1 - Create a Timeline. This exercise can be
done alone or with another person or even your entire
family or work team, if appropriate.
pull out your calendar from 2003. Scan through it and
write down all significant events, personal and professional,
that occurred for you throughout the year. These are
events that have meaning for you.
anything from adopting a new kitten, to a backpacking
trip with friends, a death in the family or a promotion
at work. Anything that stands out for you as special
and important is appropriate for this list.
your list is composed, take a minute to absorb the breadth
and depth of all that you experienced in 2003.
then write down your answers to these 10 questions:
What was remarkable about the year?
Who came into my life this year?
Who left it?
What were my best accomplishments/achievements?
When I look back on the year, I could never have imagined
(fill in the blank).
What was the single most significant event of the year?
How do I want next year to be different?
2 - Setting Great Goals. Writing a great goal
is an art, and it is also a craft that anyone can do.
The simple process we outline below is derived from
our Goal-Meter program that we have been using for many
years to help people set comprehensive goals for their
lives and work.
are 5 key elements to setting effective goals. Notice,
they all have to do with becoming very clear about what
you want. When well-defined, your great goals will be:
2. Stated in positive language – what you desire rather
than what you want to avoid.
3. Under your control.
4. Measurable in some way (you can count it, weigh it,
see it, etc.).
5. Written as if it has already happened or is happening>
to make your goals come alive? Using the above format,
take each of your goals, dreams or desires you wrote
at the conclusion of the Timeline exercise, and put
them in Great Goal form.
are some additional tips you might find useful.
goals that you can achieve relatively easily. If you
have a large goal, break it into smaller ones that can
be more easily handled. For example: if your goal is
to save $10,000, rather than wrestling with that as
your goal you may wish to start with a more manageable
goal of saving $200 a week. By breaking big goals into
smaller, more doable ones overwhelm is avoided and motivation
a goal-buddy or create a goal support group who you
can check in with and get encouragement from. Make a
game of it and celebrate your successes!
on a regular basis what it will feel like to have your
goal completed. And, also imagine what it will feel
like next year at this time if you had stopped working
on your goal. Which one do you find more motivating?
Use the more motivating approach to spur you on!
read your goals. (Choose whatever time interval keeps
you in touch with your goal and motivated.) Keep your
goals handy for easy access.
or what might interfere with your goal? Take a moment
(or longer) to explore potential blocks. How can you
adjust your goal to make it complimentary to others
or so that the impediment is avoided or dealt with?
goals require multiple small goals to become fully realized.
The smaller steps can be accomplished in sequence, or
of Great Goals that people have used on their way to
larger goals are as follows:
walk vigorously for 20 minutes a day 5 days a week down
a road or path that I love. (Overall goal: to lose weight.)
week I deposit $120 into a special savings account.
(Overall goal: to have enough money in one year to fully
pay for a life-long dream vacation with cash.)
write down at least 3 new ideas every day about how
I can improve my business (Overall goal: to increase
the income of the business substantially. At the end
of each week, the individual reviewed the ideas and
then implemented the best ones.)
carefully take a moment each day to tell my life partner
something I truly appreciate about them. (Overall goal:
to deepen the relationship and move it to a new level.)
week I complete a chapter or section of my book. (Overall
goal: to create a first draft of a book within 3 months.)
week, I call one of my current customers and ask them
how well we are serving them as a business partner.
(Overall goal: to build customer satisfaction and to
learn new ways to provide value to clients.)
3: Creating a Theme for your great year.
After you have established your Timeline and set your
Great Goals, it is time to choose a Theme.
Theme helps you focus. It sets the tone for the year,
and it gives you an easy way to make decisions about
where to invest your time and energy. Once your Theme
is set then all you need to do to use it is to ask yourself
one of the following questions:
this action I am about to take support my Theme?
this help me have more of my Theme in my life?
this action limit my chances of fully bringing this
Theme into my life?
are a few real-life examples of Themes, created by our
clients and in some instances, ones we have used ourselves.
most cases, they are broad topics that impact many life
you glance again at your Timeline and Great Goals, what
emerges for you? What patterns do you see in what you
seek? What underlying thought is swimming just below
the surface of your desires?
Year of Hope.
Year of Adventure.
Year of Building Reserves of Energy and Money.
Year of Creating Home.
Year To Build Foundation.
My Year To Re-emerge.
Year to Simplify.
Year of Growing Closer (in relationship).
Year of Discovery.
Theme would you like to express in your life this year?
a moment to think of all the possible Themes you might
choose. Which one is most inspiring and encompassing?
Write it down!
We hope you have enjoyed these exercises and we wish
you fun and fantastic success with this program. Please
feel free to share your questions, insights or goals
with us. We’d love to hear how you are doing! Write
us at GreatStart2004@groupmv.com.
This article was written by Debbie Phillips and Rob
Berkley, the principles in the international executive
and life coaching firm GroupMV, based on Martha’s Vineyard,
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