I had an interesting hut trip experience this past weekend. A group of friends and I skied into a very difficult hut near Vail Pass. The 7 mile approach took over 9 hours, as we endured steep and technical terrain to get to our destination at 11,200 feet above sea level. On Sunday, the area was socked in with almost a foot of fresh snow. With the winds picking up and the snow continuing, we made a decision to take a longer but less technical route back to the trail head.
After 8 miles of skiing, three of us decided to take a quick shortcut. It was only a 50 meter cut-through to
the lower part of what we thought was a switch-back. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, in the process, we never saw the critical turn we were supposed to take. And, even though we knew we were moving North, when we were supposed to be moving south-east, we convinced ourselves that we were at a different place on the map. Eventually we made the correction, but only after skiing an additional mile and 40 minutes. Our 9 1/2 mile return-trip turned into a 10 1/2 mile adventure because of a rash and seemingly harmless decision.
Life can be the same way. We start out each year with a sense of freshness, but when we don't have a plan for the year, we veer in directions that aren't aligned with where we want to go.
There are no shortcuts in life.
Have you set your 2011 goals to help you track toward your desired destination, or will another year slip by where someone or something else sets your course? Do you have an action plan designed to help you achieve your goals and a support structure to keep you accountable?
We all have dreams and aspirations and many of us even have a vision for who we want to be. However, most people fall short when asked if they have a plan on how to get there. Investing the time to formally establish goals and create an action plan to achieve those goals provides us with the road map to make our dreams and aspirations a reality.
Here are a few tips to help you establish your route in 2011.
Success Starts with Attitude
Many people never set goals, and others write them down only to put them in their desk drawer where they never see the light of day. In both cases, the fear of failure takes over. To truly create and align goals with your wildest dreams and aspirations, the first thing you have to do is break through that fear of failure and adopt a bold and audacious attitude. This attitude is one that squashes that little voice inside your head that says, “I could do this but…” or “That always happens to me….” Transforming to a bold and audacious attitude is all about understanding how we limit ourselves, recognizing those limitations, and making a commitment to squashing that negative inner voice every time we hear it.
To begin, we need to take a fearless inventory of our current situation – what are our strengths, opportunities, and limiters? What do we value? What is our purpose in life? Answering these questions gives us a starting point, and once we understand where we are, we can formulate where we want to be. In other words, we can establish our goals.
Our goals should be detailed, actionable, descriptive, measurable, and challenging. Additionally, a bold and audacious attitude empowers us to think outside the box without limiting what we can achieve. As part of each goal we should include a passionate statement identifying “why” the goal is important to us.
Documenting the purpose behind each goal will help provide us with the direction and motivation we will need throughout the year to make each goal a reality.
The Personal Action Plan
Creating a personal action plan for each goal is just as important as establishing the goal itself. The goal
provides the destination, and the personal action plan provides the road map to get you there. It is
important to recognize that success is simply a series of small steps that we take on a consistent basis.
The action plan is the conceptualization of those small steps and should include detailed action items that you will take to achieve your goals and a target completion date for each action item.
With our goals identified and an action plan established, we are now ready to track toward our desired
destination. Start and end each week by reviewing your goals. This will give you the opportunity to refine
your plan, focus your actions, and measure your results. To make this process easier, take your goals and
create a one-page summary sheet that includes each goal and its respective “why” statement. Place the
summary page in a frame and then put the frame in a place where you will see it every day (e.g., your
office or home desk).
Tracking Toward Your Desired Destination
The New Year brings each of us an opportunity to start fresh and move toward our desired destination.
Make this the year you achieve both your personal and professional dreams and aspirations.
If you are interested in a more guided process, check out The Ultimate Goal Setting Guide. This 47 page guide will walk you through a detailed and proven process for assessing some of the most important areas of your life (finances, career, health and fitness, etc), and help you create your best year yet. For a more detailed description and a peek inside, goto www.youryeartoascend.com.