Setting goals, I have gathered from many people, is a scary venture. It is uncomfortable. Properly structured goals by design, should get you out of your comfort zone. But I guess the most challenging part of goal-setting is how to deal with accountability.
There are two levels of accountability. The first is to self. You are shackled down by the fear to let yourself down if you are unable to achieve your goals. The second level is exposing your goals to the world. In a sense, it revolves around becoming vulnerable. To be asked questions when you cannot resolve a conflict of your goals verses your expected results.
This thought was provoked by something Seth Godin mentioned on his blog. “The first challenge is freedom: Not just the freedom to plan your day and your projects, but the freedom to try new things, to go out all the way out to the edge, to launch things that might not work.”
And this is what makes goal-setting a scary proposal. To launch things that might not work! This time last year, I had just reset the sails on my boat. It was a radical shift from the confines of a safe job to the uncharted waters of self-employment. At the time, the goal that overwhelmed everything I did was to get my first paying client.
But there was a problem. My goal was was more than a wish and therefore completely flawed. The product I wanted to bring to the market only existed in my head. I had no clue how to pitch it to anyone! It occurred to me that I had never intentionally queried three areas of my life simultaneously. It seemed like they were all operating in isolation, in silos. Sometimes two of them would overlap, but seldom did all three overlay at any one time.
These were my mind, soul and body…
1. Mind – A number of not so great experiences earlier in life had influenced me to avoid taking any risk. I was living in my comfort zone for fear of failure. Anger and bitterness were so deeply embedded in my mind and this clouded my emotions, thoughts and actions. In this state, it doesn’t matter how intellectually rich you are. You will never reach to your full potential as you are constantly battling this fog.
Working on my mind wasn’t easy. There was the big step of forgiving someone close to me. It was thirty years overdue! I became very intentional growing my knowledge and opening up to key people for help. As my mind slowly began to heal, I excitement began to build up about becoming the change that I wanted to see, especially in leadership.
2. Soul – As much as I have been a spiritual person since I was a boy, there was still a void deep inside my soul. I believe this was connected to my screwed-up mind. Your mindset is directly correlated with the depth of your belief in self, your maker and humanity. This is an area that was like a yo-yo.
Will-power alone couldn’t work. I went back to regular prayer and meditation. Until I chose to actively link my soul to my mind, it felt like grasping at a mist. I had to get serious with nurturing and feeding my soul.
3. Body – Some time back, I shared how a day’s mountain climbing nearly broke me. I am naturally trim and had taken physical exercise for granted. The years had piled on. To top it off, I wasn’t hydrating enough. My bad habits were catching up with me. Fast!
This single event was my wake-up call. On the side of a mountain, out of breath, battered and hot, I took a serious look at my life. There and then, I made an uncomfortable decision. Get back in shape. And I started with power-walks. In this fortieth year of my life, I will run a marathon.
When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.” ~Stephen Richards
As I worked on the three simultaneously, I began to thrive. My family life, work and community engagement began to have more purpose. I have never felt more alive and can’t wait to wake up and get the day going!
What will you do different this year? Click here and share what you need to take action on to move forward.
photo credit: cplbasilisk via photopin cc