“Like sands through the hourglass, so go the days of our lives.” Poetic and dreamy yet also a reality check. Time does have an elusive quality, especially if you are not attentive to how you are spending it. Which choices can be made with purpose rather than by default so that at the end of the day you haven’t merely crossed 24-hours off your calendar? In the current “Age of Covid-19” not only do days but weeks go by without much distinction, and poof, it’s next month already.
Managing time now is especially important as we lack the same framework and schedule we are accustomed to. The good news is that while this is a period of increasing anxiety amidst other concerns, it’s also an opportunity to regroup and set goals. If you’re like most people, you may feel overwhelmed by the thought of dedicating time to write down a comprehensive plan no less commit to it. This differs from the one-offs of a daily planner or something you thought of on January 1st but neglected to commit to although it sounded like a good idea at the time. A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Not writing down goals is the number one reason people fail to achieve them. And, if by chance you do write down your goals do you have a system for tracking, measuring and following up on your progress? Setting goals requires deep listening as well as a realistic assessment of where you are and what you have to work with.
A study involving Harvard MBAs revealed that 3% of graduates actually earn 10 times as much as the other 97% combined. That 3% had the habit of setting clear, written goals for their future with specific plans for accomplishing them, and 84% had no specific goals at all. Ten years later the interviewer polled the same class of graduates and 13% of those who’d had goals were earning twice much as their classmates.
A good goal will stretch you. It will require you to grow in both ability and capacity. In order to achieve it you will need to become more skillful and more teachable.
A good goal should be congruent with who you are and what you have to work with. It should align with your values and your inner self-knowledge.
You need not have a Harvard MBA to be successful, however, even among some of the most talented, there will be higher achievers based on specificity. The clarity that comes from writing down your goals is just a first step in the process. Goal-setting and goal-achievement are not one-in-the-same. Once you identify what you want, the next part, the challenging part, is creating the plan and taking the appropriate steps to enact the plan and set it in action and track your progress.
So, what’s the plan? Some people find greater success beginning big and breaking down the steps into bite sized pieces. They dream BIG and focus small. Others find that the immediate satisfaction from setting and achieving smaller goals quickly is energizing and builds confidence. Choose a path that works best for you. Experiment with your processes and find your fit.
Set daily, weekly and monthly goals
Assess your progress
Revisit your goal and revise accordingly
However comfortable you assumed you were with choice and change, it may morph into overwhelming anxiety that was never anticipated. This makes it the ideal time to engage the support of a career coach with experience in helping professionals achieve better, faster, results. At KICKSTART Your Transition we offer a broad range of services to fit your needs.