Don't Ever Give-up... Adapt and overcome!
A few years back, a very close friend of mine had a successful home business, and he set himself a big goal: he would grow his home-based business to a million-dollar enterprise within 5 years, so it would then look after itself and he would have more leisure time. I was excited for him!
I would see my friend every month or so. At first, he was very driven. His goal would give him purpose : he had a clear vision of where he wanted to go.
The business progressed well, but then it suffered a setback: He was now reaching for larger contracts, and other businesses he was competing with were already well established and financially stronger. They were therefore able to reduce prices to keep their clients, which put a lot of pressure on his business to reduce his prices to an unsustainable level.
Have you ever wondered why you did certain things or undertook some projects? The last time I set a goal of running a Sprint
Triathlon that required lots of training, I certainly asked myself that question a lot!
The triathlon was going to require me to swim a lot longer than I had ever done before... On top of that, there was going to be a long bike course afterwards, followed by a grueling run! I had run 5 km frequently, but never after having swam and biked that long...
But almost anything is possible with the right support system in place (a sw
im coach for me!) and consistency in training.
Today, I found a very inspiring Quote to remind us that Life is full of surprises:
|One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.||by William Feather|
Yes, there will be unplanned diversions, the progression towards your Goals may not be as simple as you wish, but, keeping in mind that personal Growth comes from experience, experiencing new and sometimes unplanned events is part of the Journey through Life.
Smart Goals, is not smart enough...
Everybody has heard about the SMART acronym for goals, and it's been repeated so much that it's almost perceived as a promise of yielding success no matter how challenging goals are, no matter your life circumstances. SMART basically states that Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-targeted.
Getting things done
Planning. Knowing clearly the various aspects of your life you need to balance will bring a crisper vision of where you want to be, but how will you get there is the next key thing. Just like a pilot needs to clearly define his destination, know what competing aspects of gravity and wind and weight he will have to overcome to get there, he never takes-off without a plan, a clear breakdown of the main actions he will take with his crew.
Habits. Similarly, we need to think about planning for success, and for that, positive Habits have been proven key to changing ourselves and reaching goals. By positive I mean two things: First, habits should be creating with a constructive frame of mind, where each habit, done a few times a week, will yield real progress towards your goals. Secondly, Habits should be growth oriented and constructed as to be stimulating and pleasant. Sure there may be negative, unpleasant or tough aspects to these habits, but the focus, the intent, even how you name the habit should be positive so that you can, gradually, feel better and better, more in control and satisfied by your progress.
Achieve your Goals
with Healthy Habits!
The App that was missing...
Discover how to keep track of your Goals and your Success Habits
- The power of Habits has been known for 25 years.
- Goals require habits to get things done.
- Goal Habits are regular positive Actions directly supporting and tracking your Goals.
- Forget about To-Do lists.
- Reach your Goals with your Key Habits lining-up with your Core Values.
Goals and Habits you can measure
- Define your Core Values
- Identify what Goals are most important to you
- Develop Healthy Plans based on simple habits with progress you can measure
- Easy to understand Life Balance Displays Easy to use Prioritized and Color Coded Information
- Simple Visual Progress Graphs
- Instant Visual feedback as you Take Action
Support Groups for encouragements and mutual friendship
- Join groups and celebrate each other's Awards for having completed your planned Habits with "Like" or comments.
- Link Goals to applicable groups, such as health and fitness, business, mindfulness, etc.
- Create New Groups to gather new teamates.
Your Goals are sorted by order of Priority, 1 being the highest and 5 being for inactive, long-term Goals.
When you create each Goal, select an existing Value or create a new one at the bottom of the Create Goal form.
Clicking on the underlined title of your Goal will take you to your Goals report, showing a progress curve, weekly time spent and journal entries. You can also access the Goal Report from your Dashboard. Of course you need some data before this is useful.
This is the average completion of all the objectives in each Goal at this time.
This column calculates the total time for the Goal's Habits you have defined in the Goal Details form. Identifying new Habits and working diligently to take action is the cornestone of successful change and is what this Goal tool supports the best.
