How bad do you want it?
What are you willing to do to make it happen?
What will keep you in action?
I heard a statistic last week stating that less than 3% of adults actually know what they wantAND have clear set goals to get there.
Is this you?
At first this number shocked me, but then I recognized my own version of this that I very often see in clients (and of course for myself as well), which is HOW bad DO you TRULY want it? And what are you DOING (not just thinking, planning, dreaming or intending) to make it happen? Hmmmmm.
It can be really easy to set a goal, say you want something, and work towards that "worthwhile" cause. But when push comes to shove, and life happens, other priorities can EASILY send that action rolling to the bottom of the priority list unless you:
Truly want and are committed to achieving that goal,
Have some kind of practice or ritual that keeps you connected to the goal,
Have a PLAN to achieve that goal (that you are ACTIVELY working towards every day.)
And have practices in place to help you take great care of yourself so you can lead as clearly and powerfully as possible towards that goal.
It's actually that simple. (And, pssst, these rules apply to individuals, partners and teams.)
Here's a real life example of what this can look like:
"Jonathan" is frustrated because he isn't "getting where he wants to go fast enough." His career is not moving along fast enough. He wants to lose some weight. He wants to be more effective in his leadership. He wants to help build a more trusting and engaged workforce. He'd even like to participate in some kind of athletic event over the next year. But it's not happening.
He can find lots of people and circumstances to blame here, if he so chooses; Perhaps "his direct reports don't follow through, his team mates aren't 'team players', people don't respond quickly enough to his requests (or acknowledge him for his successes), his wife doesn't support him, the company's culture doesn't support him, people don't take him seriously, and/or he simply has too much to do." Self care? Working on that athletic event? "Forget it, not enough time."
So what's a guy to do?
All of these are just excuses. They are distractions. Let's even pretend that there's truth to one or two of them. Fine. With enough want, commitment and action, every single one of these issues can be surpassed.
But it's much easier for us to blame, say it's "too hard or not supported", and then "check out." It's easy to get stuck "talking about it" and "strategizing." And, then, on a deep level, we know we've passed the blame, or we know we've been "navel gazing." And that has an impact on who we are and how powerfully we show up in leadership. (As well as how we feel about ourselves and others, btw.) Hence, we miss out on creating the amazing results we want.
But here's the kicker --- Do we? Do we truly want those amazing results? Truly? And if so how much? And why? On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being off the charts hungry and ready to roll), how badly does Jonathan want these things?
Well, I asked him. And got a good solid 5-7 rating for each of them. So there's the rub. A 5-7 is NOT going to get you there. A 5-7 is not going to have a compelling enough reason, a strong enough WHY to pull you towards those goals. A 5-7 is NOT going to call you out to address the challenges that get in your way, to step out of your comfort zones, to engage with the people you NEED to engage with to achieve your goals (because we simply can NOT do it alone.) A 5-7 is not going to get you out of bed an hour earlier to invest in some well needed self care.
Am I suggesting we all need to walk around at a 10? Naaa, for some things, the most important things, that would be great, but sometimes we will be at a 5 or 7, or even a 3 or a 4, and sometimes we just have to get things done. AND being honest with yourself about how badly you truly want something, owning it, and then putting an action plan around it (that you commit to no matter what), will help you get there.
In fact every time you set out to create a new result or achieve a goal (individually or as a team), it is ESSENTIAL that you are clear on "WHY" (as well as WHAT success will look like, so you'll know when you're there.) (BTW, this is especially important if you're doing this with a team.) So do some soul searching and find the "why", because the "why" will keep you moving when the going gets tough (IF it's a REAL why.)
One last thought before we jump into field work. I'm big on intention - really big on it and play with it everyday. But intention alone will not get results. Intention helps set the path, but ACTION gets results.
WANT + INTENTION + ACTION = RESULTS.
So let's get busy! (In a really productive way.)
Here's your field work this month:
Identify 3 goals you are currently working on. (They can be business or personal related, and be individual or team goals.) WRITE THEM DOWN.
Truthfully label each goal with how badly you truly want it. Truly. (Scale of 0-10.)
Write a paragraph about WHY each goal is important. What is your intention for that goal?
Make a plan.
Write down ONE thing you can do EACH day to be in action towards that goal. (Just one thing for each and this works beautifully for teams as well.)
If anything is below a 7 (or even an 8 ) - decide if it's something you TRULY need to do, if it's something you can take off your list (and let yourself off the "guilt hook"), or if it's something you can delegate - and then do it. (If you TRULY HAVE to do it - set a deadline and an allotted amount of time to get it done, and, as NIKE says, just do it.)
Finally, create (and implement) a personal sustainability plan to take care of yourself so you can lead with your sharpest thinking, most confident, and powerful self.
By the way, those goals that are 9 or 10's? Those are the jackpot. Those are where your greatest joy and fulfillment live. They're also where you're going to be most effective in your leadership and in engaging others to come with you. Get in action on them, solid action, and move. And if you don't know exactly the RIGHT next step? Be in action anyway. (Even if that means reaching out and asking others for help, or communicating to your people that you don't know how yet, but you're working on it.)
Just doing this simple exercise can give you the clarity you need to clear your mind and energy fields, get into action where needed, and obtain those goals in business and life more quickly.
So how badly do you want it? And what's your plan? It doesn't hurt to ask, but it can really hurt if you don't.
Anese Cavanaugh is a certified coach, author and speaker and the founder of Dare To Engage, Inc., a company devoted to helping leaders become top leaders in their organizations and their lives through coaching and training. Her specialty is helping leaders build a healthier, more engaged workforce, retain their top talent, develop greater authentic engagement and create stronger personal sustainability. She holds a degree and multiple credentials in the areas of coaching, wellness, leadership development and health & productivity improvement. For more about Anese or the Dare To Engage Programs or to receive a complimentary report and audio on "Energy & Results" go to www.DareToEngage.com.