Monday, January 27, 2014

Don't Just Set Goals...Achieve Them!

pro-football-hall-of-fameOne of the unique aspects of living in the Canton, Ohio area is that we have the Professional Football Hall of Fame located here. I have been to numerous events sponsored by the Hall over the years and I am continually inspired by the stories behind the men who are forever enshrined there.

Inside each of those stories are accounts of their dreams, goals, successes, failures, challenges, coaches, family members, mentors, endless practices, courage, pride and lifetime friendships—just to name a few.  If there are some common themes that I note, it is how they emphasize that they did not do it alone, never gave up and are honored to have earned the right to be a member of this elite fraternity.

So as you and I focus on achieving our goals for this year and beyond, let’s be clear on why we are doing so and how they will help us attain the legacy that we are striving for.

One thing I stress to my clients is that it’s critical to surround ourselves with people whom we trust and who believe that we can accomplish our goals and are willing to give us honest and valuable feedback on how we are doing. It might be a family member, a close friend, a mentor, or a business associate. Not only will they serve as a source of encouragement, they’ll help us be accountable to do the things we need to do to succeed..

At our company, we model our programs, coaching and training techniques on helping our clients focus on balance in four key areas of life: physical (health), spiritual (service), intellectual (wealth) and interpersonal (communication/relationships). We firmly believe that BALANCE is a key to power and success.

So here’s a quick way to be more productive, personally and professionally. In each of those four areas, set three important manageable goals. Then, assess yourself daily on how you are doing by asking three simple questions:

   1. Are my goals clear, and am I properly focused and willing to pay the price to achieve them?
   2. What have I learned about myself today and what do I need to adjust?
   3. What is my level of commitment and how will I feel when I attain my goals?

We must also make sure we have the resources to achieve our goals, and then be sure to do something every day to take us one step closer to achieving them. One helpful technique is to keep a journal, and write in it every day. You don’t have to say a lot, but keeping track of your progress and key learning by writing it down will give you a greater sense of accomplishment, while always keeping you focused on where you want to go.

Declaring a set of pie-in-the-sky New Year’s resolutions that end up tucked away in a mental drawer leads to nothing but futility and frustration. Focus instead on the key areas of your life and set goals that are realistic and measurable. The results will be longer-lasting, and well worth the effort.

Jim Ondrus pioneered the management concept of Leadership Transitioning. He is president of JA Ondrus, LLC, a Canton, Ohio executive coaching firm.