About your Dashboard
This is the personalized view to all your on-going goals with priority of 1 (most important) to 5. Only you can see this information, or any of the information you enter into this App, unless you decide to post details in the Teams area, where you can receive and get supportive comments to other members working in Goals.
- This is where you see the list of active Goals you have.
- Goal Progress in % is a 50-50 mix of your measurable objectives (if you defined one) and the consistency with which you have taken action for all Habits part of this Goal.
- The related Core Value is in bracket. If there is nothing, go to the Goal Details page, edit the goal and pick an existing core value you have or create a new one.
- Click on the graph icon to see your progress charts
- The Plan button brings you to that Goal's details to edit your Goal and it's plan.
- Habits are listed under each Goal.
- The habit title is colored to show if you are late with respect to the number of times done in the past seven days
- The rating color show how you have rated this habit over the past few weeks,
- The Progress bar shows how much action you have taken compared to what your plan was in terms of number of times per week you wanted to do this, and in terms of approximate duration for each time you plan on doing a habit. The empty bar means no action in the past 7 days, a full bar means 100% or more action.
- The report icon takes you to the habit report with some graphs to see what makes this habit tic for you and a journal listing of all your comments for this Habit.
Recording taking action for a Habit
- Click on the empty checkbox at the left of each habit
- The box is pre-filled with todays date and some default values
- You can just click "Record Action" or change the values
- The Notes and the Ratings are important to provide you information when you look at improving your performance or overcoming personal challenges. Take the time to rate and add a short note when you can.
- The App automatically looks at your progress when you record action and will give you an Award when you reach a key milestone for a goal or a habit.
- The awards of the day will be listed here and a post will be published to the Getting Started group or whatever other group you select for your Goal
Team Progress timeline
- Each of your Goals is automatically joined to the Getting Started Group so that we can all cheer each-other up.
- You can change what group a goal belongs to in the Goal details page.
- Your awards are posted in your Goal's group, but with a generic text so your personal information is not shared automatically.
- If you do want to share information notes on a specific Habit you've just done, there is a checkbox in the record event popup form you can check to have your action note posted to your goals group.
- The Cool thing is that other group members will see this note in the group stream here and can cheer-you up with "Likes" and "Comments".
- Make new like-minded friends and share tips!
What are Core Values:
These are areas of your life that you might want to balance with each other.
+ Goal should be linked to one of these Values when you create or edit them.
+ Time spent on each Goals will be counted towards the specific Value you have identified.
+ Time allocated and spent for each Value will be used to calculate the pie charts showing your life balance.
Be Passionate and use Meaningful Titles
+ Naming these Values for group of things that are really close to your heart will give meaning to your Goals.
+ Make these short so that they display better on your Mobile devices you may use to track progress.
+ Should be used to provide more context and remind yourself why a specific Value is important to you.
+ Select one Value each time you create a Goals
+ Life Balance Pie charts use these Values to display your allocation made in your plans and to display the time you have spent in the past week and in the past 24 hours.
+ Some areas are initialy defined, but feel free to create your own, delete or edit your Values.
+ Deleting Values will not erase goals associated with them.
This week is mental health week, and it got me thinking what Goals can support a healthy mind? It helps starting by asking the question: what is mental health?
I propose that mental health is the absence of mental problems but also when we have a feeling of well-being inside ourselves and when we feel in harmony with people around us in the various contexts of our lives: home, social, work, etc.
What is a way you think we can make our Goals more mind-friendly?
Post your comments and let's see what we can come-up with!
Who are your Stakeholders?
When we talk about small business goals we consider maximizing profit, streamlining workflow, and keeping stakeholders happy. How is it we manage our most important stakeholders so much differently than those in the office? That’s right. I’m talking about family members. It must seem bizarre to use this MBA-speak talking about loved ones, but, just like with workplace colleagues, your family has a vested interest in your success. They take many forms: Attention, comfort, kind words, physical affection, presents and acts of service. Why do we assume our families are less complicated than the players in our 9-5 lives? We should apply our management knowledge and better all of our life facets.
