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How to Free Yourself from Unfinished Goals in 2018

How to Free Yourself from Unfinished Goals in 2018

“Ugh! I can’t believe that I gained 30 pounds in one month! That is it. I am going to finally hit the gym this month and take care of myself. No more sitting around the house and eating junk food. No more making excuses and continuing bad habits!”

*Purchases $100 worth of new gym clothes, a fancy gym membership, then proceeds to never use either*

Then 2 weeks later…

“HOW THE HECK DID I MANAGE TO EAT TWO SLEEVES OF OREOS IN 5 MINUTES?!”

Falling short of our own expectations is arguably one of the worst parts of being a human being. One week, we’re telling ourselves that we are going to make the type of money we deserve and meet our soulmate. The next, we’re working a job that we despise and swearing off love until we kick the bucket.

It seems to you like that’s the natural cycle of life. That’s perfect, if you enjoy missing out on the type of life that you could be living. But if you want to get out of this cycle, I will let you in on a little secret. You don’t have to engage in this type of self-sabotage at all.

Will it be difficult? Yes.

Will you wake up some days, wishing that you had absolutely no expectations for yourself? Definitely.

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Will it be worth it? Hell yes!

Meeting your own goals is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1: What Do You Want?

Goals are the least complicated part of this process. After all, a goal without a plan is just a wish! That being said, all you have to do to begin moving towards your ideal life is to figure out what you want.

Are you not getting paid enough at work? Do you spend more time talking to the walls than you do your friends? Is there anything that you wish you could be doing in the world?

Great! Look at these issues and find a solution for them. Whatever it is that you feel you need to do to improve your life, write it down. In fact, let’s tackle it together right now. Grab a piece of paper and a writing utensil.

Do you have them? Perfect! Put a fun name at the top of the paper such as “Reaching my dreams” and add a couple of bullet points below the title. Now, I want you to clear your mind.

Imagine that, one day, you woke up without any time, monetary, or distance restrictions. Where are you going? Who are you seeing? What are you doing? More importantly, does every action in your vision feel absolutely exhilarating?

Come back to reality and think over everything that you just envisioned. What did you see? For example, my ideal day would consist of wandering every street throughout the world, spending my time with my loved ones, and performing in front of millions of people.

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What can I add to my bullet list that may reflect my vision? Here is a short example:

  • I want to be able to travel throughout the world with ease.
  • I want to become a musician.
  • I want to spend more time with the people who are important to me.

Of course, your own goals don’t have to be as extravagant as the ones listed above. It could be as simple as raising your annual salary from $30,000 to $40,000. Whatever goal you have, just make sure that it aligns with your desires. This is vital to the goal-setting and planning process.

Step 2: Analyze!

It’s great that you want to start making $40,000 a year. However, there is a big difference between dreaming about a $10,000 increase and actually working for it.

Motivation is the first thing you need to identify in your goals. If you know that you are going to give up on your goals a couple of months in, scrap your goal now. It is a waste of time to work towards something you are not going to complete.

The second thing that you need to make sure your goal has is specificity. How are you going to manifest that extra $10,000?

You’ve heard of SMART goals right? Specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timebound. Find out more about SMART goal here.

  • Is there anything that you could do around your place of employment to get a pay raise?
  • Do you have a side hustle that might be lucrative if you put more time and effort in?
  • How much will you have to earn per month to reach this goal?

It certainly seems like a lot of questions at first but you will thank yourself later. A good example of a specific goal related to the above might be, I want to earn an extra $10,000 this year by making $834/month through my t-shirt business. It’s specific, it’s actionable, and it is hopefully something that you are truly motivated to accomplish.

While it certainly seems easy because of the way I’ve mapped it out, it may be hard to create an actionable, specific goal when it finally comes time to do so. That’s why I’ve created my own Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year workshop that will help you do exactly that!

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In it, I discuss how to set a “theme” for upcoming year, manifesting daily success, and being intentional about where you truly want to be. For now though, let’s go through the third and final step of successful goal-setting and planning.

Step 3: Map It Out

In order to reach your goals, you have to have a plan.  But you don’t need to have it all figured out straight away. Let’s continue with the goal that I wrote in the previous section.

You want to make an extra $10,000 by earning $834 each month through your t-shirt business. This is a start but this is definitely not a plan.

There are plenty of variables that you need to look into if you plan on making this happen. For example, what is the monthly amount that you are currently earning with your t-shirt business?

  • How can you increase that amount?
  • How many t-shirts do you need to sell per month in order to reach $834?
  • How can you better market your business so that you are successful in selling that amount of t-shirts each month?

Let’s imagine that you are selling t-shirts for $20 each. Let’s also imagine that you are currently making around $60 each month with your business.

To reach your goal, you will have to sell around 39 shirts each month in addition to the three shirts that you are currently selling.

To sell that many shirts, you can start selling to people around your workplace, in your community, and start a Facebook Ads campaign to target your exact audience.

This may not apply to you specifically but you can see how well you need to develop your plan in order to reach your goals.

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Evaluate each step that needs to be taken, figure out what you have at your disposal to make it happen, and figure out what it is that you need in order to be successful.

Once you’ve reached that success using this method, you will never go back to your old habits. After all, losing that extra 30 pounds or hustling for that extra $10,000 will make you feel as though you’ve transcended your previous self, why would you want to return to the way that you were feeling before? Exactly. Success and accomplishment are the two biggest motivators that will drive you into this new stage of your life.

The most important part of this process, however, is to remember that everything is negotiable.

Goals are as ever-changing as we humans are. If you change your mind on what it is that you truly want, go back to the first step and work your way through them again.

In fact, this is highly recommended. The worst thing that you could possibly do to yourself is follow through on a goal that no longer speaks to you. It’ll put you farther away from your life path and create more work to do in the future.

For those of you who would like some assistance in this process, you can join me this month on my workshop. In this LIVE ‘doing’ workshop, I will help you create actionable goals for 2018 and plan out your entire year in 2 hours! There is even some bonus content that visitors will receive in order to get the most out of this coming year.

Thinking about your resolutions for 2018? Check out this article: If You Want to Get Bigger Things Done in 2018, Read This

Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

More by this author

Natalie Sisson

Best Selling Author of The Suitcase Entrepreneur, CEO, Speaker, Global Adventurer

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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