The Habit: Week-7 (Identify ONE Wildly Important Goal)

This week’s challenge is to identify ONE wildly important goal you want to achieve in the next 6 to 12 months. You could do this in just a few minutes, but I would like you to really give it some thought. Brainstorm at least three to five goals you may have. Typically, people are most creative early in the morning or after exercising. Ideally, you could workout first thing in the morning, then sit down and brainstorm.

Lay out everything you will need the night before. I keep a sketch pad for my brainstorming sessions. Decide when and where you are going to brainstorm. Eliminate all distractions; focus your mind on what goals, if accomplished would be a game changer in your life.

If you want to make your brainstorming session even more effective, contemplate some of your goals the night before your brainstorming session. This will imprint them into your subconscious mind and unleash its power. When you sleep, your mind will mull over all your goals and begin the process of determining how to achieve them.

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” – John Steinbeck

The subconscious mind is very powerful, very creative, and holds immense amounts of information; much more than what is stored in our conscious mind. Our conscious mind draws large amounts of information from the subconscious. The more we draw on our subconscious mind, the better our ability to solve problems.

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein

At the predetermined time and place, brainstorm all the personal, professional, and financial goals that you have. Put everything down on paper. Every idea that comes to you. Don’t judge their worthiness, just write them down. Later we will determine which are most important.

After you have jotted down all your goals, put them away. Later that day, or later that week, look them over again, just before taking a walk, jog or doing anything physical that will allow your mind to wander.

While you are exercising, ask yourself, which goal will have the biggest impacton your life. Which goal will create a sense of fulfillment and lasting happiness? Which goal, when achieved, will change your life for the better. Too often, people and organizations have too many goals. It is always best to narrow your focus.

When I hear someone say “these are our top seven priorities,” what they are saying is we don’t have any priorities. Here are two definitions of priority:

1)    A thing that is regarded as more important than another.

2)    The right to take precedence or to proceed before others.

When we say we have more than one priority, we aren’t defining which is most important or which one should proceed before the others. An effective priority makes it clear that this one thing is more important than the others. If something must be sacrificed, this isn’t it.

This is a great exercise to do every 6-months because our priorities often change. What is most important now, will not always be what is most important. The problem with trying to tackle too many goals at once is that it dilutes your focus. “The man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” – Confucius.

I suggest we focus on achieving one important goal at a time. Tyler Perry describes our dreams as seeds we plant. He advises against spreading our water over too many seeds. Put all your effort into one seed. Narrow your focus. Nurture that one dream. Do not divide your water up over too many seeds.

A large measure of Steve Jobs’ success at Apple, can be attributed to his ability to focus all his energy on one great idea at a time. Apple would brainstorm new product ideas each year. As you can imagine, there was no shortage of ideas, but they disciplined themselves to choose only one, thenmake it the very best product it could be, by leveraging all the companies resources behind it.

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An excellent book that teaches organizations to execute on their most wildly important goals is The 4 Disciplines of Execution. The first discipline of execution is to focus your finest effort on the most impactful goal. Without focus, great achievement isn’t possible. The authors make a compelling argument that execution starts with focus.[i]

the one thing

An entire book was written about the power and necessity of focusing our efforts on one goal at a time. The ONE Thing: The Surprising Truth Behind Extraordinary Resultsby Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, asserts that by focusing your energy on one thing at a time, you can live a more rewarding life, build your career, and improve your personal relationships.[ii]

This week your objective is to determine what that most wildly important goal is for you. Discipline yourself to choose one goal. After you have made your decision, write down this goal in your journal so you can review it each morning and each evening.

Ensure your goal is measurable. Your goal and your progress toward your goal must be measurable. “If you want it, measure it. If you can’t measure it, forget it.” – Peter Drucker

Next week, we will develop a plan for its accomplishment in the next 6 to 12 months. Until then, best wishes and best health.

Change your habits, change your life! 

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[i] Sean Covey, Chris McChesney,‎ Jim Huling, The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals, Free Press; Reprint edition (April 12, 2016)

[ii] Gary Keller, and Jay Papasan, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Bard Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2013)

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