About a month ago when we discussed upcoming blogs, I groaned out loud on the phone to Lesley when we discussed that I should write this blog. Goals–Lesley is the half of this pair that makes them, and is successful at achieving them. Continually. She gets so excited about goals and achieving them–check out her post about goals last year…I’m more of a dreamer than a goal maker. However, the next day I picked up on a podcast where I left off, and BOOM-I was super inspired. So here we go: Goals 2016.
I was listening to Lewis Howes’s podcast and he was answering questions from listeners. Lewis was asked what his 5 year goals include. Although that podcast itself isn’t the focus, this question is. But here is the link if you want to check it out. He started listing people he wanted to interview–and the first few he listed I was with him, oh yeah he could totally get THOSE guests (like I know his reach from listening to his podcast for a month) and then he listed Oprah and President Obama. In my head, I thought “oh yeah, that’s reaching too far. He’ll never get those.” I was getting ready for work and I literally froze in my tracks–waaaaayyyyiiiit. Why COULDN’T he get those guests? He’s a prominent figure in the personal growth world. He’s got a podcast and a best seller and a great overcoming adversity story. He should have goals that big.
Ok. So let’s switch gears for a moment and I’ll come back to this. At this moment Lesley and I are trying to figure out new goals for our LiveClareLesley empire, and so I’m taking in A LOT of content (books, blogs, podcasts) on making a better business, being a better person, better ways to attract a partner…so generically: how to be better. What a lot of the advice boils down to is:
1) Find your strengths.
2) Find your desires.
3) Aim higher than both.
The people spouting this info are always saying that is what they did, became more successful than their gigantic and once unattainable dream, and now people are looking to these souls who have reached their goals, listening to them repeat these instructions.
Now, back to, my new personal growth crush: Lewis Howes, and his goal to get to interview Oprah or the President–I stopped in my tracks because I was pooh poohing a man who just published a book and is on the best seller list. WHY?!? Because, I realized two seconds later, I don’t trust that if I made the goal to interview Oprah from where I’m standing at this moment in my life, that I could interview her; which would make our Live ClareLesley empire explode! That woman is a current day Midas! But why should she talk to two gals in a startup self help realm? I was so wrong and judgmental on TWO levels. I was judging someone else based on my fear to make a goal, I wrote about something similar on this blog.
The second bad judgment–the only real reason she wouldn’t do an interview with me is because it’s not my goal to get there. Let me say that again: the only REAL thing stopping me from talking to Oprah is that I haven’t taken the steps to get the opportunity to talk to her.
In the same phone convo where I shirked at writing about goals, Lesley said: if I want something, I’ll move heaven and hell to get it. If I’m not that interested, I will let it pass by.
THAT IS SO TRUE! If we don’t REALLY want something, why is it a goal? Maybe I could get the interview with Oprah, or maybe I don’t really want it. In other words, I’m either not aiming my goal to get me where I want to go, OR I don’t actually WANT that goal.
Another thought: at the end, or near end, of any theater project every theater friend asks me: so what’s your next project? It’s a general question we all ask each other. Even if the actor asked this question doesn’t have a show, we always have a plan: I’m going to get my headshots redone so I can hit the ground running in January; I’m taking a class starting next week; I’ve got 5 auditions next week…you get the picture. In other words, actors are always working to get more work, to achieve the bigger goal. Many of my friends dream of moving to Hollywood/NYC to make it big. We continue to strive towards this dream. I’m always planning. Always looking for the NEXT. So…..why don’t I do this in other areas of my life? Why don’t I have the goal to someday interview Oprah for Live ClareLesley?!? This blog, this empire is just as important–it’s a newer dream with a newer goal, but it’s just as important as my dream to be a Broadway star and win several awards, get asked to do a television show that will run 10 years and have re-runs that will fund my life, let me be bi-costal, travel, and choose how to live out my late 60s through the next 40 years. (Woah, that’s specific. You’re probably having a similar thought to this paragraph as I did to Lewis saying he wanted to interview Oprah. Yup. Brought it back around).
