Following on from my previous post I thought it would be a good idea to give a little how-to series. I hope over the next few weeks to post some useful tips and ideas to help you identify what’s important and help you to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
Previously we looked at the “busy-ness = value” myth and how so many of us believe that being busy means we must be getting it right and adding value to our lives/work/whatever. We saw that value (defined as making a worthwhile contribution or a feeling of self worth and satisfaction in ourselves/our achievements) is really found when we define what is important to us and we move along a path that will enable us to achieve the important.
So how do we know what’s important and what’s simply urgent? How do we tell the difference and how do we pursue importance over urgent? We need to remember here that this process is the sum of its parts. There are certain steps we need to take and each step contributes to the whole. It’s not a linear process as such, “do step 1, then step 2 and presto I’ve got it all down”. This is life coaching and as the name suggests it’s about our lives which means it’s an ongoing process – one that is definitely worth pursuing!
There are 4 key elements in defining the important vs. the urgent. Each element is worthy of its own post so my intention is to wet your appetite with a brief overview and to delve into the details in the coming posts.
Element 1: Vision
You may have heard these sayings: “without a vision the people perish” and “aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time with great accuracy”. Both of these are true when it comes to achieving in our lives. If we want to get anywhere, achieve anything at all we first need to define what it is we want, we need the bigger picture, we need a Vision. Vision is our starting point. In the words of the famous Dr King “I have a dream…” What’s your dream, your vision?
Element 2: Goals
A vision is a fantastic thing to have, but without goals it’s pretty much useless. Goals are the tangible steps we are going to take to help us achieve our vision. A vision is a big picture; it can often seem so huge that we have no idea how we are ever going to achieve it. Enter Goals. By defining tangible, achievable goals we are able to divide that huge vision into smaller achievable steps… and by ticking them off as we meet them; we are encouraged as we see ourselves getting closer and closer to our vision
Element 3: Evaluation
We have a vision and we have goals, now we need to evaluate our progress. We need to see if we are on the right track, that the goals we set to get us to our vision are in fact taking us in that direction. Evaluation helps us to refocus on where we are heading and what is the best path to getting there. Life changes, circumstances change, evaluation helps us to ride out the changes, the ups and downs, and stay on track.
Element 4: Accountability
Probably the most important element of all. Its tough doing anything on our own, we need someone who is going to push us and keep us true to our vision. Accountability is a key element in following the important over the urgent, in achieving our vision. We need someone – a third party, someone we trust – to help keep us on track.
I hope this has inspired you to think about what you want to achieve from life! Maybe you are already starting to see those visions of where you want to be and what you want to achieve… I encourage you to keep coming back and read the following posts over the next few weeks… I promise you they will be worth it!