Monday, June 30, 2008

A Template for Goal Setting

Goal setting. Sounds simple. Is it really? What makes the difference between wishing for a dream and actually getting it? If you are like me, you may be very familiar with to do lists. But once upon a time I read a book on setting goals that really made a difference in how I actually made those lists. One word, one tweak in perspective made a huge, huge difference for me.
We've all heard of visualization. Imagination is the ability to not only see ourselves there, but to feel it as though it is already real. Visualization is very , very important, but that wasn't the word. I had been visualizing forever.
Plans. Yep, I had 1 year, 5 year, 10 year perspectives. That wasn't the word either.
Perseverance. Important. Endurance. Very good words. Any artist knows we need these. Still not the word.
The tweak, the word that I needed to hear, or actually to read, and understand was the word operational. Not a very fancy word. Not that mysterious. But that word changed the template I use totally. And it kicks off the 7 steps I use to set goals.

1) Define goals operationally.
This is literally taking time to walk through the goal and the behaviors that go with it. What specific behaviors or operations (functions) will exist that make up this goal? What will I be doing or not doing when I am living the goal? How will I recognize it when I have it? How will I feel when I have it? The more clearly and specifically you do this part and break it down into almost tangible parts, the better off you are. But focus on the doing parts, the behaviors this time.Picturing yourself in place is fabulous. Picturing your actions, even better.

Why is that different? Because it makes your goal instantly attainable in some respects. It means that some of our goals are about having, but most of our goals are about doing. How we would spend our time and our efforts if we are "living the dream".

No matter what the goal is, it has a set of behaviors and circumstances that we desire. Once those are identified, bringing those behaviors into our now begins the actuality of the dream. It becomes part of our now. The more we engage in those behaviors, the more that feeling of having our goal is reinforced.

Want to be a professional artist? Up your game? Be a tennis pro? Rockstar? Art collector? Writer? Work from home? What behaviors make up that goal? Start defining your goal in terms of that and you find actionable steps to take in your behavior. You begin to play like you belong there. And that is huge. HUGE.

I started doing this years ago. What changed? The way people perceived me. And if you think that is a small thing, think again. What else changed? I moved some ladders off the wrong walls. My focus became targeted on the how I structured 6 facets of my life. Everything became focused on how I could live the way I saw myself living when I reached my goal. I sought people and places where my dream was accepted and encouraged even more. In short, because I was putting in place the activities and behaviors of "what if I had my dream", in small but sure ways I actually began living it.

My 3 Most Important Tasks this week include a trip to what I call my war room to review and revise the goal sheets. It's time for a strategy check. I consistently have 6 goal sheets in place to cover 6 facets of my life. I update them as things change, or revise them when my target shifts a bit, the goal is reached, or it no longer applies.

Next Monday I'll go over some more of the 7 parts of this template.. It's my version from Dr. Phil's Life Strategies, a book I highly recommend.

Yes, you guessed it ...Organizing Monday is here.


ParisBreakfasts said...

Well I'm at 6s and 7s on this...
I gotta go read it through some more..
Maybe then something will stick..
You coulda knocked me over with a feather!
OPERATIONAL is the word for JULY huh?
I don't even know what it means other than as in:
"the microwave is operational"
Not the same thing I'm sure.
I want to understand..I really do.
Do we have to wait for next Monday to hear about the 6 facets?
No wait, we get the 7 aspects.
Not talking JELLO I bet.
Solid like a rock...

ParisBreakfasts said...

Wiki says:
One simple, every day illustration of an operational definition is defining a cake in terms of how it is prepared and baked (i.e., its recipe is an operational definition).
Similarly, the saying, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be some kind of duck, may be regarded as involving a sort of measurement process or set of tests (see Duck test).
I don't think I can wait till next Monday.

Janice C. Cartier said...

Operational, as in actions performed.
Laduree is a superior famous bakery vs
operationally defined, Laduree creates unique confections day in day out, packages and promotes them beautifully and serves them in gorgeous surroundings to appreciative fans.
Carol Gillot is an artist vs Carol Gillot paints Paris Dreams.

ParisBreakfasts said...

Thanks Jan!
I bought "his" book last nite after copying out 3 of the 7 steps..I'm beginning to GET it!!
Paris dreams..
I think I took an "operational" step today to find a place in Paree..ahem
you be the judge! :)
Miss you
PS I wanna be like Laduree..
Creates unique confections (ptgs) day in day out, packages and promotes them beautifully and serves them in gorgeous surroundings to appreciative fans.
WAY 2 GO!!!
I may B getting it!!!

Janice C. Cartier said...

LOL I just came from your site. Today's post is totally operational!!!!! :))

It really does make a difference.

ParisBreakfasts said...

I passed the Operational test
Well #1 anyway
I took another step today and did an elevator pitch to a complete PR person at a highly regarded publisher...ahem
What did I have to lose after all?
This thing is working!!!
The next step is to get something to him..a biggie step BTW
We are on Con-Edison says! :)

Janice C. Cartier said...

Beyond good!!!! Yay!!!!
Huge step. Read part 2 -today's post. You might find it helpful with that hat next part. :)

Janice C. Cartier said...

No hat in that. :O Oops.