Very occasionally someone will tell me they didn’t like setting goals or it didn’t work. Dig a bit deeper and usually it turns out that they have limited knowledge of the process.
When I first heard about goalsetting back in the mid-80s I was a single mother with six young children, living in the Far North on government aid and no chance to get a real job. I’d just been told I wasn’t suitable for a job in the local library because ‘solo mothers were unreliable’. Talk about a kick in the guts! Shortly after, a friend handed me a book on goalsetting and visualisation. That book changed my life.
Within a year I was off the government handouts and had a proper job. Within two years everything had turned around completely.
Many wonderful things have happened since then, in all areas of my life. And yet still I regularly create an updated Life Map (which is what many people call the process of creating a chart with pictures and words).
Related: Don't start with the easy jobs Try this simple process to manage serial deadlines and conflicting priorities.
Here are a few key elements to the process.
• Set aside about an hour.
• Find a comfortable environment where you can think uninterruptedly.
• Write down what you’d like to achieve or experience in each of your major life areas.
• Intuition. Go with the first 'top of mind' thoughts - your intuition knows your right path.
• In each category, ask yourself:
a. What do I want to change in my life?
b. ‘What would I really want to do in this area in the next 12 months or more?’
c. 'What lights me up?'
d. 'If I could do anything, with no limitations, what would it be?'
• Nothing is too big or too small. If it comes into your mind write it down.
• Think as big as you can – for now, don’t worry if it’s realistic.
• Be very specific. The more details, the better.
• If you’re in a relationship, make your own list first and go and negotiate later. You can't effectively set goals for other people.
• Find pictures to represent what you want.
• Display them where you’ll see them regularly.
Ask yourself, ‘what lights me up?’
Goal-setters will tell you that focused intention and determination is a far more dynamic and energising way to live than going aimlessly with the tide, hoping something good will turn up.
Goal setting is especially important for people working in a fast changing business environment, such as ICT executives. It helps you to remain focused and able to prioritise. Without it you can end up feeling as though you are forever chasing your tail.
Robyn Pearce runs an international time management and productivity business based in New Zealand.
CIO reader giveaway
CIO New Zealand has one goal setting pack from www.gettingagrip.com to give away worth $398 which includes the following:
• Getting a grip on life - goals toolkit
• Getting a grip on simple goal-setting ebook
• One-hour phone coaching
To be in the draw, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details and ‘CIO goal setting’ in the subject line. Entries close on 22 January 2014. This giveaway is open only to readers based in New Zealand.
Editor's note: Martin Good of Auckland won this prize draw.
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