Saturday, January 9, 2010

Resolutions to Results III: Identifying Success (part two)

In the previous post, we discussed two tools to help you identify success and point yourself towards it -- Measurability and WIIFM (What's In It For Me?) In this post, we'll take a look at two other tools that will help you see what the successful achievement of your goal looks like.

3. Values Served

It’s crucial that your goals be in alignment with your values – the ideas and principles you hold near and dear to your heart. If your goals are not in alignment with your values, it will be harder to achieve them -- because achieving them may make you feel good, but it won’t thrill you in the same way as achieving something you value.

There are a number of ways to identify your values – and each could be a post of its own. I’ll cover these pretty quickly, but values are great things to on your own.

One way to identify your values is to simply think of the ideas and principles that are important to you. What do you value in your life? For me, things like "being real," "taking care of myself," and "growth" are hugely important. Make a list of the things that make up your backbone and keep you walking through life with pride. And if a value seems obvious to you, that's ok -- sometimes the obvious things are what keep us ticking.

Another way to identify your values is to think of the times in your life when you were most fulfilled – and then to look at what was underlying that fulfillment. For example, I remember being extremely happy with my mother recently. She was visiting, and I was doing a puppet show for her. The interaction touched on three values that are extremely important to me – family, laughter, and silliness.

A third way to identify values is to think of something that really pisses you off – rude people on the subway, litterbugs, etc. – and look at what it is inside of you that feels violated when you encounter those things. If your answer is "it's just not right" or "it's rude," dig a little deeper and see what's not right, and what's rude, and why those things matter to you.

Knowing which values you’re honoring by achieving the goal will also help you to identify which values you’re stepping on by NOT achieving the goal. And choosing to live in alignment with your values can be hugely freeing!

4. Good Enough

This is a loaded phrase. To some people it means “just barely getting by.” For others, it’s the unattainable goal, the feeling that you, yourself, are good enough. What I’d like this phrase to mean in this context is much more technical – “how much effort do I need to expend to feel I’ve achieved this goal?” What, in terms of achieving your goal, counts?

Try not to think of this as just scraping by, or doing the bare minimum, but rather, setting the finish line for yourself to cross, after which point everything else is gravy. This is where numbers can come in handy. Is 10 pounds good enough, or do you really need to lose 15 to feel successful? Is eating one extra vegetable a day good enough, or do you want to add in 15 servings a week to feel you're eating healthier?

When you add Measurability to a goal, combine it with the benefits of WIIFM, figure out which values are being served (and which are being stepped on without achieving this goal), and identify the finish line for yourself, you're prepared for success -- because you know what it is!

In the next post, we'll look at Visualizing Success, another important aspect of reaching your goals!

And don't forget -- spread the word! Blog readers can sign up for the Make It Happen Now! workshop at the discounted union price. Just contact me and let me know you saw it here!

No comments:

Post a Comment