By Jay Forte
“Begin with the end in mind.”
This is habit #2 of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This means focus on what you want to achieve. You can’t make progress if you first don’t define what success looks like.
With the arrival of a new year, it is a great time to take a moment to reflect on what you want in 2019. What do you want to achieve, learn, develop or become? What do you want to create, support or change? What will make the year great for you?
The best way to focus on defining an end goal is to make the time and space to reflect. Here is a great question to help you start to reflect on what you want for 2019: Let’s say you are now at December 31, 2019 – you are at the end of the new year. You look back over the year and think “what a great year this has been.” What happened this year that would make you think this?
Take the time to be thoughtful and honest with yourself. When you have a clear understanding of what it was that made the year so great, you can more easily define what you want (end goal) and why you want it, enabling you to create an actionable process to get there. It’s important to remember the “why” associated with your end goal because as things interrupt your progress in achieving your goal (because that is how life can be), your “why” becomes the fuel and the energy to keep you moving.
Here are a couple of examples.
- I want to complete my degree in 2019 (my what). I am doing this to improve my career opportunities and to align myself to roles that need what I am best at (my why).
- I want to think and act like a coach with each member on my team (my what). I am doing this to improve my relationship with each person to improve their engagement, performance and retention (my why).
With this information, you can start to define your end goal – what you want for 2019. You are clear. You have focus. This means you can be intentional.
Take the time to get clear about what you want for yourself in 2019 – personally and professionally. Things don’t just happen – you have to make them happen. This starts by defining what you want. Be optimistic. Be creative. Believe that great things can happen. Stay clear on this.
Then, build a plan to close the gap from where you are to what you want. Work the plan each day and you will see this is how great things happen.
Consider reading The Post-It Note as a Mindfulness Tool