3 Ways to Crush the Rest of 2016
You might not think of the middle of the summer as a time to set new goals, but today, July 1st, marks the middle of 2016. We have 6 months left to go to make moves towards what we want for this calendar year. And honestly, a nice long holiday weekend is THE perfect time to unplug so that you can see with some clarity what you want to be spending your time focused on from now through December.
Today, I am sharing 3 strategies that I have used with success in the first half of this year to make big shifts in my business and my life.
The Power of Focus - If you have more than 3 goals, you are doing it wrong.
As a recovering multi-tasking side-hustler, I have come to realize that when I do too many things at once, I end up missing out on all of them. Having too many goals or conflicting priorities slows down productivity. Think of this like going on a first date to a new movie and reading a book on your phone in the theater. You would never do this! Those are very obviously conflicting activities. In order to make the most of what you are doing, you have to pick one thing at a time, and that goes for goals, too!
Here’s what to do: Go somewhere where you can relax for a few minutes, close your eyes and take 3 big deep breaths, open your eyes and write down how you want to feel at the end of 2016, then write down some things (5-6 things) that you want to do to get to that feeling. And finally, go back through your list and prioritize them in order of importance. Your #s 1-3 are you goals for the next 3 months.
Daily Questions – The secret to lasting behavior change.
Earlier this year, I read a fantastic book called Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith, an executive coach with a client list including CEO’s from Target, Best Buy, Pfizer, and others. In this book, I learned a system for accountability and a way to look at my activities as they contribute to my desired outcomes. I developed a list of Daily Questions that go something like this:
Did I do my best to set clear goals?
Did I do my best to meditate?
Did I do my best to prioritize my time with my family?
Did I do my best to avoid commitments that exceed my bandwidth?
Did I do my best to avoid time wasting activities?
Did I do my best to not compare myself to others?
I rank each question from 1-10 and email my responses to a friend every night. (She emails me hers, too.) By asking myself, “Did I do my best to….” I am the only person responsible for the outcomes, which makes the whole exercise quite empowering. Even if the score happens to be low, it shows that I made the decision to prioritize the things that I have listed as important to me, or I let my sensed obligation to others or distractions get in my way from what I truly want.
Here’s what to do: Make your own list of questions by thinking of behaviors you want to create, behaviors you want to preserve, behaviors you want to eliminate, and behaviors you want to accept. (I keep mine in Google Sheets). And if you are looking for a summer read: check out Triggers for a much better explanation of the system.
WAMs – Why phoning a friend is the best way to stay on track.
The best thing to come from my first half of 2016 is a group of ladies that I Skype with once per week, otherwise known as my “Weekly Accountability Meeting” or a WAM for short. In another popular goal setting book, The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington, the concept of a WAM is essential to successfully sticking to lofty goals. They said, “Your chances of success are seven times greater if you employ peer support.” I will take those odds.
A WAM meeting can have a formal structure that goes something like this:
- Individual Reports where each member talks about their progress towards their goal in the previous week.
- Success Sharing where each member discusses things working well. As a group, brainstorm how everyone can incorporate the success techniques in to their plan for the week.
- Encourage each other to stay focused in the face of adversity (or distraction).
Here is what to do: Find 1-2 friends who have a half hour a week to chat either via conference call or Skype, share your 3 end of year goals and get WAMming.
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