Goals – what it takes to JUST DO IT!

In my last post I talked about the thrill of finally doing something I’d wanted to do for years, and introduced Heidi Halvorson’s book Succeed as part of why I was able to do this.  Today I’m sharing some of the concepts, hoping that you can use some of these treasures to get yourself where you want to be.

So what have I used to get going on this goal I’ve been putting off for so long?

I used two main bodies of knowledge that I’ve learned about over the years: positive psychology, especially strengths principles, and goals research, from Heidi’s course and book.

1. I used my top strengths of Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence, Creativity, Curiosity, and Bravery.  I also used determination, will power, attention to detail, optimism, and persistence. 

In addition, I took the following steps from my learning on goal attainment:

2. I was SPECIFIC in what I wanted to do: create and post a blog.  This goal was CHALLENGING but not unrealistic.

3. I envisioned the final goal – a blog post, the first of many – but even more importantly, I ENVISIONED DOING WHAT IT TAKES TO CREATE IT.

4. I thought about WHY I wanted to blog, which I listed above.

5. I thought about WHAT it took to get there: brainstorming ideas, free writing, creating a draft, revising it, and posting it to my blogsite.

6. One of the most important things I did was to PLAN WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, AND HOW I was going to accomplish this.

7. I used triggers to tap my unconscious, both an item on my to do list and a task (in Microsoft Outlook) that popped up at intervals to remind me.

8. I focused on GETTING BETTER rather than BEING GOOD: I furloughed my perfectionism, and concentrated on starting where and as I am and learning as I go.

9. I thought about PROMOTION – how great I would feel to achieve this goal (it doesn’t matter how small the goal, or how easy for others: we deserve to celebrate our success).  I also thought about PREVENTION – how lousy I would feel if I failed to do this yet again, how embarrassed to report to my accountability buddy and my mentor and my coach and my colleagues that I had not been able to do even one blog post.  Both these techniques are very powerful.

There are more techniques, but that’s enough for now.  I will be explaining and expanding on these in the future.

1. Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., Hudson Street Press, January 2011

Goals – the journey to finally JUST DOING IT!!

“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~ William James

I have this quote on my To Do List every day.  Sometimes I pay attention, sometimes not so much.

Today I’m paying attention.  Today I’m celebrating because I’m working on a task uncompleted for two years: I AM FINALLY BLOGGING AGAIN!!!!!!

As I’m typing, I can feel myself relax, in a deep chest-lightening, soul-satisfying way.

I have been wanting to blog for so long – I have things come up all the time that I want to share, to help people as the learning and insights have helped me.  I want to get to know more people who are interested in the things I’m interested in, and to have them get to know me.  I want to have the experience of a regular writing habit – to grow as a writer, a blogger, a coach.  And most of all, I want to express my authentic self, to put some of my best into writing, to do what I was meant to do.  To recapture the joy I’ve had in writing for so much of my life.

A long list of compelling reasons.  So why haven’t I been doing it?

Good question.  Why don’t we do the things we really want to do?  An essential issue for all of us, especially coaches: it’s our job to help people do what they really want to do.

Look at all those reasons why I really, really have wanted to blog yet continued not to.  Do you have something in your life like this?  You so want it, yet you don’t do it.

Goals are my latest passion.  I’m excited right now about the latest research on goal attainment, and this is one of the reasons I’M FINALLY BLOGGING.  There are so many things that go into why we do what we do, and why we don’t do what we don’t do.  Learning what researchers have discovered is transformational for me, and I’m guessing it could be for you as well.

Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (1), the new book by Heidi Grant Halvorson, is a treasure trove of insights and research findings, an easy read with profound wisdom.  I’m reading this as well as taking a class from Heidi through MentorCoach.

In future posts I will be sharing what I’m learning along with simple, practical ways you can use it yourself.  Some techniques you might already use in some form, and I’ll explain why they’re effective.  Others will probably be new to you and can make the difference between success and failure.

I’m adding this to my knowledge of strengths and other positive psychology strategies, and my coaching training, to help my clients get where they want to go.  It’s helping to transform them as well, and I’ll be sharing some of their stories.

Love it when they get the deep chest-lightening, soul-satisfying feeling that comes from completing a task they’ve been wanting to do!

Next, I’ll share specifics about what has finally worked for me.  My hope is that you can use them to do what you’ve been wanting to do — organize your computer, declutter your spare room, implement wellness habits, get going on your blog!  Or start toward a long-held dream.

We all deserve to make our dreams come true.  This is one step for me – what could your first step be?

(1) Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., Hudson Street Press, January 2011