9 steps to effective goal mapping (or How to meet Oprah) 

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.

strengthsdesires

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.

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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).

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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.)

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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?

–Clare

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Next time. Tomorrow. Maybe Later. Or, how to stop avoiding your goals!

Here at Live ClareLesley we love goals and lists. That’s actually an understatement. We at Live ClareLesley LIVE for goals, and believe lists help you stay organized.

I have to admit something to you readers. I have some things on my lists that have never left. Haven’t even come close to even doing the first step towards crossing them off. In fact, a couple I thought about crossing off because I didn’t want to look at them anymore and I couldn’t see a time in my future where I would be able to tackle them.

For example, I had on my November to do list “spin class 2x a week to prepare for “Cycle for Survival“. I went one time in November. Put it on the December list….ran 6 days a week but never went to class. In January, I even told my Man “I must go twice a week!”  I had 4 weeks to prepare. I looked at two group classes schedules and never attended. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, one day I even was at the gym, and a class was about to start at 12pm.  BUT I decided to go for a run instead. My February cycling event came around, and wouldn’t you know I had only been two one class in 4 months. Don’t even feel sorry for me…I did it to myself.

I died! The class killed me. I was sucking wind. I promise you I ran 4 miles a day 4-6 days a week. But did I make the time to cycle? NOPE, no siree bob I did not. So, after 50 minutes of fantastic music, great eye candy and amazing cheer crowd energy I peeled my sweaty booty off the bike seat. I made my legs at least get me off the “saddle” and I managed to make my way into the glorious locker room showers and take way too long of a shower for any Californian aware of the drought.

I obviously survived. “The class killed me”  was more of the state of being. A mindful condescending look. That internal argument we have after we stay up too late watching “House of Cards” before work the next day. You knew you would be tired but “that tired”? Really! Oh to be 21 again. I  was catatonic most of the day and ate my weight in plant based food that night. Beating myself up for not making cycling class a priority.  Then I woke up and crossed that off my list.

I know longer was preparing for an event. I obviously didn’t care about cycling as much as running. I had hoped that practicing for the event would give me a reason to get on a cycling kick. To have something other than running be a cardio option. But I didn’t really enjoy it (if you do that is so freaking awesome by the way. This is not a knock cycling blog). Why on earth was I forcing myself to do something I didn’t want to do every week?  Seeing this goal/to do item just made me feel bad. I felt like I wasn’t living up to my goals. Also, and most importantly just because we do something once doesn’t me we want or have to do it again. So, it’s absolutely ok to have enjoyed the moment and move on to the next.

I crossed it off! Sharpied right through it. I took my 2015 goals out and check of Cycle for Survival. Then went into my calendar to list and took off “cycle 2x/ week”.  Take a look at your lists. Do any of the excuses/thoughts/frustrations below sound familiar?

  1. After several months its no longer a priority or excitement.
  2. It didn’t light your fire.
  3. You don’t feel good about yourself seeing it there day after day–in fact it feels like a chore.
  4. You’ve asked yourself Why? Why am I avoiding this goal?

That last reason I want to repeat for you. I asked myself Why? Self, why do you put off scheduling a cycling class? Self, why do you find time for everything else including extra work but not this? Self, why do you have this as a goal?

You can do this too! Try it. Look at the goals you have. Look at your to do lists. Why are those items on there? How did they get there? Did you put them there? Did someone say you should do something?  So you put it on your lists. Maybe it sounded good at the time?

It’s absolutely ok to leave a goal or task on your list. Just have a good reason why you are leaving it there. If you find yourself making excuse after excuse, re-evaluate the item. What would it take for you to get it done? Do that! Or don’t. But stop torturing yourself over what you’re putting off.

I was putting off cycling because while I LOVE the event (seriously an amazing cause) I dislike going regularly to class. I much prefer to spend my cardio time with my run buddy. We get to talk about our day, what we like, don’t like, dating and goals and best part end with an awesome iced coffee. I can’t do any of that in cycling class. Also, if I am really really honest. I like the sound of when people say they are going to class. I liked the idea of being one of those people. But, truth be told: it really isn’t me.

We are not failures for not achieving the tasks or goals we set for ourselves. We are being honest with ourselves and rocking our bliss. Not someone else’s or what we think we should do because it sounds good. Sometimes we set goals and then we grow out of them. Luckily we write goals on paper, not in stone. You can change them as needed.

