Feb 152012
 

Last year, I had grandiose goals, intended to take an entire year to achieve. I worked at them and throughout the year, I kept checking back to see how I was doing. It was a good year and I accomplished more than I anticipated. Still, I felt like I had not achieved enough. This was weighing heavily on my mind while I was contemplating what goals I should choose for this year.

One of the challenges I faced with last year’s goals was waning interest in some areas I had focused on in January. Those goals didn’t get accomplished, mainly due to the internal resistance that built up over time. I had good intentions in January, but my desires had changed dramatically by midyear.

After long thought, I am taking a different approach to goals this year. I have a few long range goals, so long range they can’t be tied to a single year. Instead, I am choosing smaller monthly goals that are steps to achieving the long range life changes. Each month I will make new goals and create daily tasks designed to keep me focused and moving toward achievement. Once I complete it, I’ll make another that moves me toward the long range goals.

As I read my Christmas book, Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It by Henriette Anne Klauser, I started wondering what I was capable of accomplishing. I did as she recommends and started a small journal of all the hopes and desires I have. They range from the well defined to the completely vague. It is from these, I choose my monthly direction.

One dream I have repressed for many decades is the desire to perform a French horn solo with a symphony. So, I wrote that down in my little book. One step is to get back into a symphony again. I wrote that down, too. As I was working through the exercise of choosing this month’s goals, I asked what I could do this month to move me toward those goals. The answer was easy. I needed to get my “new” horn reconditioned and practice 20 minutes every day. That is the goal I made for February. It is smaller and easier to achieve than “solo with a symphony”.

That is the process I went through to make my monthly goals. I looked through my life goals and asked myself what I wanted to do this month to move me toward it. Some things didn’t interest me this month. Others made sense. Here is the list I developed for February:

Financial

  • Create a list of savings goals for 2012-2015.
  • Create a report system for my financial goals.
  • Create detailed specifications for the iPad applications my wife wants developed.

Mental

  • Decide on topic I want to study this year.
  • Finish reading four books.

Physical

  • Perform 15 sessions of sit-ups and pushups.
  • Go running 5 times.

Skills

  • Create landscaping plan for 2012.
  • Decide on my next woodworking project and plan it.

Spiritual

I have created a task for each of these goals to be on my list every day to keep me focused. I have had pretty good success so far this month with this method. Breaking things into small chunks is working for me.

Jan 232012
 

The alarm went off at 5:20 this morning and for a minute or two, I lay in bethinking through my morning routine. I wanted to have a picture in my mind of what I was going to accomplish. I knew if I had that picture, it would more readily be achieved. So, I walked through my morning scripture study and then turned my thoughts to what I wanted to write here.

Last night, I had sat for nearly 20 minutes, trying to think of something to write. Nothing came. I wasn’t interested in anything. I gave up and read a book instead. That was a good decision. For me, writing is something I can’t force. However, this morning, laying there, I thought of this post and laid it all out in my mind in about 15 seconds. Then, I got up and got started.

Why was it so much easier this morning? Aside from being more rested and ready, I spent time away from the keyboard, designing what I wanted to write. Houses are blueprints long before the first nail is hammered into wood. Jumbo jets are blueprints long before the first piece of aluminum is bent. Software programs are sketched out before the first line of code is written.

For a successful creation experience, spend some time planning. Those few minutes of planning can save hours of struggle. Subsequent decisions are rendered easier, once the final product is determined. Each step on the course becomes more evident.

I glanced through my email prior to beginning writing. Once again, Michael Hyatt beat me to the punch. His post this morning, Why Vision Is More Important Than Strategy, was exactly what I wanted to say.

If you have a clear vision, you will eventually attract the right strategy. If you don’t have a clear vision, no strategy will save you.

Read the rest of his post. It is very good. I would like to quote the entire article.

Spend time, as he suggests, writing up your vision. I plan on doing this step very soon. I believe this is what is missing in my life. I have dabbled at parts of the vision, writing my goals and such, but haven’t spent time writing the entire scope of m life vision. Instead, I let the strategy fears take over whenever I start. I haven’t a clue how I am going to accomplish all that I dream for myself. I have big dreams. Too big, at times. Why not dream big and let the strategy take care of itself?

Nov 142011
 

I apologize for disappearing for a few days. Several things happened all at once that have caused me to stop and do some thinking instead of writing. The writing will come soon, don’t worry. I am putting it all together in my head right now. Here are some of the thoughts I have been mulling this last week.

Half way through

I had the oddest revelation the other day at work. I am most likely halfway through my working career. I turned 45 this year. I started my career at 25. I would like to retire at 65.  Doing the math made me stop and think:

  • In reviewing what I have accomplished, it is far more than I thought I would do twenty years ago.
  • In hindsight, I think I could have accomplished so much more than I did.
  • There are definite things I would change if I were to do it all again.
  • I didn’t have a plan for last twenty years. Luckily, it has worked out well.
  • I don’t have a good plan for what I want to do in the next twenty years.
  • There are more roads to explore than I have time or energy.
  • I better make a plan or I will end up drifting through the second half, too.
I have started working on making a Life Plan. I am finding some very interesting things hidden down in my subconscious as I rattle around in the cobwebs. I haven’t been as honest with myself on some of these questions as I should have been. I aim to rectify this now. So is this what they call al mid-life crisis? Doesn’t feel like a crisis. Feels more like coming out of a fog.
Thank heaven for blessings

My sister-in-law was in a serious wreck just over a week ago. There are so many miracles involved I won’t go into, but suffice it to say, this has weighed heavily on my mind the past week. She and everyone in the car were blessed to all survive. We never know what path our life will take at any given moment. Am I ready for the next turn? What can I do today to prepare for the unknown tomorrow? Hug your kids, my friends.

Imparting experience

My kids are starting to grow up and my IQ is (finally) starting to increase above zero. I have been consulted a couple times for advice and it feels good to not be discounted because I’m the dad. It has caused me to start thinking about how to organize some of the thoughts I have into a way to help others get past those things I learned the hard way. Perhaps this is just part of growing old, but it has been an interesting mental exercise. Stay tuned. You knew you would see it here first, didn’t you?