Success is in the system

May 12, 2020

We looked previously at how success can be defined as progess towards achieving your own meaningful goals. By that definition, everyone can be (and feel) successful. Going back to where we started looking at goals, this is the perfect antidote to the negative feelings that we can all be susceptible to if we find ourselves measuring our success by comparison with others.

Ok, so success is in our hands if, AND IT’S A BIG IF, we learn to regularly set our own goals. It sounds simple. In many ways it is extremely simple and yet so many aren’t doing it. There are two really important keys here:

  1. Learn a system for goal-setting and customise it to your own needs/style/situation/preference.
  2. Make using that system a habit.

We’ll look now at the steps for setting goals as laid out in the LMI Goal Planning System. Next time we’ll talk about how to make using it a habit.

Before we get into that though, a brief intelude. Could you take a few seconds just to imagine the impact it will have if you get seriously good at this? What if every month for the rest of your life you could identify the most important work and personal goals in your life and work effectively to achieve them?

Ok, back to the system in ten steps.

  1. Define or describe something that you’d like to be better in some way.
  2. Write a specific goal(s) that supports this intent.
  3. List the benefits gained and the potential losses avoided by achieving the goal.
  4. Write down possible obstacles and list potential solutions.
  5. Write detailed action steps and deadlines to achieve the goal.
  6. Integrate the action steps into your planning system.
  7. Determine a method of tracking your progress.
  8. Write affirmations to encourage you and keep you on track.
  9. Develop a visual representation that effectively reminds you of your goal.
  10. Celebrate the accomplishment of meaningful goals

It’s a simple and immensely powerful system where each step plays an important part in making the whole system work.

We talk more about this in the Foundations of Success workshop I run. If what we’ve been looking at around goals is an area you’d like to improve in, and the LMI Goal Planning tools would be helpful, you’d be really welcome to join one of these sessions.


My goals, my way.

May 6, 2020

The last post ended with a promise that we’d look at how to set goals that work for you whatever you are currently facing.

And let’s face it, some of the goals we may have had are not very helpful to us right now. That one about getting 5000 people to that big May event, anyone?

I’m sure you’ve had at least some negative experience with setting goals. You may even be in that bracket of people who have sworn never to go down that road again having found it only led to guilt, frustration, disappointment (insert any additional / alternative negative emotion here) when the goals weren’t reached.

Let’s start really simple. A goal is simply the expression of an intended outcome; something you want to achieve, do, have or become. Let’s call it ‘being intentional.’ I find this really helps. I don’t need to start with, “Be the best in the world at….” or “Double my income by….”

The psychology of being intentional is incredibly interesting. When I set a goal, no-matter what it is and regardless of how small it may seem, it gives me a sense of purpose and direction. Again, this may be very small but we have to realise that great habits and big successes begin with small actions and are often the result of years of small accumulations. When I achieve that goal, I can’t help but feel a little bit more successful which in turn helps me feel more motivatied to take on another goal.

My apologies if this is way too basic for you but I have so many conversations with people where this is exactly where they need to begin, especially if they find themselves in a state of lockdown lethargy or experiencing the guilt/frustration/inferiority challenges that we discussed last time.

Write down something that you’d like to do today, no matter how small. Something that you’ll feel pleased, relieved, delighted, triumphant (insert any additional / alternative positive emotion here) about when it’s done. Then do it. Start really small and ultra-achievable. See how it goes. If it works for you, then repeat.

Even really big goals work in exactly the same way.

We are just beginning to scratch the surface with the whole goals shebang so please, stick with it because it will make such a difference to your life, your family and friends, your work and even the world if we all get seriously good at this!

Next post we’ll look specifically at the goal-setting system we use in LMI to help people consistently achieve the goals they set. It’s a good one. See you then.

 

 

 


Solve the minor issues

April 22, 2020

There are plenty of big issues to think about right now. That’s always true but happens to feel especially real at the moment.

I would love to be able to fix some of those things. Top of my list, this morning at least. is the need for a more grown-up political conversation and the ability for the UK to tackle its major issues effectively rather than degenerate into the mire of partisan point-scoring. Some (definitely not all) countries do this far better than we do. That’s a thought for another time though!

There are also many other serious business and societal issues we could be giving thought to and actively working to prepare for. These are a couple of the questions that seem to me worth spending time on:

  • In society, how might the future look different because of this crisis?
  • How might my specific sector look different?
  • How can I be part of creating that future with positive intent rather than just responding to it?

However, right here, right now there will also be a myriad of minor issues that definitely can be solved and if you spend some time each day to fix some of these, the impact upon your immdiate environment and how you feel each day can be tremendously positive. It certainly works well for me.

The power of small victories should never be underestimated. When my kids were in primary school they came home nearly every day with a sticker or a certificate for some (mostly) small thing they had achieved that day. Why? Because it was all part of recognising progress and motivating them to keep going. We may be grown up but our motivation system works in pretty much the same way.