Let’s see the Goal Interceptor App and its practical value for your family:
Your young son or daughter promises performance improvement this upcoming school term. It’s a rather ambitious goal for a child; success will required sustained effort on his part as well as oversight from you. You require goal planning for your role as mentor and guidepost.
The goal you set with him, for him, is to get him an average mark of 85 rather than the 75 last term. You put the important syllabus items into the Goal Interceptor:
- Pay careful attention in school,
- Study every week night to review and complete homework
- Read required and optional material
- Review homework with mom and dad
- Ask your son/daughter what he/she thinks would be appropriate
- Do homework,
- Complete quizzes and tests with marks above 85%
- Complete and submit term papers
Perform a stakeholder analysis. You can’t apply a system of incentives without knowing which perks will help your cause. Your son wants to attend a Monster Truck event, get a new book, a computer game, and go on a weekend camping. You divide the rewards into large and small categories, and distribute them accordingly. Perhaps missing no homework assignments doubles his allowance. The possibilities are endless. Without a great tool, such active management would prove impossible. There are not enough hours at dinner time to itemize each grade. Fortunately, the assignments can be laid out in the template so you’ll have a constant reminder.
The Power of Habits to become effective
In 1989 Steven Covey altered the self-help landscape with Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Twenty-five years later his model remains synonymous with wellness. Let’s revisit these principles and how they work in the Information Age.
Habit 1: Be Proactive.
Always move towards those goals you deem most important. Management gurus tell us to adopt an assertive stance. They’re right, but they don’t go far enough. This is an age of a thousand distractions. You must leverage technology to retain your productivity. The Goal Interceptor App can help. Monitoring the mind/body/spirit connection will make you more adaptable.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind.
Goal planning is like riding a bicycle. Nobody is born knowing the art, and one-hundred percent experience some bruising. Practice and self-feedback are the best ways to improve goal planning. You might miss big details initially, but visualize your goals and keep working. As you learn about yourself, improvement follows. You can’t get any place you don’t believe exists. What does your future success story look like?
We need to talk about the elephant in the room. Stress.
It seems like some days life tests us from the time we roll out of bed until the sun goes down. Some days stress even interferes with our ability to accomplish the things that would remove the anxiety itself. It sounds crazy, but when you’re anxious it becomes harder to solve your problems. Think about it. Flight or fight responses are an evolutionary adaptation handed down to us from early man. An adrenaline boost was more helpful in hunting a sabre-tooth tiger than it is in solving a modern problem requiring logic.
The following , combined with your Goal Interceptor app, will keep your goal management strategy humming along.
- Identify stressful habits,
- routines, and occurrences
- Start a stress journal
- Exercise Challenge automatic thoughts
- Create a worry appointment
Reduce Stress and be more Serene
What makes your stress levels spike? Are the interaction and situations within your control? How often do you worry about things you cannot change? You may have hear this Serenity Prayer:
Have courage to change what you can and the wisdom to know what you can’t.
- You can use Goal Interceptor’s event recording functionality to create a stress journal. This is a running log of what’s going on in your life and your reactions.
- Automatic thoughts are those things your brain says in its usual internal dialogue.
- When doing a math problem, “I will never understand calculus and it’s not even worth trying.”
- When starting your own business, “The economy is terrible and everybody I know is going under.”
You can’t let these things stay unfiltered in your head. Many times these beliefs are false, and believing them can stress you out and make reasonable situations objects of fear.
New Visual Status Lights for each Habits
This week, we are introducing better integration of your Holistic self. When you take action, you have the opportunity to rate your experience so you can learn from the past and improve both your efficiency and your feelings.
It is our firm belief that you can Reach your Goals faster, while staying in Balance and being Happy!
Leverage your Performance with Ratings
To be in better alignment with the science of the human person, you have the option to rate these four things after you record your Actions. The thing to remember is that a positive rating in any one of these will help you in the other areas. For example, Thinking good thoughts will often put you in a good mood, which in turn will help you take action. The dashboard now shows your past 30 day average for each habit rating component with easy to read colors:
For the highest rating,
I have a bold experiment for you to try. Walk into your manager's office tomorrow without knocking. Demand a hefty pay raise, effective immediately. He or she may put up resistance, but just use your toughest hardball tactics. Let us know if you get your way.
