Goals. Achieving them. Accomplishing them. Steven Covey says, “the place to start is at the end.”
So many times when I work with teachers or clients I want to pull out my freakin’ hair because they don’t have a clue about what they really want in the end. I mean, what they really, really want. See it. Taste it. Want it.
Hears the thing. The winners of the race see themselves clearly crossing the finish line.
Back up and paint done first. What’s your vision? Your dream? What are you really trying to accomplish? In life? At work? In your classroom? It’s the Big Picture. Because let’s face it, it’s BIG ASS BIG! Right? And that makes it
A little scary. “What do I need to do? What if I can’t make this happen? What if it doesn’t work?”
A little overwhelming. “Where do I even begin?”
A little impossible. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m not the right person. This won’t work here and now. There’s no time for this.”
Believe it or not, all of THAT horse patooey leads to all of THIS...
Pro-cras-ti-na-tion: Not doin’ a dang thing
And that weighs heavy on our minds. This un-simple act, unless done intentionally as part of your planning, takes up so much brain energy that you're exhausted before you even begin.
So let yourself take the first step. The best place to do that is with the end in mind. Getting really clear with your destination and what that looks like, sounds like, feels like so you can take steps towards it.
Knowing where you’re going helps you better understand where you are now.
Simon Breakspear, who is doing incredible work in education with Agile Schools, compares this end goal to a “Boulder Target”, the broad outcome. Once you have that you can start moving down toward a “Sand Target”, a highly specific outcome.
The take away here is action! Without it, a goal or a dream is just a wish on star.
These rules will help you take action:
1. START WITH THE END
What do you really want? What’s the vision you have for yourself and the people around you? How do you wish to serve them? Get clear and specific. Coaches use powerful outcome questions all the time to drill down on this topic. Without it, we’re left blowing in the wind with no direction at all.
2. GET COMFY WITH CHANGE
Without a doubt change continues day in and day out. We’re a little sado-masochistic on ourselves because we love to kill ourselves by resisting it. Simply put, we don’t accept. Change is not an option. One moment to the next is never the same. Change is exploding with opportunities to tweak what needs tweaking, to try something new, to look on things with gratitude at what you’ve learned, who you are. OMG don’t get me started! This is the story that helps us thrive.
3. DON'T START SMALL. START TEENY TINY.
I was in a Grade 2 classroom last week. They asked me why their teacher was always going to “meetings, again?”
I knew this school was working on Growth Mindset, so I replied, “This is a school right. A place for everyone to learn and keep learning. That means for you and your teacher. Our brains keep growing and learning no matter how “old” we are. She’s in a class down the hall right now doing just that, learning, like you.”
By switching up my language, replacing “meeting” with something else, I was able to make a eyes bulging shift for these 8 year olds.
What I’m saying here is that when you know what you want the end result to look like, sound like, feel like make small changes and consider that a success in building the new reality that’s coming.
4. MAKE IT PRECIOUS
Whether the goal is given to you or it’s completely your own you have to connect to it!
Goal setting literature is unanimous on this. It has to mean something to you. Spend time connecting it to your WHY (the meaning and purpose behind anything you do). Why are you doing this? What do you love about it? What do you hope to accomplish? How does this goal that’s been given to me, or that I’ve created, help me accomplish that? Why is it important?
5. WRITE IT
The proof is in the pudding. Writing your goals down makes them more likely to happen. Writing, journalling, post-it notes, puts them out of your head and in a place that you can see them and review them. It’s accountability in action.
6. ENLIST HELP
Teams, groups, partners, buddies, coaches... Enlist the help of others. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re one of the smart ones. Ask them to give you the feedback, ideas, encouragement to stay on track.
Without their help you’ll still get there, but you’ll get there faster with it.
7. ROCK YOUR INNER YOGI
Get flexible! Really good goals are designed to move and grow. They can shrink, expand, move forwards, sideways, stand still for a moment, and sometimes move backwards when they need to be reviewed and re-evaluated.
Goals like to work in hot zones of uncomfortability. Challenging you so that you pay attention and focus.
Goals like to work in hot zones of uncomfortability (is that even a word?) They want to challenge you just a little bit so that we really pay attention. In order to work well with flexible and challenging goals, make like a Yogi and stretch yourself.
8. LET LITTLE MISS PERFECT GO
The million dollar secret to accomplishment?
Done is better than perfect.
As always, take what you need and leave the rest. if you’ve enjoyed this article please share.
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