Strategy

16th December 2020

Don’t go setting goals for 2021 this Christmas

If you are like me, the Christmas break is a great time to take stock on what you have achieved in the year just ending and reset your goals for the year just about to start.
It is a habit I have followed, and advocated for years, so why am I suggesting you don’t do it this year?

I have just learned of some interesting research which would indicate that important though goal setting is, the real power lies in the dreams behind the goals. I know it is too easy in business and in life to mechanically set about setting goals and targets without enough regard to the vision that hopefully forms the context for individual goals.

So, take the time to refresh the dream. Try this exercise: “Imagine it is fifteen years from today. You are living your ideal life, in a place that you have always dreamed about, alongside the people you want to be with, if work is part of your ideal image, you are doing the type and amount of work you love. Imagine you have a webcam strapped to your chest. What images would we see in a video stream of your day? What would we hear? Where would you be? What are you doing? Who else is there?”

As children we have no problem dreaming, just listen to the conversations of any 10 or 12 year old and you will hear how their worlds are brim-full of possibilities. The same isn’t true of 30 or 40 year olds. It is more difficult to dream as we get older, but dreams form the foundation to our motivation to achieve. We ignore that fact at our peril, whatever our age.

Dreams will also change over time so don’t think that you have done a similar exercise before and nothing has changed. Even if you think you haven’t changed, the world most certainly has. Dedicate enough time to creating your compelling vision.

Here are three rules to help.

  1. Set aside adequate time to do this exercise. It is a creative exercise and so you need to be mindful of the circumstances necessary to be at your most creative. So that would probably mean where you are relaxed and isolated from the day to day cares and concerns. No one ever said they had their best creative ideas ‘at work’, so stage manage the environment.
  2. Remember this is a dreaming exercise, so dream big. Don’t concern yourself with the limitations. Focus on the possibilities, just as your twelve year old self would have done.
  3. And finally capture your dream in whatever way suits you best. Think in ink, whether that be a pen portrait, a mindmap, a drawing, a collage, a video or a recording. It needs to be accessible after you have finished the dreaming exercise so you can spend your energy enhancing the dream rather than just trying to recall what it was. The problem with thoughts is that they are gone as soon as you have had them. This is too precious and important to risk losing.

Once you have done this exercise and you are ready to start setting the goals to move you towards your dream, contact me and I will send you a goal setting routine that I think works well.

Doing good by doing well. A well led business will benefit the world more than almost anything else. If you would like some help in improving your business performance or just someone to talk to please reach out. We are in some of the most challenging times ever. Don’t wish that life were easier, take action to get better

You can get me on ian@kinnery.co.uk.

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