Do you have a goal you want to accomplish? Many people want to make a change in their job and/or their career, but they are not willing or able to to start down the path. Maybe in this generation of instant success, we imagine that we too, can wish it and make it so. Unfortunately, that doesn’t normally happen.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with where you want to go and all that needs to take place. My best advice is to keep your goal in your mind and heart, while you just focus on the next best step you can do. It’s easy to get discouraged, but just keep moving step after step.
If you reach an obstacle or find you are going down the wrong path, pause, then reevaluate your direction. Many times it may need a different plan. It’s all part of the journey after all. Unfortunately, it takes time—usually more time than we had planned, or want.
But think about where you’ll be in 2 years. Will you be further down the road or stuck in the hole you’re currently in. Momentum and motivation builds as you move forward, but sometimes you have to give yourself a little kick start!
When I talk with a potential new client to complete their resume, I often have to remind them that NOW is the time for them to talk about the good work they’ve done.
Women, especially, struggle with talking about what they have done. We have been taught to be humble and we interpret that to play down all we’ve accomplished. I still have to catch myself in doing the same thing at times.
But in looking for work and writing a resume, you need to “get over it”–stand up tall and talk boldly about your work.You need to be honest, but be careful to not play down your performance.
Identify what role you had in getting something done. Often I see a person write on their resume that they assisted in this project or that. What does that mean exactly? You did something to get a task/project done–what was your role in it?
There are several acronyms that are used in helping us develop these accomplishment statements. The one I use is CAR, where C=Challenge you encountered; A=Action you took; R=Result you got.
Whether you are developing a resume or not, keep a log of the things you’ve accomplished this year to prepare for your annual review. Have your list ready to share with your boss. Being human, they often forget what you’ve achieved. Don’t assume they will remember–they may not!
And, furthermore, it’s great for you to look back at what you have done this past year. We keep our focus on what we haven’t done or what we still need to do, we forget or think it unimportant to remember that you HAVE moved forward!
“Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.”—Charles F. Kettering
Chellie Campbell, who wrote The Wealthy Spirit, one of my favorite resources, just wrote about The Processional Effect–in a recent post. She shares how you start towards a goal and of course, acquire skills and experiences. Because of the insights you learn along the way, a new goal may appear to you–something that never occurred to you when you first started out. You couldn’t see your new goal or the new opportunity at the beginning, you needed that additional insight to “get it.”
I can so relate from my recent experiences starting my own coaching business. When I was first laid off from Corporate America, I decided to step away from my human resources experiences. Surely, now was the time to focus on something entirely new with my coaching career.
I began with a generic sounding company called, Best Life Consulting. After I relocated to North Carolina, I then focused my marketing towards helping other singles relocate. Eventually, I realized that none of my clients were single and none of them wanted to relocate. What they needed was help in finding what’s next for them–usually a career.
I soon realized that my prior business experiences could help others who suffered while they were working and for those who have experienced a job loss. That realization started me down the path of looking at the parts from my past that I should bring forward.
I joined WaggleForce–a national network of career clubs that was a brain-child of Tory Johnson (Workplace contributor of Good Morning America). The day I decided to become a leader with them, I felt it was the right step for me. Little did I know that it would lead me to where I am now.
Once I met with my career club members, I jumped in and helped them with their resumes–which were sorely in need of a tune-up. That led me to pursuing a a certification in resume writing and expanding my practice to focus on career coaching.
Although I wish I would have gotten to where I am sooner, I am embracing the processional effect and know that everything happens in its own time. As Chellie reminded me that the importance of a goal is that it is a path leading you in a particular direction.
Our job, then, is just start along a path and begin. Trust that it doesn’t matter what you choose, life knows what you need and will guide you to where you need to be–if you pay attention.
As you look back over your life, can you now see what lessons you were learning and where life was leading you?
What feels good to you today? What feels empowering, creative, and exciting? Those are signposts that Life is giving you. Go do that.
I’m one of those people who regularly sets goals and writes to-do lists. There are many goals I achieve simply by having patience and taking enough steps. Last week, when I attended a business retreat given by Michelle Pippin, I was reminded that some goals sometimes require faith you can achieve it, and by following the process.
Like weight. Years ago, I remember after having my third baby and being challenged with losing that baby weight (I was never like all those famous people who lose all the weight within minutes of giving birth.) I had been following the Weight Watcher diet (again), but this time, nothing seemed to work. Everything I read kept saying, “diet AND exercise, diet AND exercise. This was NOT what I wanted to hear.
