“Vision is a destination – a fixed point to which we focus all effort. Strategy is a route – an adaptable path to get us where we want to go.” -Simon Sinek
Can you believe that the midpoint of 2017 is almost upon us? If you look back on the first half of this year, did you get done what you wanted to accomplish? How many of your goals are you hitting or have you abandoned? How are you feeling about your year so far? Pull up a chair and a mug of something warm and let’s talk about it. I’ve sitting outside enjoying a delicious organic coffee from my friends at Plate Restaurant and one of their “chubbs” What are YOU drinking? Leave a message below and let me know.
When I looked at my business over 13 years ago, I came to a realization: I wasn’t really working as tightly to my plan as I had wanted. And as you know, I do a yearly goal alignment exercise at the beginning of the year and now I have started also looking mid-year at my progress with my goals.
We all get flustered – something fails, we end up feeling like we can’t make it all work, or we set our goals so high or they are so varied that we can’t possibly hit them. Have you heard that expression “You can’t be a servant to two masters?” I’ve been thinking a lot about that. I want to give you a quick run-through of how I’m handling this and what I’m doing to make 2017 my strongest year ever.
Remember my email message last December that said this on setting goals:
Make them “SMART.” This is an acronym, as you probably know, and it is interpreted in various ways by different teachers. When I refer to SMART goals, I mean goals that meet five criteria. They must be:
- Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
- Bad: Write a book.
- Good: Write a book proposal for The Life Plan Manifesto.
- Measurable—as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If possible, try to quantify the result. You want to know absolutely, positively whether or not you hit the goal.
- Bad: “Earn more this year than last.”
- Good: “Earn $5,000 more this year than last.”
- Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.)
- Bad: Be more consistent in blogging.
- Good: Write two blog posts per week.
- Realistic—you have to be careful here. A real goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense. I go right up to the edge of my comfort zone and then step over it. (If I am not out of my comfort zone, I’m not thinking big enough.)
- Bad: Qualify for the PGA Tour.
- Good: Lower my golf handicap by four strokes.
- Time-bound—every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal? It could be by year-end (December 31), or it could be more near-term (September 30). A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a ‘by when’ date.
- Bad: Lose 20 pounds.
- Good: Lose 20 pounds by December 31st.
Reevaluate your own goals for 2017
If I were thinking through the categories of how I’d change my goals for 2017, this is what I would all myself:
- Where am I now?
- Where do I want to be?
- What do I think is missing/needs improvement?
- What do I already know?
- How can I reach my goal?
- What needs to be in place to stay consistent?
I hope that these questions are helpful. Work through them and you’ll see that it helps in lots of ways. Use it however you see fit. It’s how I’m starting my mid-year goal review exercises to prepare for the remainder of 2017.
I’m looking forward to living deliberately from my plan, and my plan involves serving you to the best of my ability. Help me stay accountable? Please help me understand how best to serve you – please leave a comment below.
And know that you are loved.
Hope to see you around the neighborhood!