Saturday, November 30, 2013

How to avoid the distraction of someone else's goals

Do people interrupt your work on your own goals because they want you to work on theirs?

How do you get back on track? How to you keep your focus on your own goals?

People mean well. It's a good thing that their goals are important to them. And, in many cases we find the time to help them with their goals and sometimes they reciprocate. That's healthy. What's a problem is getting so pulled into someone else's situation that your own goals go untended. That does not lead to success or happiness.

Here are some ways to keep your focus on your own goals:

1. Schedule time to work on them. Keep that time inviolate. When people interrupt, let them know when you will be available and not until then.

2. Post your goals so that others can see what you're working on. If you've written them skillfully enough, other people may interrupt so that they can work on YOUR goals.

3. Find an isolated placed to work on your goals (I'm doing that right now to avoid interruption!). Someone people like a busy place like a coffee shop -- others like a quiet room or nature spot. Find out what works best for you and choose it at least once this week.

4. When someone does interrupt, take the time to understand their reason. It may be valid. It may be worth your attention. In any case, they won't be ready to leave you alone until you've taken the time to understand them -- to validate either what they want or who they are. This can feel like it takes extra time, but in the long run will save you lots of time.

5. Align your goals with the goals of your organization. This keeps your focus on things that matter to the people who pay you. Why would anyone in your organization want to stop that from happening? The closer the alignment and more clear how your efforts advance the organization, the more freedom you will have to work on those goals.

What other ways have you discovered to avoid the distraction of someone else's goals? I'd love to know what also works for you...

--Douglas Brent Smith

Get the coaching you need to achieve your goals in our group coaching program:Achieving Your Goals.

How About That Goal?

Do you like being followed up on your goals?

I really think goals are important. Helping people achieve their goals is what I do. And yet -- and yet, when I get followed up on, it can irritate me. I didn't expect it. It feels rough. And yet it helps me get that goal achieved.

This week I've been working with a nurse because my mom just got out of the hospital. Part of the deal was getting her medications in order, organizing them and helping her get them into one of those pill boxes for the week arrangements.

Between doctor and physical therapy appointments, trips to the grocery store, and shuttling people around I just didn't quite get around to buying that pill container.  Until the nurse followed up with me. Then, guess what. I bristled just a little, and then I went out and bought it.

Mom's pills are all nicely organized now, thank you very much.

And thank you nurse Linda, for the follow-up.

How do you react to follow-up? Are you getting all the follow-up you need to achieve your goals?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

GOALS for Today

How will you inspire yourself to work on your goals today?

Today, out of nowhere, this little acronym occurred to me:

GOALS
Go strong
Overcome obstacles
Act relentlessly
Learn constantly
Serve the greater good

What do you think? Maybe it's not a whole training program. Maybe it's not a teleclass. Time will tell. But, it makes sense for today, don't you think?

Goals require us to go strong and act decisively. We must take action!

When we do take action we are likely to experience resistance (from ourselves and from others) so it makes sense to work to overcome those obstacles. Don't let them stop us. Move forward.

Which brings us to the need to act relentlessly. We'll get distracted. We'll be given new work to do. Relationships will bring up new needs. But even while all that and more is going on we much work our plan. We must act relentlessly on our plan.

When we are assertively working on a plan we are likely to make some mistakes. New opportunities arise. The ground shifts and things change. That makes it essential for us to learn constantly. To create new ways to learn and learn when new ways present themselves. What  could be more important?

What is important above all of this is to do it in service to something greater than ourselves. It is our responsibility to serve the greater good. Feed the hungry. Clean up the environment. Create justice and fairness. Share responsibility for creating a better world. When we pay attention to that, the rest of the story makes sense and the rest of the work comes much easier.

That's my inspiration on goals for the day. Who knows, maybe it will carry over to more days than this?

What will you do to inspire yourself today?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Are you working on your goals? Would you like some help? Check out my program, "Achieving Your Goals" or schedule an introductory "How to Achieve Your Goals" teleclass for your group.