“To reach success one must be clear on their personal definition of success.”

Today we talk about finding clarity in what we want to achieve.

The next few weeks on the Coachcast we going to be preparing to plan for 2015. In order to properly plan we need to be clear on what we want.

When we look at clarity I define it as understanding what we really want and why we want it. Too often people decide they want something yet don’t really know why. You have a dream that one day you will buy an expensive sports car and that may be a goal you have. Is buying that sports car what you really want? I don’t think so. It’s the benefits you perceive that sports car will bring that you want. Maybe its prestige, thrill or some other emotions that owning that car will bring to you that you want. Having clarity is understanding the experience that you want not just the goal.

We can’t set good goals without be clear on what we want to experience and have in life. I see it all the time with my clients, they set goals and achieve them but still do not get what they wanted. this is because they were not clear on what they really wanted. For instance, you may say that you want to do $5M in revenue next year and set that as your goal. You charge hard and get $5.2M in work but at the end of the year you find yourself still covered in debt and struggling to make end meet. You first reaction is to blame something and decide that you need to increase your revenue for next year. The real reaction should have been to take a deeper look at your goal. If you were clear on this, your real goal should have been to have a capital reserve or higher profit margin or maybe even as simple as less stress. This is what happens when we blindly set goals without being clear on what we really want.

To set meaningful goals that we continue to work towards we need to be clear of what it is that we want. We need to understand the life we want to live and have a vision of how that works. If you have clarity on the things you are striving to achieve you will find yourself continually working towards those goals.

[tweetthis]To reach success one must be clear on their personal definition of success[/tweetthis]

How do we get clear? This is a hard thing to figure out for many people. They often think they want one thing then when they get it they realize they didn’t want it at all. In the example above, the contractor may be thinking I want to make $5M because it will get me more freedom. Once he starts generating sales on that level he may actually find that his business now demands more of his time and ultimately lost freedom. So he needed to realize upfront that his clear goal was freedom. If he did, his revenue goal may have actually been to lower sales to free up time.

To start getting a better understanding and more clarity you need to do a values assessment. Determine your top values. Take a list of values and come up with your top 10 values and rank them in order of importance. Then start working on the top 5 first. You want to establish your plans and goals based on how they will affect your primary values.

Now that you know what you top 5 values are it’s time for some critical thinking exercises. Take some time to look at each value and start thinking about what the ideal world would look like related to that value. If your top value is family then think about what your family life would look like in the ideal situation. Visualize how you would live you days, weeks, months, and so on. Would you take vacations? Would you have dinner together every night?

With you clear visions in mind it’s time to start thinking about your broad goals. These are the big picture things that are generalizations. Maybe it’s something like being home most nights to tuck the kids into bed. It could be having enough disposable income to take the family on unique vacations every year. Look at these goals as they relate to your 4 areas of life, work, community, family and self. Set your big picture goals for each area. Be sure to think about how each of your goals would mesh together.

With these big picture goals in mind you will now have more clarity on your plans for the future. As you build out your detailed goals and plans you can use these big-picture ideas to help guide you to setting the right goals.

Take-Action Items:

  1. Do a values assessment – determine the Top 5 Values

  2. Define the ideal world around each of those values

  3. Develop your high level goals around work, family, community and self

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