If you’re like me, 2020 seemed like the far away future! Now that it’s only 6 weeks away, does that energize you, or give you anxiety, thinking about where the time has gone? We’re not only approaching a new year, but a new decade, so it’s only natural for reflection to occur. We reflect quite possibly on how quickly the last 10 years have passed, and give ourselves a grade on how we think we did. As the saying goes, many overestimate what they can do in year, but underestimate what they can do in a decade. With the upcoming turn of the calendar, it summons those thoughts of what’s possible? How do I want to feel? What moves do I want to make? What do I want to achieve? Where do I want to contribute? In essence, what are my goals?
For many, goal setting can be intimidating, however I’ve learned that the best way to start is to define your WHY. Simon Sinek, in his aptly named book, Start with Why, shares many anecdotes and stories directed to business leaders, however these same principles apply to our own personal goals as well.
He states that the power of WHY, is not opinion, it’s biology. “When we communicate from the inside out, we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls decision-making, and our language part of the brain allows us to rationalize those decisions.” p. 56 The WHY stems from our belief, the HOW are the actions that we will take to realize that belief, and the WHAT are the results based on those actions. The WHY can take some time to formulate, however once we’re clear with our WHY, the HOW and WHAT are relatively simple comparatively.
Secondly when thinking about goals, it’s important to keep your why at the forefront, as it helps you with your daily decisions. If for example, your why is to create more multi-generational experiences and memories, and your goal is to take a family cruise, if your why is strong, it’s a lot easier to make that choice to pack a lunch, vs. going out with colleagues.
However, we’re all human, we can all slip up, we must remember that one poor choice doesn’t mean that you abort the goal- it just means that next time you’ll have the choice to course correct. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on what we’ve done wrong, and we don’t give ourselves enough credit for all that we’ve done right.
As you become a person who is more goal oriented, you’ll discover that there are certain people who will be your champions, and want to see you succeed; while there are others, who are perhaps worried that they’ll be left behind if you change and grow. While they hopefully won’t directly sabotage you, they generally won’t be the most supportive, and help you make the right choices. Surround yourself with others who are like-minded, who are chasing goals, and will be great accountability partners for you.
When we grow personally, we become better leaders, and there is a lot of room in this space for goal-driven people who are going after big things. As you look forward to 2020, how could you positively influence the new grads of this upcoming decade? What could your team accomplish? A decade from now, when reflection happens again, what impact will you have you have on the legacy at your academic institution or company? How can we make 2020 a catalyst for great growth personally and professionally?
Leave a comment with what you’re excited about, you’ve got a community here to cheer you on!
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