25 Jul

Reasons why you don’t always reach your goals

Stopping smoking, losing weight or improving your time management. These are common examples of goals we set ourselves from time to time, with many coincidentally being set with great pomp, ceremony and champagne around about the beginning of the year. New Year’s resolutions we call them. We convince ourselves that change needs to take place as a new year rolls around. A new year, a new me! For some this may be what’s required to get moving and achieve the desired results, but for most these “new goals” fizzle out within the first two weeks of the year and everything goes back to normal with the idea of improving ones time management being a dark and distant memory.

So what went wrong? Firstly, goal setting shouldn’t be controlled by the time of the year. If you want to achieve something start doing it as soon as possible. Stop waiting for the new year, a new moon or the next leap year to make things happen. Waiting causes you to lose momentum and motivation and procrastination starts kicking in. Secondly, setting a goal and just doing it, is not always as straight forward as we think. The secret to achieving a goal is understanding that your habits and behaviours need to change first. As an example, to achieve the goal of improving your time management, stop thinking about being a time management king/queen. Instead, start thinking about the following;

  1. What habits/behaviours are  currently preventing you from achieving this goal?
  • Going to bed too late and waking up late.
  • Saying yes to every request that comes your way
  • Not keeping a consistent diary

2. What habit, from the above list can you change right now?

  • Setting an earlier bed time or setting the alarm to wake up earlier.
  • Before saying yes, check what tasks and priorities are currently needing your attention. Then say yes, if you can manage it or get into the habit of saying no.
  • Start using a diary.

These are simple habit or behaviour changes. It’s about focusing on changing just that one habit and making it a part of your everyday life, making it a norm. Once the habit has been altered for the better you, can move onto the next habit-changing task. Very soon, you will  realise that you are actually achieving your main goal. Successful goal achievement is not about big wins, it is about understanding what habits or behaviours are holding you back, and figuring out the best way to change them.

30 Mar

Writing your business plan is not the same as writing your grocery list

When you have to do the monthly grocery shop you normal jot down the list of items needed prior to heading off to the store. When you take a message for someone in your office you generally write it down and when you are planning a party you make a list and plan of everything you need and who you will be inviting. You do this so you won’t forget and very importantly that you can refer back to your original thoughts not leaving anything out.
List writing is an excellent habit to have for sticking to a grocery budget or not forgetting to send cousin George a party invitation. List writing however is not how you build a business plan.
Over the past couple of days I’ve spoken with a number of people who have admitted that they haven’t documented their business strategic plans or documented monthly or weekly goals.
Many of them said that they do have a to-do list, which you could say is better than nothing, but the reality of the situation is is that a list is not a plan and your business plan should not be treated like a shopping list.  Big difference!
A to-do list is an unending selection of “stuff”. You tend to keep adding to this list as the days and weeks go on and sometimes when you get to review the list starting from point one you cannot actually recall the reason for why the point had been added in the first place, and it gets removed or left to live another list-hogging day. New points on the list can be added randomly, because they sound good at the time. However how often do these points add value to your original goal?
Lists get lost and get started and ended on different apps, pieces of paper and notebooks. Does this sound familiar?
The biggest difference and benefit about drafting a strategic business plan and then breaking the plan up into bite size pieces and documenting daily, weekly and monthly goals, is that you can be assured that everything you are doing is working towards an end goal.
A strategic plan is just that, strategic.
Your micro goals key into your short term goals, which key into your medium goals which in turn key into your long term goals.
The following points may assist you:
1) Throw your collection of to-do lists away!
2) Dedicate some time to drawing up a precise business strategic plan. You may call on a business coach or mentor to assist you with this process.
3) Invest in a diary – online or paper whichever takes your fancy
4) Be disciplined! What you document in your diary should be actions or activities, which come directly from your main plan. These actions should follow the trusty SMARTER model. (Specific, Measurable, Actioned, Realistic, Timed, Ethical and Resources)
5) Recap on your plan every week and ever quarter review your business plan. This ensures that you are on track and moving towards the end goal in timely fashion.  By having to go back on regular basis it ensures that your plan doesn’t land up in file 13.
 6) Lastly, don’t forget to throw your to-do lists away and do not be tempted to start a new one.
This saves you time and money and keeps you moving forward and very importantly keeps you on track.
Need some assistance with drafting your business plan? Contact Nicole nicole@tikumu.co.nz
24 Mar

When is change meaningful?

How big must the change in our lives be in order for it to be meaningful? What counts as change?

Many people believe that for change to mean anything in their lives, the actual goal  must rate as extremely important on the “importance and impressiveness” scale we have in our heads. So we conjure up enormous goals, which look impressive and magnificent, but at the same time are daunting and overwhelming. Then after a few unsuccessful attempts at trying to achieve these unrealistic goals, we throw in the towel and become disheartened.

Why do we gravitate towards ginormous unrealistic goals?  Often, because we make unrealistic comparisons with other people. We become distracted with other people’s goals, dreams and success stories. Instead of just focusing on ourselves and what feels right for us. We forget to be true to ourselves.

The first rule of goal setting: follow the SMART model. Make sure your goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed. These goals should be set against our own abilities, resources and time frame. Not to be measured or compared to others. If that means that you can only do something small right now to move yourself forward, that is significant. That is meaningful. It is not about the size of the goal or what other people think, but your commitment to making the change and then moving in the right direction, irrespective of where it sits on the “important and impressive” scale.

The second rule of goal setting: Large, long term goals must be broken down into smaller more manageable medium and short term goals.

Some goals are realistic and very achievable. They can however be big and overwhelming. An intimidating goal can seem like an elephant sitting on your plate. You have no idea of how to eat it. But how would you eat an elephant? Easy, one bite at a time.

Large goals should be broken down into small “easy to eat” mouthfuls. Smaller intermediate goals are as important as your big, overwhelming goal. If you are moving forward, even if its an inch, you are moving in the right direction. Any change in the right direction, is change that counts.