Ok. So here’s the New Goal Idea (wellllll, it’s not new, and you’ve probably read something like this before, but reminders are always helpful–and maybe you’re in a better place to receive it now. If not, bookmark this page–you’ll think of it and want it later!) we are going to map out our goals backwards!! Go get a pen and paper. Yes. Paper and pen. I’ll wait.
Ok. Write out your answers. Here we go:
1) What is your big lifetime goal?
(For my example, I’m going to steal Lewis’s and say: I want to interview Oprah)
2) Why is that your goal?
(Uh, Oprah is amazing and everything she touches is gold. Oh and she is a role model and helps people–and I want to help people) Oprah is an influence and I have some great questions I would love to ask her, that I don’t think anyone else has asked.
–if you don’t have an answer for this question, or your answer is hard to come to: re-think question #1. It could be you have a different version of this goal, as in you want to meet a different celebrity like a Kardashian, or maybe you want to be a great influence in the world.
3) what is the last step in your goal? (Huh?!?) This is something that you can control but seems inflated. Maybe even untouchable. It’s ok, humor me.
Ok. Ummm the last step in my goal is to have a wide following (like 200,000 followers) and a published book on the best seller list, so I’m a heavy enough hitter to have Oprah know who I am, and her people will answer the phone when I call.
4) How do I get there? (Ugh! Why are my own questions SO hard?!?)
I need to write the book. I need to build up my empire so great that other people are sharing and helping me market/sell my name and ideas.
5) How do I get to my answer in #4?
(Whaaaaat?!? Is this a trick?)
I create a book idea that is sellable and get it to a publisher (or other options), and I establish and make a big name for myself.
6) How do I get to answer #5?
I brainstorm a book idea. Market my website.
7) How do I get to answer #6? I do research; Look at other books, figure out what audience I have, figure out what I want to say. I go look for marketing tips, books, strategies, people who are good at marketing and ask for help/advice.
8) How do I get to #7?
Get an audience by starting a blog/podcast/website/social media presence.
9) How do I get to #8?
…Ok. I think you get the generic idea. Keep digesting your “gigantic and scary and maybe even seemingly-unattainable” goal until you get to tangible solutions/or mini-goals that will start you up that ladder.
Now, please note, that I’d at any given step, if you had no solution, you might want to think what it is that you really want. OR if it’s an old goal and you’ve already tried the steps, walk away and get a new goal (either for a bit or for good)! No sense in driving yourself crazy for a goal you don’t really want anymore.
ALSO–if you find that your goals are more focused on others dreams or goals (as in: my mother always wanted to have a cooking show, so I’m going to be a chef because once I made amazing Mac and cheese and she’s always told me I should be a chef, even though cutting tomatoes is boring and fish heads terrify me. Um, yeah. No. Get a new goal. One that YOU want.)
Take this paper you wrote your answers on and put it up somewhere you will look at it daily: next to the coffee pot, next to your bathroom mirror, tape it to your computer top or television! You need to look at your goals DAILY in order to remind/challenge/cheer you on to your penultimate goal. (Yes, for you anal retentives, or you feng shui types, feel free to rewrite or make a more attractive version of your goals. But–once you’ve achieved each step, cross it off or check it off or rewrite the sheet and put it ON TOP (don’t throw away the old sheet–you SHOULD be reminded of what you’ve achieved.) But DO change the look or location of the sheet so you don’t get used to seeing it, and start to ignore it. You can also revise as you go–if you find that other solutions might help you get to your goal in a better way.
Feel free to do this goal mapping for any goal. Dig deep into those big goals–anything is attainable, you just need to figure out how to get there.
So now go forth, dream big! (No one was ever hurt by dreaming big, only for not challenging themselves!!) Go answer the question: what’s next?
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