The Big question you should ask yourself today

We’re approaching the end of the second quarter. Almost half the year is gone. How are you doing on your goals, your plans, your dreams and your progress?

To be sure, the last year has been chaotic and topsy-turvy. 2020 and even 2021 has been every-which-way but up. The good news? There is still time to make the most of this year. Time is on your side.

In the past few weeks, I’ve begun to help clients and other coaches focus and narrow down priorities. It all starts with one big question.

When you get to the end of 2021 and that ball over Times Square starts to drop, and you look back over the year at that moment: What are the three things you will be most disappointed about that you did not accomplish?

Three things, just three things. If you can’t narrow it down to three things, make a complete list of seven, eight or even a dozen things. Then, ruthlessly remove items until you’re down to three. Likely, many of those items you scratched off will actually fall under one of the top three. Or, they may fall into that category of things you don’t need to waste your time on right now.

Now, three things about your three goals:

  • Be very specific. Goals like losing weight or getting better at your craft won’t get you where you’re going. Lose 20 pounds or take an online course in public speaking is stronger.
  • Make sure these goals align with your identity. If they don’t, you’re just spitting in the wind. Remember: Who you are determines what you do.
  • Why are these goals important to me? Go one by one through each of the three goals. This “why” is not just “because I want to get better”, or someone else believes I should do this. No, dig on this one. Write down everything that crosses your mind. The real “why” will likely be #7 or #8 deep on your list.

Now that you have your list, you’ve refined it, and you know why they are important, what’s next? Glad you asked. You are embarking on a life-changing season. If you remain laser-focused, doggedly intentional and meticulously deliberate, you will find clarity and build momentum on your road to fulfillment.

Let’s get started.

  • What is one thing you can do today to bring you closer to your goal? One step, one thing, one step forward. Do that one thing today. Then, that one thing tomorrow.
  • If these goals are your priority for the rest of 2021, what else do you need to clear off your calendar, your to-do list or your daily routine? Again, ruthlessly clear the clutter until your priorities become absolutely clear.
  • Set mile markers. In other words, these are points between now and the end of the year that will help you take one step or eat one bite at a time. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, set a monthly goal (e.g. 3 pounds each month). If you want to be a better speaker, hire a coach, take a course and start speaking in front of people.
  • Set deadlines. Each goal has many short-term goals. Give yourself adequate time, but set hard deadlines for each step of the way. Remember: If there is no deadline, it is not real.
  • Who else needs to be on board? People don’t reach goals alone. You need support from family, buy-in from co-workers, accountability partners, and people who have specific expertise. These people must align with your goal and be willing to encourage you and help you see things you don’t see. Seek them out, get them on board and involve them.
  • Be willing to adjust and adapt. No, don’t change your goal, but it’s okay to adjust the path to get there. Don’t be discouraged by detours or potholes, but be resourceful in getting around hurdles and don’t get stuck at crossroads, traffic jams and dead ends.

Finally, back to The Big Question. You’re watching the ball drop on 2021 and usher in 2022. Imagine the chagrin of not accomplishing the three big things. Now, imagine the celebration of the fulfillment of triumph when you do.

Go get ’em.

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