In Part 1 of this blog, I challenged you to stop and take a broader look at your life and your WDYWFY (What Do You Want For Yourself). I encouraged you to begin that process by taking a look at what matters most to you by identifying your top values. That process is important, not only to identify your top values, but also through realizing what isn’t in the top five. Sometimes we are spending a whole lot of time and energy on things that we later realize aren’t that important. If you’ve not had time to do that yet, here is the link where you can do that: https://www.think2perform.com/our-approach/values
Building from your values-based framework, reflect a bit and write goals for this year or this first or next part of your retirement. What do you want to have happen? I know, it’s almost February and that may feel a little like New Year’s stuff. Creating and getting clear about your goals is an important step to make your ideal life your real life! It gives your brain something to organize activity behind. Even if you can only come up with one goal you want to make happen for your life this year, go with it. I’m all for simple.
The Acid Test for Your Goals
You have likely learned about writing goals using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic/Relevant and Time-based) acronym. I encourage that, and let’s simplify that even further for use here by using an idea that I am borrowing from Doug Lennick, the CEO of think2perform:
When you think about turning your wants into goals, Doug advises applying this acid test to each goal:
Signs Along the Way
When I work with people on building what’s next, once their goals are set, I also ask them to put ‘markers’ alongside their goals. What fun things will you notice or encounter that will be evidence of moving in the direction of your goals? This is not a measurement, such as, “When I step on the scale, I will weigh 14 pounds less”. A marker happens out in the world as a result of your intention and effort, but isn’t the end goal. For example, “Someone will compliment me on how much healthier I look.” or “I will be asked to lead a retreat.”
I think of pairing markers with goals as push vs. pull. When we set a goal and work toward it, we are using effort and determination to push toward it. Markers are something we envision happening out in the future and simply show up along the way to provide evidence we’re heading in the right direction and are in alignment. They pull us forward. I think it is as important to envision out to the future and watch for those signals showing up as it is to do the work each day to make your goals happen.
Questions for You
As you arrive at your goals and markers for your year or your retirement, here are some questions to ponder:
Enjoy the gift of this year ahead of you. Taking time to think about what you want for yourself and what matters most to you, how you live in alignment, and what it will look like when you move in that new direction will help help you make meaningful use of this year in your life and in your retirement. That is my hope for you in your 2020.
How exciting that we are beginning a new year and decade! Many of us made resolutions as the year turned. That date provides us a built-in starting line and deadline. These new goals are often centered around how we eat or exercise, though this year a lot of people are talking about positivity (which is much needed in our culture).
I am challenging you to start this year and decade thinking both more broadly and specifically about what you really want. At the consulting firm I work with, think2perform, we call it WDYWFY—What Do You Want For Yourself?. Sometimes we get so busy DOING life, that we have forgotten to periodically stop and take time to really know where we’re heading or why we want to go there in the first place. So...what do you want for yourself? Take some time to think about that. Better yet, write it down.
When I work with my coaching clients, I often start with a process where my client rates their satisfaction with different areas of their life (physical, social, relational, emotional, etc.). We look at both where they are happy and where they feel they want something different. This stimulates thought about what is important and what is out of alignment. You can take time and do that for yourself in helping think about your WDYWFY.
What matters most for you to pursue or maintain in your life? A great next step is to identify your top five values. From a neuroscience standpoint, the brain can’t hold more than 3-5 priorities in life at a time, so narrowing your values to the point you can name them quickly and focus on them each day does a lot to help you make decisions about your life and act on staying in alignment with your values. think2perform has an exercise that helps you identify your top five online, and it's free! Plan on about 10-20 minutes to do this. You can find it by clicking on this link: https://www.think2perform.com/our-approach/values
After arriving at and writing down your top five values:
These steps (deciding what you want for yourself, where are things not in alignment, and determining your values) are great plenty for you to soak on for one blog column. In my next posting, I will take the process a little further to begin helping you think about living out life in alignment. And in the meantime, keep focusing on your five top values each day and thinking about where they fit in your life. Stay tuned!
Ruth Tongen helps people plan and live meaningful, fun and healthier retirements.