I was used to dieting, but was not “into” exercising. After reading an article that said if you can’t do 30 minutes, then start with 15–I reluctantly admitted I could do 15. My plan was less than noble. My thought process was that I would add exercise to my dieting for 6 weeks (I figured that was a respectable amount of time) and when “it” didn’t work, I had the ammunition to march down to my doctor’s office and say that something is wrong–give me a pill or do something to magically make my weight disappear (this was before liposuction).
I set out to walk around the neighborhood. I timed myself, then tried to beat my last record time. Soon I began to walk a driveway and then run to the next driveway. I kept it up and eventually, I saw the results I wanted. (I wish I could say that was the last time I had that losing weight challenge–but that’s another story, I mean–blog!) I
Now that I have started my own business, I am trying to discover the the right process to achieve the results I want. The challenge this time is to figure out what the right process is. There are many people who swear they have the answer and eager person that I am to “succeed,” have tried many of them. Maybe someday, I’ll be able to tell you what the right formula is. Or, perhaps, like weight loss, there is no easy or magical “fix.”
I let my fears stop me for 10 years from becoming a Life Coach. Once I was laid off in 2006, I knew it was now or never to go back to school for coaching. Today, I have been able to do things I never thought were possible some 15 years ago. Since that time, there seems to be an never-ending stream of comfort zone-busting opportunities.
I recently noticed a pattern–it usually starts this way. I volunteer to do something that is right for my business or my own growth. Then, panic sets in and my brain goes numb. Despite acknowledging all I have been able to achieve and/or overcome, the same ol’ fears continue to bubble up–being afraid of making a mistake or being a failure. It’s an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I can see why many people are not able to push through the fears, they run away or ignore such opportunities altogether.
But after a few hours or sometimes a few days, what do you know–I am able to rise to the occasion and come up with the next step or an answer–whatever is needed. I wonder what it would take so that I can just skip that deep pit despair feeling and just move to action? Maybe that will be improbable, but I can certainly shorten the time I spend in panic. It’s worth a try.
It’s tempting to just keep truckin’ onward about the next thing you have to do. There’s always something more–isn’t there! But before I established what I want to accomplish next year, I took the time to look back over 2009. I had forgotten a lot of what I did and was pleasantly surprised to see my list. Starting a new business is certainly an opportunity to stretch and grow at every corner.
In addition to accomplishing a lot of “stuff,” it’s great to consider the behavioral and attitudinal changes that have come along with growth. It’s become more comfortable to be out of my comfort zone. Instead of panic, I am able to take more obstacles and challenges in my stride. I notice how achievements push up my confidence a notch, which helps to ready me for the next “opportunity.”
A far cry from just a few years ago when I let my fears stop me from pursuing coaching. I had every excuse there was. “Suppose I failed? I don’t have the right skills? What do I know about starting a business?” But I never stopped wishing I could be a coach. Everytime I talked or heard about coaching, I noticed a butterfly feeling in my stomach. Although I dismissed it regularly, I now know that’s my gut talking to me.
So, before you make your New Year’s Resolutions or goals, take the time to look back. Be gentle with those that didn’t quite work out the way you had hoped or planned. You are still learning. And yes, I have to remind myself of this very thing too!
I continue to be amazed how much we under-estimate what we are capable of. Back to the late 90’s, there were several events that resulted in a serious decline in my self esteem. Being laid off three years ago was the push I needed to fly or crawl. I flew.
Well, actually, I didn’t think of it as flying, I just took one step in the direction of my dream–hoping that I wasn’t off my rocker. Could I really become a life coach? I wasn’t sure, but after thinking about it for ten years, and no job to hold me back, I was at least going to give it a “go.”
So here I am now, continuing to stretch my wings. Now–going outside my comfort zone is my new normal. Once I accomplished a few of the goals I had established, I knew I was capable of more. I know when I approach something new, while it may seem over-whelming, I just do something fairly small and it raises my confidence enough to take another step.
Unfortunately, many people remain frozen in place. The comfort of their box is too cozy. Cheri Britton, local speaker and coach, calls it our velvet rut. Sometimes we have to be pushed like I was with being fired; sometimes it’s another low point that throws you to your knees. Our biggest growth often comes from those events that are negative, stressful or unpleasant.
There has never been a want for something new to learn when starting a business. As my coach tells me, there is no “there.” There is always a continuing list of things to aim for and strive for.
How do you handle your stretch goals?