I hadn’t taken the time to pull back from the work I’ve been doing to check on how effectively I was navigating toward my goals in the last few months. Life has been very busy, both professionally and personally. I’d put my head down, my nose to the grindstone, and I focused on the client work piled in front of me. I was surprised by what I found: in some areas, I was right on track to meet my goals, but in others, I’d slowly drifted far afield.
During my mastermind meeting last week, my colleagues and I discussed the tough balancing act of current work vs. future goals. It’s easy to let things slide, especially when there’s plenty of current billable work to do. (Can I get an amen?) But focusing on the present is a passive and ultimately fruitless way to build a future. Growth requires relentless determination and focus on meaningful and clearly articulated “stretch” goals.
So I revisited and revised my goals, and then I designed consequences for failing to reach them. Should I miss, I’ll be making a hefty charitable donation in some colleagues’ names – enough of a donation that I won’t get the warm fuzzies of doing something nice but instead the pain of a real financial hit. My colleagues all set their own goals and consequences, and when we meet again in February, we’ll see the results. I’m predicting a huge celebration of remarkable successes.
All of this leads me to ask, how are YOUR goals? Whether you’d like to accomplish something big by the end of the year (creating and hosting that seminar you’ve been thinking about, perhaps) or whether you’d prefer to think ahead into the first quarter of next year, there’s no time like the present to get clear on what you want to accomplish or to set up some accountability and consequences to get yourself moving. If you need a guide on effective goal-setting, check out this blog post I wrote in 2008.