|“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” Aristotle|
Tomorrow morning I am about to climb in an airplane and complete my goal: a transcontinental flight across the US in a single engine aircraft, following Amelia’s 1937 route. Two months ago, this goal seemed impossible, more of a dream than a plan. Much has been realized about goal setting and accomplishment in this time, and while I by no means have things figured out, I certainly feel like I have discovered some universal tools to success.
1) Do not be afraid to ask for help. If you are anything like me, asking for help seems a sign of weakness. That is not the case. Differing perspectives, new ideas, experience, advice, and a fresh look can make all the difference in the world. Also, when someone wants to help you for the right reasons, let them. It feels good to give gifts. Sometimes you will be the giver, but other times you will be the recipient.
2) Say your goals out loud. When you take the bold step to tell others what you are planning to do, your goals immediately come alive. From that point, details get filled in, dots get connected and accountability comes into play. In my case, I used this blog to put some real gumption behind my goals. Whether it is family, friends, social media, or a blog, just start saying it! For me, it felt great to catch people off guard. When someone says, “how are you” or “what’s new?”, REALLY tell them! I started saying, things like, “I am training for a cross-country flight” and guess what the response was… “Oh really? I know someone who you should talk to” or “how can I help”. You will be quite surprised to find how much people want to cheer you on and hope for the best. For those who don’t cheer you on, decide that you don’t have room for them in your life. As I have said before, there is room for everyone to be great.
3) Don’t set aside certain times to be the kind of person you strive to be. Be it ALL the time. While we all have roles we play in life, there is no excuse for only allowing yourself to be great when it fits into your schedule or when it convenient to how you feel. Feeling like your own role model is a full time job, but trust me, it pays very well. Off days are for lazy people. Take time to relax, of course… but relax in the mindset of someone who is living a rockin’ life, not like someone who is taking the easy road because it feels good to check out.
4) Cheer others on and make friends with your role models. When you see someone making a difference or excelling at something unique, tell them what you think. Tell them you are proud of what they have pulled off and that you look up to their qualities. In terms of role models, it feels great to be able to shoot an email off to someone who you look up to and actually get a response. Maybe it is a friend who is a smart entrepreneur or a successful athlete. Our role models don’t have to be world-famous or historic figures. Those kinds are excellent but we are all surrounded by a community of people who are one degree of separation away from us. When you meet someone who you look up to, don’t go home and sulk about how you have nothing going on in your own life, call them up, email, or inquire as to how they got where they are! Chances are, they will be willing to tell you a lot about how they got to their position. You are completely in control of who you bring into your circle of friends so you might as well choose some amazing people who inspire you to be great.
5) Stop multi-tasking. This one is simple. Stop trying to be 2 (or 346) places at one time. When you commit to getting something done, put your heart into it, be it dishes, flying, data entry, a conversation, or sleeping. Whatever it is, do it whole heartedly and with enthusiasm. Nothing is worse than talking to someone when they are texting or have their mind on the next thing they must do. Let’s start being genuinely interested in our lives and the people and things we choose to invite into them. It feels great to care.
6) Look each day in the eye. Just as you look your loved ones in the eye and listen to what they have to say, acknowledging them as unique and important, you should do the same thing to each day you are given. When you wake up in the morning, you MUST realize that you have just as many minutes and hours in the day as someone like Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart or anyone you hold in high regard. Not having enough time to reach your goals is a choice, a decision that you make in terms of which items you deem important. What I like to do is get all the tough stuff out of the way early in the day. Work out, pay the bills, make the tough phone calls, get them done so that the rest of the day can be spent in goal oriented focus!
Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong. These things have worked for me and I have a huge smile on my face a majority of the time.
What works for you?