To improve your chances of finishing, cut your goal in half

“To improve your chances of finishing, cut your goal in half or double your timeline for completion.”

—Jon Acuff, author of Finish — Give Yourself the Gift of Done

Image from Unsplash by Alice Yamamura

As we enter the halfway point of 2022, how are you progressing on the goals you established in January?

How many have been realized? Where are you on track?

Where have you fallen behind or perhaps given up completely?

To some, today’s quote looks like a cop out or a form of sandbagging. After all, we are supposed to swing for the fences and stretch for the stars if we listen to the most popular advice on achievement. This may be all well and good in theory but not if we never see things through and wallow in regret.

EXERCISE:

Where would cutting your goals down to size or giving yourself more time to complete things dramatically increase the likelihood of finishing?

Managing your own and others’ expectations will be an important consideration to reduce the chances of upsets along the way.

Stop and look up. Ask yourself, is this the mountain I wish to climb

Stop and look up. Ask yourself, is this the mountain I wish to climb?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Netflix.com

In the world of mountain climbing, Nirmal Purja stands in rarified air.

In the recent Netflix documentary 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible, he and his team attempt to climb the world’s 14 highest peaks with an altitude greater than 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) within a 7-month time frame. The previous record was seven years.

Project Possible, as it is called, tackles numerous personal, social, cultural, and financial obstacles that only add to the monumental physical, mental, and emotional achievements. Insights into Purja’s unstoppable drive and resolve is an inspiration for all of us looking up and within ourselves, to reach for our own personal and professional summits.

EXERCISE:

What are your most mountainous goals and objectives?

How can you engage your own supportive communities to realize your own project possible?

Please watch this inspirational movie and let me know what lessons you take away.

It is good to have an end to journey toward

“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”

—Ursula K. Le Guin, Late American speculative fiction author

Image from Unsplash by Neal E. Johnson

What are your most important goals for 2022? To what degree have you progressed toward them and how do you feel about your efforts?

How do you expect to feel when you reach the end of your journey and stand on the peaks of your achievements?  What then?

Another goal and then another. How is it possible to remain energized and not be let down soon after we actually hold the prize?

Numerous experts on personal and professional development suggest we focus on growth versus goals.  This shift in perspective supports us in gaining satisfaction from our efforts and milestones along our paths instead of just the pots of gold at our journey’s end.

EXERCISE:

Where would adopting a growth versus a goal mindset enhance your motivation, momentum, and levels of success?

“To better the future, we must disturb the present.”

“To better the future, we must disturb the present.”

—Catherine Booth, 19th Century co-founder of The Salvation Army

Image from Unsplash by Ronnie Overgoor

What comes to mind when you think about goal setting and the achievement of your personal or professional objectives?

What has been your track record in meeting or exceeding your desired intentions?

For many, the course taken is often the path of the New Year’s Resolution — most of which are slowed down or completely stopped by mid-February.

A common reason for giving up may simply be that we believe we must always go big and have tectonic shifts in our reality if we are to realize our dreams of a better future.

Many pioneers in the world of human achievement and behavior suggest it is better to go small.

Books such as Tiny Habits and Atomic Habits point to the power and sustainability of even he smallest of actions taken on a routine basis, producing big, long-term results.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you make small but subtly disruptive changes in your life to help you realize the better future you desire?

“Goals are like magnets. They’ll attract the things that make them come true.”

“Goals are like magnets. They’ll attract the things that make them come true.”

—Anthony Robins

Image from Unsplash by Markus Winkler

Years ago, I was challenged by a colleague to look at goals differently.

Instead of looking at a goal through the SMART lens, he suggested using the words “To Be” and “To Have” to express goals as a future and not simply as a way to measure or quantify an outcome.

Since most of us value our health, I propose this example:

Goal Statement: To be healthy and fit
Measurable Results: 1) To lose 15 pounds by December 31
Goal Statement: 2) To lower my cholesterol below 200 and get off meds by this time next year
Goal Statement: 3) To have my RealAge be less than my chronological age within three months

EXERCISE:

How can and will you describe your goals as futures, to magnetize your own inspired efforts and other resources to make these dreams come true?

“Let no one keep you from your journey.”

“Let no one keep you from your journey.”

—Mark Nepo, American poet and spiritual adviser

Image from Unsplash by Clemens van Lay

Where are you headed today, this week, this year?

What are your short and long term goals and objectives, personally and professionally?

Toward the start of each year, questions like these are asked so frequently that we often drown them out much like the safety instructions before a flight.

What if we now answered these questions on a far deeper level than at any other time in our lives?

What are your answers? If they don’t ignite a spark or engulf you in flames of passion and excitement, you’ve got more work to do and could perhaps use the support of a coach, mentor, close colleague, or family member.

EXERCISE:

What could possibly stop you from pursuing and fully realizing what you deeply desire?

How will you prevent anyone – including yourself – from keeping you from your journey?

Consider looking up Mark Nepo and exploring his work more fully.

“It may be time to play screenwriter and take another pass at the script of your life.”

“It may be time to play screenwriter and take another pass at the script of your life.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Chivalry Creative

Given that we are nearly 60 days into the new year, how would you say things are going compared to 2019?

Where are you on track or ahead of your plans to achieve your goals? Where are you stuck, or even falling behind?

To what extent is it time to get out your favorite pen or sit at your keyboard to rewrite a few scenes? How might you remove or replace supporting or leading characters to minimize drama in your life?

EXERCISE:

In what area of your personal or professional life is it time to edit your life script to add significantly more fun, laughter, adventure and joy?

“My goal, with whatever I am working on, is to lose track of time.”

“My goal, with whatever I am working on, is to lose track of time.”

—Ben Marcus, American author and professor

Image from Amazon.com

How often do you experience a sense of flow through your vocational and avocational efforts?

In his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explores the topic of “optimal experiences” and what makes them extremely satisfying.

In this state, most people totally lose track of time and experience a powerful sense of deep enjoyment, creativity, and engagement.

Where do you lose track of time throughout your day? To what degree are these engaging times both productive and pleasurable?

Where do your efforts actually detract or limit you from being your best or cause problems due to the somewhat addictive qualities of certain behaviors?

EXERCISE:

What adjustments can and will you make to your flow-meter to make an even more positive and pleasurable difference in your life?

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”

—Brian Tracy, Canadian-American motivational speaker/author

Image from Unsplash by Isaac Smith

Do yourself a big favor and set some worthy goals for the new year.

If you are like many of us, you are thinking, I do this every year, or maybe why bother?

Perhaps, like many people, you stick to your resolutions until sometime in February, when things fall apart due to bad weather, waning discipline, or competing priorities at home or work.

Whatever you do or don’t do, you can bet that changes are coming. The question to ask yourself is whether you are going to control their direction, or simply react to whatever comes your way.

EXERCISE:

Please consider improving your odds of success by adding a variety of social and structural supports. To learn more about how to do this, put the book Influencer – The Power to Change Anything on your holiday and new year reading list.

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

Image created in Canva

As part of my customized Personal Excellence Training — which sets the stage for the majority of coaching engagements — I introduce a self-coaching tool called “The Pivot Point.”

This technique uses the concept of “creative tension” described by Robert Fritz in his book, The Path of Least Resistance.

Essentially, the pivot point involves asking yourself — or perhaps a group — these three questions:

  1. What is the current reality?
  2. What is the vision or goal?
  3. What actions can and will I/we take to move forward?

The leverage of our vision provides the impetus to move forward, and creates the opportunity to better our situation.

EXERCISE:

Select at least one personal or professional front-burner issue or project to try out the Pivot Point technique. Please consider replying to this post to let me know how things go.