Start with the end in mind

Some of you might recognise these words as relating to Stephen R Covey’s 2nd habit, in his massively successful book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people?

I suggest that you need an end goal if you are to orientate all you do towards that goal, outcome, achievement, or indeed whatever label you wish to give it. No matter what you choose to call it, it’s up to you but for ease of understanding I will refer to them as DESTINATION GOALS.

For some years I spent many hours driving to and from work, I always knew where my destination was and I was positive that I would recognise it, when I got there. I knew the best route – I planned it, as best as I could to avoid any ‘ooh nasties’ – but then the M25 Junctions 8/9 happened, or the snow came down, or the rain flooded one of my planned short cuts, or the traffic just STOPPED. My destination was still clear however – that was where I needed to be. If you do not have DESTINATION GOALS – where are you going in your life?

You will have different GOALS in different areas of your life and if/how they complement each other will start to put them into a context and a framework.

So now is the time for you to DO something!!!

  1. Create a 9-box grid to represent the whole of your life, on a piece of paper (real or virtual – though real will be more effective!). If the 9-box approach is not big enough for all of the facets in your life, then by all means add a suitable extension.
  2. Write in each box a heading for each of the areas in your life against which you can or would like to create a goal.  So these might include health, fitness, money, friends, family, partners, community, children, personal development & career.
  3. Then start to consider, for each of the areas, what the DESTINATION GOAL might be. This might be simple, the goal might be evident straight away. Equally you may wish to re-visit this as you think about the other goals on your grid. When crafting these DESTINATION GOALS consider these rules:
  • Aim for truly long term – 10 years or more
  • Your goal is just that ‘yours’ – you cannot impose your goals on others
  • Make them as measurable as possible in order to know when you achieve them
  • Consider what evidence will prove that you have met your goal
  • Above all consider are they motivational?

Motivational is a good point upon which to close. Always frame them in the positive – If I say ‘don’t think of elephants’ … get my drift. Also I passionately believe that unless the ’child’ inside each of us is excited by the prospect of achieving the goal it may not happen. So consider is this goal something that truly excites me? Then check out your internal response!!

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