IDENTIFYING & ACHIEVING GOALS
Just because you set goals doesn’t mean you have to start doing more or being more.
So how do we get to a place where we can set goals? How do we start?
Visualization is used all the time by successful people like elite athletes. They use it to visualize their desired outcomes or goals.
For example, in this exercise I want you to close your eyes and imagine your perfect day. What does your perfect day look like? If you didn’t have any obligations your to-do list was complete and the day was yours to own- what would you be doing? Now that you’re in that situation – I want you to look around. Who is with you? What are your wearing? What do you feel like? What day of the week is it?
For most of us our ideal day might be at home with family. But what if you visualize yourself at work? What does your schedule look like? Is it full? Or is it empty? What car did you drive to work? Are you working in the same environment or do you have a new job?
When I did this I was in my kitchen on a sunny summer day making breakfast for my kids. The kids were sitting at a large island, which we don’t have in our house. I was wearing jeans and feeling lighter (emotionally and physically) as I had finally lost the extra weight I had gained while pregnant. I was also emotionally lighter, I didn’t feel like I had anything to do that day and I was looking forward to spending uninterrupted time with the kids.
All of a sudden this made made aware of all the things I had been putting off in my life. Can you see why visualizing your goal is so important and powerful?
- WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
Now that you have felt these goals I challenge you to write them down. There are two articles published on Forbes.com that relates to today’s podcast. The title reads “Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them.” Another one reads, “How To Set Goals (And Why You Should Write Them Down).”
A Harvard Business Study found that the 3% of graduates from their MBA who had their goals written down, ended up earning ten times as much as the other 97% put together, just ten years after graduation.
So why does writing it down actually help so much? Especially when I can just easily store it in our brains?
One of the articles states that writing things down happens on two levels: external storage and encoding. External storage represents the piece of paper. that is very easy to access and review at any time. You could post that paper in your office, on your refrigerator, etc. It doesn’t take a neuroscientist to know you will remember something much better if you’re staring at a visual cue (aka reminder) every single day.
But there’s another deeper phenomenon happening: encoding. “Encoding is the biological process by which the things we perceive travel to our brain’s hippocampus where they’re analyzed. From there, decisions are made about what gets stored in our long-term memory and, in turn, what gets discarded. Writing improves that encoding process. In other words, when you write it down it has a much greater chance of being remembered.”
I follow Rachel Hollis, an author and motivator. And she mentions that every single morning she writes down her goals. That means she takes just a few extra minutes each day to write down the same goal over and over again. Such an easy thing to do yet, for some of us, so hard.
- BE INTENTIONAL
How come some achieve their goals with ease and others, despite motivation, have a hard time doing so? It turns out that intention is more important than motivation. According to an article by British Journal of Health Psychology 91% people who planned their intention by writing down when and where they would exercise each week ended up following through. So what I challenge you to do is not only write down your goals but at some point also put thought into when and where your new behaviors are going to happen.
In the past our office would only track our progress quarterly. Once production was calculated we would compare it to last year and say “good job” or “oops wonder what happened there?” We always had a motivation to help more people each quarter but never planned out our intention on how we were going to make that happen.
What we do now is break each month down and track how many people are helped monthly. If it’s below our goal, we have marketing techniques up our sleeve ready to use at any time. If it’s above our goal, since we are tracking in real time, we can tell what is working instead of waiting three months to see what was effective.
- WRITE DOWN YOUR FEARS.
Like I said before, with success sometimes comes fear. Right now I am speaking to a lot of REALLY good problem solvers. So you’re going to like this step just like me! Think of your goal and then write down any fears you might have associated with it. What does a fear written down become? It becomes a problem you WILL find a solution for.
For example, what if the goal is to open a second practice. A fear might be, “I will spread myself to thin and become overworked.” Now that you wrote it down and you said it out loud it doesn’t seem that scary. If you’re busy because business is good then, well, you can probably hire help. If business isn’t good, well, then you can probably cut back your hours or prior to signing a lease negotiate a month/month lease for the first 6 months.
As a profession of mostly women I feel like this next fear might resonate with a lot of you. “Will obtaining my goal inconvenience someone in my life?” When I recorded this episode my husband was at home with our son and our daughter was at my moms house. I was literally, in some way, inconveniencing two people at that time. But guess what, my mom and my husband want what’s best for me and I need to be okay with that. Just like I’m sure you have caring people who surrond you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to scheduling time in for yourself or your career.
If ANYTHING write down those fears and take all the power away from them.
- MOMENT – BALANCE SCREEN TIME
More time, less phone. One of the major excuses we have ALL used at one time or another is “I don’t have enough time.”
You might end up hating me for suggesting this app but I’m going to throw it out there anyways! Moment shows you exactly how much you are on your phone and where.
I think that once you install this app you won’t be using the excuse “I don’t have enough time” anymore!
Visualize your goal, write it down, be intentional and figure out how you are going to do it, combat any fears that you have associated with your goals AND write those down, and lastly be present and aware of how you are spending your time throughout the day.
Just because you start a habit of setting goals doesn’t mean you have to start doing more or being more. It’s about developing habits and behaviors to help you where you are now. So don’t get overwhelmed with these new thoughts and ideas, weave them into your everyday life.
Everyday we show up to work we are changing lives. You’re voice matters, you are enough. You have a profound influence with the people you have been given to care for!
Want to learn more about how we set monthly goals in our office?
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