Possibilities Playground Newsletter

Let’s Do Something About It!

A little over a month ago I realized that half our year was nearly over. That led me to raise the red flag for my community, as I thought it may’ve have been slipping by for you as well. I’ve since been dedicating every week to the 5 steps I believe are critically necessary for us to make big things happen in our lives. In order, and with a link should you care to go back and take a look, we’ve discussed how to Clarify our goals, Redefine our boundaries, Manage our mindset, and Feel into our emotions.

The last step is a doozy because we tend to put ourselves and our “crazy dreams” on the back burner until there’s time. That is CRAP. Time is similar to space in that it’s a vacuum and things will fill it regardless – so either we can be deliberate about what fills it or something else will do it for us.

It’s up to us to find a way to nurture our dreams with the same care and effort we would put into a marriage, career, or parenting. If not, then don’t let me hear you complaining about it because it’s obvious to me that it’s just not that important – as you have a choice each and every day to do something about it. Period.

Which brings me to the fifth and final step – doing something about it. No doubt you’ve gotten things you wanted in life because you put in some kind of effort. Whether that involved getting a degree, working hard (or better yet, smart), making good relationship choices, or getting a little obsessive over something…it involved doing something about it. So, what have you done about this dream you have? What action have you taken? That’s right – action is key and while it doesn’t have to be hard…it does need to be aligned with your goals and take place on a consistent basis.

This is where a lot of us, myself very much included, fall flat on our faces. We’ve got the desire, we’ve renegotiated the rules, we’re totally fired up about it all and we get off to a great start…and then…well…something happens that derails us and the path we were blazing starts to cool off and we quickly lose our momentum. Here’s the harsh but loving truth: WE derail OURSELVES.

I know what you’re thinking. “There are some things out of my control that I couldn’t have planned for. That’s not my fault.” That’s only true to a point. Yes, unexpected things happen that we haven’t planned for. However, how we choose to react to them is completely in our control and THAT is when our subconscious fears find the most opportune time to swoop in and conveniently derail us. This is also known as self-sabotage because no one is doing it to us, but rather we are doing it to ourselves.

We can also derail ourselves by not having a SMART plan and by not having an active accountability component to our plan. For those still in corporate America, no doubt you’ve heard of SMART or a version like it – where you create goals or plans that are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Results-oriented and Timely. While many of us may understand that to a point, translating it into behaviors that support the change you desire can be elusive and even if you do…holding ourselves accountable seems next to impossible. (You know how you can always give great advise to your friends, but never to yourself? Yeah, same thing here.) But I digress…

Let me share some ideas for how you can tackle the rest of this year in order to achieve your 2012 goals:

GETTING STARTED

  1. Write down your 2012 goals
  2. Determine what’s still reasonable to do this year *
  3. Break down what needs to happen in the next 2 quarters
  4. Break that down into monthly goals
  5. Break that down into weekly tasks

MAINTAINING YOUR COURSE

  1. Identify what’s gotten in your way thus far *
  2. Adjust your plan to care for said obstacles (ie: not enough time in the day = remove something from your day) *
  3. Share your quarterly, monthly and weekly goals with someone *
  4. Check in at least twice a week and honestly share what’s happening, celebrate and adjust as appropriate *

Note the items I put an asterisk (*) next to, as those are the tasks that hinge on a really good accountability partner. Look for characteristics that include being able to mirror back what they’re hearing you say vs. seeing you do compared to what you said you wanted…as well as someone who can ask good questions in a non-judgmental way that helps you to uncover and deal with what’s happening under the surface.

Being SMART and Accountable are the major areas of focus in the fifth and final “Do It” step. I’m a huge fan of slicing things down into easy-to-do tasks, but any way you slice it – it won’t work unless it’s involves being SMART and Accountable.