As the year comes to an end it is all too easy to let the Holiday’s lull us into a state of laziness, as discussed in my previous blog Time to Relax. However, just like in any business or sales arena one of the keys to keeping production and profits high is to continually keep the pipeline full. If your pipeline runs dry then the flow of profits slow. This is true with sales people and sales driven businesses, but it is also true in your personal successes. We should carry out our dreams and plans as if we are attacking and forging ahead of the competition! In this case the competition is mediocrity, laziness, passivity and giving in to the idea that we are not special or made for greatness.
How do we ensure that we are keeping our personal success pipeline full? It is all about having a strong plan. Without a plan the enemies mentioned above will creep into our lives and cause our pipeline to run dry. When your success pipeline runs dry it is very difficult to fill it again, requiring a great deal of discipline and work to get back on course. The plan I am speaking of is something we have all heard of before, GOALS. Goals are the road map of what we want to accomplish with strong action plans and measuring posts. By creating strong goals you are essentially creating a plan for success!
I highly recommend taking time to study the process of properly writing and setting goals. There are many resources available for this that are comprehensive and will guide you in creating measurable task with action steps. However, before you start to write your goals I encourage you to define YOUR SUCCESS.
Many of us write goals based on work production and dollar figures without giving much regard for what matters most; YOUR OWN definition of success. Too often in our society success is measured by dollars or fame, and because of this we often set our goals based on these things. Goals that are set without your definition of success in mind will surely fail over time. Success is not single faceted; it has multiple facets that only YOU can define.
Success for me requires balance in my life. I remember a time in the early stages of Foundation Companies when my work schedule was not healthy. I would get to the office at 4:30 a.m. and I was lucky to be home by 6:30. While I am sure many of you have worked these hours, my problem was that I could not turn it off when I got home. I would check emails, make phone calls and build spreadsheets until I fell asleep. Even though I was making a great deal of money I felt very unsuccessful! Why? Because I was only fulfilling one facet of what I defined as success. Once I realized this and took time to analyze what success was to me I quickly found that true personal success comes when you have balance in the areas of life most important to you.
Success for me is broken up into these categories:
Once I was able to define what areas made up success for me, I was able to set goals around making sure all these categories could be met. I had to look at the amount of earned income I wanted to make and put goals in place that would allow me to reach this, while at the same time ensuring that I was able spend the amount of time with my wife and kids that I wanted. I had to make sure that I wasn’t spending too much time doing the things “I wanted to do” that it caused my spiritual growth to suffer.
Take time this next week to categorize your success and what success means to you in each category. Once you know what you want your life to look like, then you can set goals that get you to your definition of success. Remember GOALS are the plan and road map to your future…make sure you are on the path you want!