A while back I discussed the Price of Perfection, as it related to my writing goals. Writing that post reminded me once more to find ways each day to reconnect with my passion for writing and for life if I want to achieve my goals. I have never been one to spend my time obsessing about my goals but it is important to internalize goals if we are to have any chance of achieving them.
You’re probably motivated by fear of failure
Without clearly defined goals I can guarantee you one thing. You are just as likely to achieve what you value as goals as you are to achieve what you don’t. That’s a 50% chance of failure right off the bat. Now I see you looking at me with pleading eyes, “please Michael can’t the glass be half full” I hear you cry. Ok for you I’m going to make the glass half full … Except now that I think about it, one of those thick books on my bookshelf is on NLP. Would you believe me if i told you that 9 out 10 people reading this post are motivated by what they don’t want not by what they do want and value. We are very literally running on auto-pilot away from our goals. The problem is all our goals and everything we value is on the far side of that mountain of fear and self loathing not in the other direction.
Your fear is your fuel
I see I’ve got you thinking now. To those shaking their fist at me, no I’m not a quack, in fact stay behind after class I have a note for your mother. The proof, as one of my best friend reminds me so often, is in the pudding. The majority of people on the planet today are living lives that are less than or equal to mediocre. Your life probably has a fair sprinkling of mediocre in it too. When you are not connected to your goals you are probably connected to your fears. Your fears are feeding your mediocrity, keeping your goals at arms length.
Passion is about values not value
It’s not about your bank balance, car or your salary. Mediocre is about how well you are living. How closely your life, goals and your values are aligned. How proud are you when you speak about who you are, not about what you have? Any Yahoo with enough money can buy a shiny BMW. Only you can live a life that allows you to sleep soundly at night with a faint smile. Only you can figure out how to fall asleep secure in the knowledge that today you exercised your purpose achieved your goals on this planet and added value to the world.
These are some of the best ways I’ve found to integrate my goals with my life:
Spend at least 5 minutes a day dreaming
This tip is the most fun on the list, for each goal you are working toward spend part of your 5 minutes visualizing what achieving that goal will look like, smell, like, feel, sound like and what it will taste like. The more senses you call upon the better. Visualizing helps to make this possible future and achieved goals more real. Only when your dreams and goals exist in your minds eye completed and achieved will your body start taking the many steps toward them.
Leave yourself visual reminders of your goals
Put up post it notes with your goals on them. Write your goals in the margins or inside covers of your notebooks. Send yourself future dated e-mail reminding yourself to focus on your goals. Get software get posters get crayons if you want just get creative with remembering your goals. The only way these reminders of your goals will work is if they can knock you out of our stupor during your normal work day.
Tell your friends
Speak about your passions and goals often. Tell your friends tell strangers tell your cat. The more you involve other people the more committed you force yourself to be to your goals. All the poor people you tell will become walking breathing reminders of your commitment to your goals and the fact that your name is on the line. Always remember though your goals are for you. So use the livestock around your cubicles and the love of your friends and family to your advantage for a change.
Spend your free time reading about people who exhibit the values you wish to have. Find people who have succeed in areas you desire success. The exercise will teach you how how it’s done also you’ll learn from the mistakes from others. The most powerful lesson I take from research is that it is possible. How empowering is that statement? It is possible! As soon as you allow that thought into your life a lot of excuses disappear like manure in the sun.
The only way to achieve your dreams is to live your goals. Use these techniques and any others you come across to incorporate your goals in your living.
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Refocus is a great productivity tool which I think will prove quite useful as a goal tracking tool, keeping my motivation levels up during the course of my busy professional and social life. The Refocus goal tracking tool is aimed at tracking the actions that you’ve taken during the week across your personal, social and professional goals. This is an excellent paper based goal tracking tool that can easily be organized into your daily life.
As with all goal tracking tools the biggest barrier is finding a way to integrate the tool with your busy work and social life. As life becomes more and more demanding it is critical that your tools fit your life. Goals need to be internalized and integrated easily.
This is a paper based goal tracking tool. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but for me Goals, goal tracking and prioritising for my life and work have never left the realm of the paper and pen. There is something truly rewarding in the hard slog of writing and re-writing, scribbling notes in the margin and doodling while the creative juices flow as you pen your goals and goal tracking strategy. When it comes to Goal setting and goal tracking I like to have the flexibility to engage my whole mind and nothing does that for me better than some low-tech pen and paper based tools.
Download the WhiteHateBlackbox Refocus tool
- Life Hacker also recommends the Day Grid Balancer goal tracking tool and organizer for your paper based goal tracking.
If you’re not as technophobic as I am when it comes to your Goal capture, Goal tracking and review then perhaps try some of these online Goal tracking Tools:
- Joes Goals an online goal tracking tool with a very simple interface allowing quick updates on the go
- 43 Things is a social bookmarking type site where you can track and share your goals with anyone interested
- LifeTango is similar to 43 things a is social bookmarking and goal tracking site allowing you to be part of a community of likeminded goalers
- Getgoaling is a really slick goal tracking tool that lets you put together a detailed goal tracking schedule which you can update as you progress.
- StiKk is a goal tracking tool that lets you set up contracts where you can outline objectives timelines rewards etc.
- For niche goals try FitDay a tool for helping you with your fitness goals
- Wesabe is a goal tracking tool for your financial goals
The WhiteHatBlackbox site seems to be down for the foreseeable future so in the interim visit -> DiyPlanner Refocus tool for more information on the tool.
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