In my last blog I ended with my key steps in achieving goals that keep me focused and motivated: 1) Have a Vision, 2) Develop an Action Plan, 3) Do it with a friend, 4) Reflect on progress.
Vision is the first step. You have to know what you want to do and where you want to go. As Stephen Covey writes, “begin with the end in mind”. Without a clear vision, I find myself floundering. I train, but it is half-hearted at best. Once I have a vision and have set a goal, my attitude completely changes. In this case, I am referring to my vision to climb the 7 summits. My current goal within this is to summit Vinson in Antarctica.
It is not just in fitness and adventure where vision is important. Every company needs a vision and every leader needs a personal leadership vision. This vision guides all interactions and decisions and keeps us on a focused course.
Once the vision and goal are in place you need to develop an action plan to bring it all to life. This action plan must be simple and easy to follow or it will become drudgery and quickly abandoned. You must have a way to track your progress and to measure your success.
Do it with a friend
Solo pursuits are very difficult. The physical challenge may be the same, but the mental challenge is far more difficult when alone. Some people thrive on this challenge, but most of us perform better with others at our side. A friend can help in motivation and the pleasure, I find, is much greater when you have someone to share it with.
I really believe that you need to reflect frequently upon your progress. Sometimes we can get lost along the way and not even know it. When I reflect I ask myself if I have stayed true to my vision and action plan or if I need to course correct. Do I intend to continue the plan, adjust it or end it? Through a reflection process, I can objectively assess where I am and select my next steps.