There’s so much hype around New Years Goals that I think we sometimes get ourselves all freaked out about expectations and we kick into fears about the negative stuff we hear over and over about goal setting and how most people don’t stick to their resolutions.
A woman I know got the opportunity (twice!) to meet the Dalai Lama in person – once in a private audience while he was going about his morning routine. She said that over tea he would review his mail and all the requests that were made of him – and apparently there are plenty.
What impressed her was how quickly he sorted through all of it. He’d look through each piece and say YES, NO, NO, YES, YES – as he sorted each item into the yes or no stack. What she learned was that he was able to do that very easily because he knows EXACTLY what his agenda is and so he knows what fits and what doesn’t, and he told he never feels bad about saying no. Just like that.
I’ve been paying a lot of attention to my gut in recent months – so many opportunities and ideas present themselves to me and my entrepreneurial radar starts spinning and I can be tempted by things that don’t really fit into my agenda. I’m trying out the Dalai Lama model because if I know exactly what my plans are, and how much time I have at my disposal to execute them, I’ll know right away whether something fits or not. It’s taken me a couple of months, but it’s gotten much easier and as a result I’m getting more done and feeling better about what I’m doing and the decisions I’m making.
New Years planning this year felt different to me as a result. I starting thinking about all this in September and October and I decided a great way to approach New Years planning would be to get clear about what fits and what doesn’t. When I make hard and fast goals, they never seem to work out; I set myself up for disappointment because they’re too rigid. This seemed like a better way to go.
My New Year started in a way I never could have imagined and it has put all my big plans on hold for a short time while I deal with a challenge I never could’ve expected. And, what it’s making me remember is life is short and you really never know what could come the next day. Yeah, we all say that – but wouldn’t it be great not to need a major wake up call to remember how fleeting it all is? Sorry, I’m waxing maudlin on you – my point is this: What steps can you take now to move yourself closer to the things you really desire? Freedom? Happiness? More fun? More Money? Now’s the time! Mostly because it’s the only time.
What are you planning? Are you being too hard on yourself? Or too easy? Are your plans realistic? Are they big enough to get you excited but not so big that they overwhelm you or will never happen because they’re unrealistic? And, can you roll with the inevitable changes that come?
I say do it your way, but do it.
Don’t worry about accountability if that’s not your thing. If it is, get a partner or a group and make a commitment to those people and help each other out. The key is to get into action – don’t sweat the details, don’t worry about being perfect. You don’t have to be great at it (YET – you’ll get there with persistence), you just have to BE at it. Don’t be intimidated by what others are doing – remember, you have your own unique DNA, a voice and ideas no one else on the planet has, and there’s always room for quality, cream does rise to the top – shut out the noise – in your own head, and the voice around you that don’t stand for you want and believe in, and dig in to what’s yours to do.
Here’s to believing in yourself, getting out of your own way, and going for it. Happy 2010!
Goal Setting – Dalai Lama Style