pressure to perform and takes away the Pass/Fail nature of most goal-setting programs.
On some of these, it helps A LOT if you schedule time each week to work on them. The key is to focus on actions you can control, not on the things outside your control. Good sales programs focus on numbers of contacts made, and meeting the sales quotas naturally follow from those contacts. If you want to write a book, you’ve got to set aside time each week, if not each day, to work on it.
2. Make it visual.
Get a poster, or use your journal and using photos from magazines, cut off images that represent your ideal life. My 2008 vision board had several pictures of the ocean and palm trees although I had not articulated a move to Charleston, SC. Still, in 2009, I did move here and now live 5 minutes from the beach.
3. Magic Money lists.
This is similar to exercise #1, but more focused on purchases. Take a page from your journal and title it "Magic Money". Then write down all the things, big and small, that you’d like to buy but that do not fit in your normal monthly budget. (Don’t spend more money than you make — let magic money come to you.) This is NOT something I learned in my MBA program but it does allow your brain to subconsciously find the resources you need to meet your goals.
I do this exercise several times a year. It always amazes me how things come into my life. Here’s one example. I needed almost $400 to pay for one child’s driving school — it’s not taught in the public school system. Blech. Well, I got a totally unexpected writing job — easy as pie, that almost covered the entire cost of this program.
Note: Your magic money often shows up as opportunities for paid work, not checks in the mail, although that happens also.
If you’ve got BIG things on your magic money list, open a savings account for that item, or make a piggy bank for your spare change at home. Miranda has a piggy bank set up to finance her next trip to Europe and I’ve got a savings acccount for my next car.
After seeing a documentary about Winston Churchill, I have added "visit WC’s birthplace" to my magic money list. Let’s see how it manifests!
What kind of goal setting works for you?