Grab your lists and goals and ask yourself Why are some of these taking so long? Do I really want to achieve these?

Tell us what you’re working on. What you’re tossing out and what you’ve crossed off!

Xx~LL

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

Climbing the Career Ladder 

As you know from Take a Leap of Faith before I was a Pilates Instructor and Goals Coach, I was a retail manager. Before I was a store manager I was an assistant manager, a key holder, sales person, and before all that I was the cashier!  While I was a store manager, I was becoming a Pilates Instructor. Those were some long days, 15-20 hours a week training, and 50 hours a week managing a thriving retail store. After I finished my training I was teaching part time and managing full time. Doctors work less than I did! There came time when I had to choose. Spoiler alert: I chose Pilates. Stay tuned one day I’ll tell you more about that major decision. I began working as a Pilates instructor at a health club, and as history repeats itself I began climbing up the rungs.

I’m not writing this to tout my successes. Nope, I already know I’m great at what I do. I’m writing this because I’ve noticed that there are many people out there who think they can go from zero to sixty without accelerating through the other speeds. A friend-of-a-friend is unemployed. Has an awesome degree from a very well known university. The job he wants, most people don’t get without having over 10 years of experience. Part of the reason so much experience is desired, is so the right candidate can develop relationships with colleagues in that field. A position like he wants also requires a great amount of experience out in the field, that one doesn’t achieve without starting lower on the ladder. Do you see where I’m going with this?  He has to start lower and work his way up! Also, lower on the ladder doesn’t mean he is “lowly” it just means his experience is perfect for that job. I absolutely do want you to have your hearts desires. However, there are steps in between; there are experiences that need to be well experienced.  You aim for the highest high and the part from where you are now will take you through the route there. I promise! Unless you’re gifted with a company from family, or thin air (and even then I would hope you would want to see how all the moving parts work) you have to get your foot in the door. Show your awesome skills, learn from others and grow.

I started as a Pilates Instructor. Then I was promoted to Pilates Studio manager. After visioning experience running a small studio I was promoted to a bigger more challenging studio. A short time later I was promoted to Area Manager. I know in the future, with more experience there will be another rung! I knew years ago that I wanted the job I have now. But, without the experiences I gained I could not do the job I’m doing today.  I’ll get honest with you. At each rung there was a time I thought to myself “I’m above this. I could be doing something bigger, better with my time.” I saw the areas that were lacking my skills. I wanted to be up there. But, in hindsight I can tell you that I a) needed to gain the experience of that position so I could coach and develop those who would be in it b) I didn’t know all the moving parts from where I was on the ladder. With each rung I gained more insight into the rungs ahead.

We’re there days I wanted to throw in the towel? Yep! Sure, but I knew in my gut that was quitting on my bigger goals. The reason today I can coach those who come to me is because I stuck it out. I kept my focus and learned what I could so I could move up. I never waited for anyone to notice my hard work. I touted it and asked for more.  I shared my goals and perspectives and took advice and critiques so I could climb again. My advice for you is dream big.  Work that dream backwards until you have something “small” to work with. Work backward from the vision until you get to where you are today, right now.  For example, say you want to own your own coffee shop, and currently you’re a barista.  You start having a big dream and a little knowledge. Option A: go around talking about how you would do things if it was your cafe. Get frustrated that a bank won’t take you seriously or that you don’t have investors who can see your vision. Outcome: a whiny life, with a latte Option B: talk to the manager of the coffee shop. Tell them one day you’d like to run your own shop one day. Ask what it takes to move up the ladder. A great boss will see this as a compliment and take you under their wing. Your success makes them look good. Plus, you’ll gain lessons on ordering, hiring, scheduling etc. If you don’t get this mentor then 1) tell that person’s boss your dream or 2) interview at other coffee shops and tell them you are looking to learn. You love being a barista, but you also want to learn how to manage. Outcome: great on the job lessons. You’ll discover if you really enjoy managing people and what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Hopefully my friends friend will stop waiting for someone to give him the big dream job and go get the job he’s qualified for that will lead him toward dreamland. You’re exactly where you need to be right now. Isn’t that Amazing?

Xx~LL 

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!