Dreaming is easy. I do it all the time. Achieving those dreams, much harder. I have learned that to achieve my goals I need to describe my dreams in concrete terms, be specific and give myself a deadline. A lot of us have the visualization part of goal-setting down. I know I have tons of notebooks filled with goals lying around. You might even make a vague plan to get it done, but still, a year goes by and you are no closer to the goal. For me, accountability is key. But, what does that mean exactly? First, use the Evolve Planner to write down your plan, be specific, and commit to looking at it once a week. Use the calendar to set benchmarks to check in on your progress. But what I think makes the most difference, just telling someone about your goal.
When you tell someone else about your goal a few key things happen:
- You have to explain the goal so they understand it, often clarifying your own understanding
- They will ask you questions and raise issues you may not have considered
- And now, they know… they know you are trying to do something
I think the "now they know" part is the scariest. But in a good way. You’ll feel a bit responsible to them to get it done, and they might ask you about your progress. You’ll actually have to talk about your goal which may be a bit uncomfortable at first, but the best way to make it happen. And hey, you might even inspire them to get going on a goal they have been dreaming about.
In my Intro to Management class I do an exercise where I have my students write down where they want to work and what they want their lives to look like in five years. I give them an index card and they write their goals on one side. I collect the cards, shuffle them and pass them back out. Now, each student has someone else’s card and becomes that student's coach. As coach, they research the goals on the card and start writing a plan on the back of the card. I give the students about 15 minutes to discuss, once as the coach and then as the student with a goal. At first the students are a little terrified about sharing their goals, but by the end of the exercise they are excited. This is always the excercise my students like best from my class. It’s the sharing of the goal that really inspires them that they can make it happen. Talking to a fellow student acting as a coach makes their goal concrete and attainable.