What kind of smalls things am I talking about? Well, here’s just a couple of minor fixes that I’ve done myself or seen others do over the last couple of weeks:

  • buy a more comfortable home-office chair
  • create an alternative standing workstation for long video calls
  • invest in better quality microphone for online meetings
  • learnt how to use some new video/screen recording software
  • begun using some new integrations for my CRM

Try listing a few small issues that you face, resolve at least one of them in the next 48 hours and see how that works for you. If it helps, try another. Don’t stop working on the big things, of course, but keep in mind the benefit of achieving and celebrating regular small victories.


Review your definition of success

July 11, 2018

We easily get into ‘getting on with it’ mode. Days and weeks go by. Months pass in multiples. Suddenly we’re more than half way through the year, it’s nearly (or already for some) the summer holidays, then September and we rush headlong towards Christmas.

I’m in the ‘relaxed and positive’ rather than the ‘doom and gloom’ camp when it comes to the passing of time, with one caveat. Am I doing worthwhile things with all these hours or am I just busy with activity that, on review, will count for very little.

Success

It all comes down to whether we have clear definitions of what success is and how to measure it. Answering this question is a crucial aspect of leading yourself and leading others. Once that’s done, here’s a few questions that can help keep us on track:

  1. What progress & victories have we achieved today / this week / this month that are in line with our definitions of success?
  2. What have we done that’s contributed most to those victories that we can do more of?
  3. What new things can we try to achieve more?
  4. What have we done that’s not contributed to our success that we can do less of, or stop doing entirely?

 

All seems a little bit simplistic when we put it like that, doesn’t it? Regardless, it works incredibly well. It’s often the simple things that do.

If it’s been a while since you reviewed what success means to you, can I strongly encourage you to do so? And not just at work or in business by the way. At home, with your family and friends, your health, your contribution to society and your giving to others. Your success needs defining for all of these. I’ve got plenty of simple tools to help you do this so please do get in touch if you need a hand getting started.

 


The critical importance of a lasting change process

September 9, 2016

We often define change that we’d like to see, even implement change in a positive way. But how many times do things waver or even completely disintegrate so that 2 years, 2 months, even 2 weeks later, the initial enthusiasm and adherence of the new way has evaporated and things are back the way there were before.

In this video, taken from the Foundations of Success Workshop, I share one of LMI’s foundational concepts – the critical importance of securing lasting change through spaced repetition.

 


Nick’s Nuggets (getting stuff done) episode 2

November 21, 2012

Book appointments with yourself for getting your most important pieces of work done today.


Success is for everyone!

August 21, 2012

In line with today’s launch of the new Goal Setting Pack, I’ve been running through in my mind all the people I know who I think should buy one (and that’s just about everyone, by the way)!!

I’m also very much aware that whilst for some the idea of goal setting is already an absolute ‘must-do’, for others the very thought of such manufactured, dare-I-say ‘American-ised’ motivational nonsense is just not up their street at all.

So let me say a few words about why goal setting is for everyone.

A number of years ago a friend of mine was getting married in Hamburg, Germany. 5 of us piled into my old Peugeot 205 diesel and set out from London to Folkstone to catch a ferry headed for Ostend in Belgium. From there we drove through Belgium, Holland and Germany to reach our destination about 27 hours later, very tired, squashed but pretty pleased with ourselves for making it on time!

We were going somewhere we’d not been before and so the map (this was pre-SatNav days) was the most important thing we had with us, and we studied it continually throughout the journey to keep us on track.

Its easy to let life carry on, month by month, year by year, staying on the same roads, not growing, or at least not growing anywhere near as much as you potentially could, and therefore not living the adventure or making the most of the opportunities that are there for the taking.

I’m not even thinking at this point about setting huge goals like becoming a millionaire or climbing Everest (though this works just fine with that stuff). Right now I’m much more interested in the really down-to-earth stuff and helping to make life as we live it every day a little bit more like we’d like it to be. If you and I can keep making those small steps, consistently week by week, the cumulative effect is going to be MASSIVE!

Clearly identified, written-down goals are the road map to take us steadily towards the destination that we’d like to get to.

I’m privileged in my work to watch people setting and achieving these kind of ‘small’ goals almost on a daily basis. I get extremely excited when I see a business owner setting a goal to leave the office earlier to eat dinner with his family, or a mum who works and juggles all those demands, yet still sets a goal to invite an elderly neighbour round for dinner once a week.

See what I mean?

In LMI we define success as ‘the progressive realisation of worthwhile, predetermined, personal goals’ or to put it more simply, Goal Directed Action.

On this basis, I strongly assert, goal setting is for everyone! Success is for everyone! Maybe you’ll agree.