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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

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Natalie Sisson

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

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

Reference

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