If you want the income bump without the pink slip, a safer alternative exists. How about using your Goal Interceptor App to help the ledger side of your books? It's not as easy as winning the lottery, but you CAN stretch that dollar. Live wiser and better with mind/body/spiritual growth.
But I already know what I spend! I keep the lights on, my car fueled and food on the table. After the tax man and the credit card companies get theirs, there's not a lot left with which to tinker. This may be true, but it only makes the case for smart budgeting. The smaller the pie, the more critical each piece becomes.
Goal Interceptor can help:
- Reduce Stress - Feeling better doesn't require more money.
- Goal Planning for Success - Go after the goals that matter to you and don't try to keep up with others.
- Provide Positive Reinforcement - Setting clear goals and specific objectives, you will literally SEE your progress. You can then celebrate reaching specific milestones and indulge when it matters most.
Plot your Expenditures Holistically
- You could setup a Financial Management Goal:
- For example, create habits in terms of Dollars instead of Hours. Tracking spending is then done tracking $ instead of time, and all the reports can be used like that!
- Your objectives could be savings towards a specific purchase or a trip, so you get to update the objective once in while from your bank account balance.
- Identify you are tracking money in the goal title. You might enter a dollar sign at the title's end. The minutes field gets converted to hours automatically.
- Check-out the template called "Save for Travel" and customize it. Start tracking expanses and savings!
Spending carefully and efficiently
Wasting money while you save is like trying to fill a pail with a hole in it. A discretionary spending problem exists when we buy items or services we do not need, without considering any alternatives, or that aren't in our budget.
Loosing calories or loosing years?
We all know serial dieters. Nobody tries harder than they do. They succeed, they lapse, and they start the dieting process again. These tragic heroes can struggle for years and make us wonder whether there's a better success habit out there. There is.
Mood and Nutrition
If one knows his or her mood, they know their susceptibility to cravings, and can act accordingly. There's a strong relationship between mood and diet. Did you know that certain foods release endorphin, much as running does? These powerful, pain-killing opiates can bring us peace. Unfortunately, this all comes with a price. The deeply satisfying sensation lasts only so long, and it’s easy to undo whole days of diet and exercise while in the grip of low affect.
Chances are that you know a chocoholic. He or she turns to the dark (chocolate) side when unhappy. Perhaps you've seen a romantic comedy where the protagonist waits out her heartbreak with a pint of ice cream. Sadness equals vulnerability; one wants empty-calories when struggling because of their numbing effect. When the ground falls away beneath a person, they turn to the easiest refuge – food.
Healthy Weight Goal
Our evolutionary psychology prepares us for famine and not for abundance. How can goal interceptor help with cravings and prevent setbacks to dieting goals? The functionality of the Goal App is perfect for traking your target weight as objectives, but there's more. By tracking wellness across the spectrum of one’s life, he or she can better evaluate risk. No more rainy afternoons undoing weeks of cautious calorie counting. A staple of chronic dieters is the lack of awareness. Not sensing the patterns in their failure, they don’t know where they go wrong.
Be Awake, Be Mindfull
Washington Irving’s Rip van Winkle nodded off one afternoon; when the folk hero awoke, he found that time had no trouble moving on without him. Do you often find yourself drifting without proper goal management? A little more mindfulness is the answer.
Mindfulness is a state of keen awareness. Only when we’re focused completely in the present are we at our most capable. Suppose you are having a terrible day of work. Your boss has been on your case, you missed the year-end bonus, and – congratulations – management wants you working overtime this Saturday. Don't develop a preoccupation with the recent past! Use mindfulness, putting setbacks into perspective and focusing on what is truly great in your life.
But how? The answer is shifting to the long view. Goal Interceptor’s holistic data allows you a comprehensive view of your achievements across your Life's Facets, Goals and whole person (Mind,Body,Spirit). Remember that time you, a true picture of wellness, saved the presentation, fixed a flat tire, and still arrived on time to your daughter’s field hockey game? Sure you don’t. Like everyone else, you sometimes have a selective memory. Welcome to being human, where we forget years of achievement because today is not following our script.
