It’s the beginning of another year and of course I’m going to talk about goal setting. It’s such an important part of our personal and professional development, and is an absolute must in your leadership toolkit. How many of us set goals for the new year, start off with a hiss and roar but have nothing to show for our efforts a couple of months later. We’ve all been guilty of it because goal setting alone isn’t enough. Having a process in place is vital to our success. We’ve got to have a way of keeping ourselves on track. Here’s a really simple process I picked up from Cal Newport in his book Deep Work.
It’s super simple. Basically you get yourself a wall calendar (or some other calendar tool) and, every time you make progress towards your goal, you put a little dot on that day. The goal is to have an unbroken run of dots. It’s power is in it’s simplicity! Let me give you an example of how I’m using it for myself. Toward the end of last year I was chatting with a fellow coach, David Wilson, about the importance of meditation. This is something I used to do a lot of but it fell by the wayside so I was determined to pick it up again. Here’s what my calendar looks like to date.
As you can see, I started on the 2nd January and have been pretty consistent all the way up until 18th. On the 19th I dropped the ball. Here’s why I know it works. The evening of the 19th I was mindful of not meditating so I made sure that a 20 minute meditation was my priority the following day. Since then I’ve been consistent and even surpassed that famous 21 days (which is a fallacy by the way…it actually takes approximately 60 days to make or break a habit…that’s how long it takes to form new neuro-associations; i.e. habits).
With this simple process I’m well on my way to meditating every day. If you’re particularly astute, you may have noticed I introduced a second dot starting on the 22nd January. This is because my big goal for last year fell flat on it’s face. So I got myself a bodhrán teacher and started to introduce this little process for that too and, with those simple steps, I’m already starting to make more progress than in the whole of last year!
So, what are you waiting for! Start tracking your progress with the little dots that make all the difference.
If you’d like to know more about how to achieve more in life or business, or if you’d like to explore how coaching can help you become a better leader (of others or yourself!), or even if you’re just generally curious about what professional coaching can offer you, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.
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