Visual Guide to your Progress
Goal Interceptor’s visual output gives us objective data we cannot ignore. What’s more motivating than the truth about our own capabilities? We have a history of achievement. Mindfulness enhances our emotional intelligence, concentration, and mood; it puts the very best facets of our character on display. You are not the sum of what you did today, but what you have done for years. If you lock in your keys your car it helps to remember that you have graduated college summa cum laude. There’s an endless amount of encouragement upon which you can draw.
Goals Systems Thinking
Most problems life sends our way have quite a few solutions already. Someone bent on losing weight can join hot yoga, tap the magic of the Atkins Diet, or drink proprietary shakes. With their FDA support, and perhaps even the backing of many physicians, it may seem these products or the thousands like them are foolproof.
Somehow New Year’s resolutions still die before February and shake aficionados end up shelving their wheat germ. What’s truly needed is an integrated goal-management strategy called Systems Thinking.
Because systems thinking existed first as a philosophy, and only later became a goal management tool, it has quite a long pedigree. For our purposes let’s consider systems thinking as “A holistic, well-considered approach that breaks down traditional ideas involving the function of integrated parts; rather than take a piecemeal approach, a systems thinker considers questions like “what does this mean for the other units within the larger network or an entire life?” As far as people are concerned, this can often be viewed as maintaining a Mind - Body - Spirit approach.
The Appropriate Goal for you
In our dieting/exercise examples above, the individuals picked a plan without knowing if it was right for them. Perhaps they first became self-conscious doing advanced yoga with slender twenty-somethings. Maybe peer pressure from a large Mediterranean family rendered the Atkins Diet a fool’s errand. Your personality, circumstances, and preferences will play a role your in chance of success or failure too. You haven’t heard the last protests from your body, even if your mind is firmly resolved to a life of Acai Berries. Is a crash diet before beach seasons a better option than dropping weight gradually? Only you truly know what you need.
Don’t believe that systems thinking is only about dropping your waist size. A good mechanic uses systems thinking too. He or she takes a look at your timing belt when he checks your oil. Functionally they two things have little to do with one another, but the whole engine is imperiled if the timing belt snaps. The best oil in the world won’t matter then.
Many of us are not only professionally-driven, but want to excel at a hobby as well. Can Goal Interceptor make you a scratch golfer? Well, it'd help if you could stay out of the sand traps, but sure, why not? Let's go through the process of goal development using some examples.
As an example I’m using tournament chess, one of my chief pastimes. Let’s see how Goal Interceptor can help my monarch be the last man standing.
Any interface questions you have should be answerable in the tutorial. I am on the “New Goals” screen and in front of me I have blank fields. The slate is clean and I want a strong beginning; I need a goal that’s specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely. Better than “I want to be a great chess player” is “I want to score at least 5.5/7 in the Eastern Open next year, a regional chess tournament.” Notice how easy it is to measure my second goal. I have last-year's record, 5.0/7, as a frame of reference. I won't set a goal I can't possibly know if I've met.
Now let's envision our success. What is holding us back? When a skilled hobbyist prepares to work, what does his or her routine look like? How about yours? I know that high-level chess players are extremely confident and detail-oriented. I on the other hand am nervous and lack focus. This is a barrier for me, and as such I can use Goal Interceptor to change it. I hope you have thought a little about your own. Your objective will be to eliminate one of those barriers.
What is my purpose for breaking this wall down? There surely are a number of improvement methods, all viable, from which I can choose. Why this one, and why now? It's important for me to be absolutely clear why I'm proceeding a certain way. Following this form may help clarify the aims:
Mindful Goal Setting
- Follow your Core Values towards the most important Goals of your Life
- Get inspired with well-defined goals
- Increase your Self-awareness of Mind-Body-Spirit, become more Mindfull
- Keep track of Performance while keeping Hapiness in Balance
- Email Reminders to trigger Actions on Habits that need more attention