You might be sitting down thinking “what am I going to do when Covid restrictions lift and life gets back to “normal.” There are a few things you might need to avoid in making your choices.
Most important is to avoid setting your sights on a moving target. It’s the equivalent of playing football when they keep moving the goal posts.
Here are a few things to avoid:
- Don’t put other people between you and your goal. If someone can sneeze and change your destiny, you’ll be angry forever. This includes bringing up children in collaboration with a partner. Setting that as a target means if your partner doesn’t agree with your every move, you will be frustrated and your goal will sink you.
- Avoid setting your career as a goal under the auspices of a single employer. Putting your future in the hands of one boss, one company or even one location is just asking for insecurity and frustration. If your target is career related, you need to be prepared to keep the goal fixed and vary the team, in other words, change jobs, etc in order to make it happen. Otherwise you’ll be angry for life.
- Be very cautious about basing your entire future on your physical body. Athletes do it and if you were to rank the probability of success of sport you’d be shocked at the odds. They are extremely small. Injuries, competition, time, age, accidents, and finances are just a few of the variables that require extreme focus and a degree of honesty regarding viability. Usually we encourage a longer term post athletic career target with championships as stepping stone options. Only 3 people walk away from Olympic evens as winners, the rest are attendees and that in itself is a great achievement. Setting your sights on a physically dependent outcome is prone to allot of emotional vulnerability.
- Beware of emotional targets. We often hear people say “when I….” and what they are referring to is a state of mind they will achieve when they …. It’s a hope that their happiness, love, feelings, emotions will all transgress the darkness of today and arrive at nirvana when x,y,z happens. This is a terrible self deception. Emotions and our emotional state does not transform just because we do or get something different. Often the opposite due to fear of loss.
- Don’t pin your future on a relationship. This means a personal significant other or a business partnership. In goal setting and vision creation we say “if it can breathe, don’t trust it.” this is not to say we should be single or not love someone, but to make that person an element of your target for the future is basically casting aside every aspect of self-respect and self-belief and putting it in the hands of a friend, mate or partner who, if they sneeze in the wrong direction, can change your destiny. Not good.
- Beware of building a future goal on the principle of pride. Pride, being proud of yourself or others is a genuine loss of all that makes it possible to be a role model, or even achieve your ends, because it has attached you to someone else’s journey. This can often be inverted in the form of “proving someone wrong” or “I’ll show them how clever I am.” Building others is a great thing but becoming proud of them, that’s diminishing them and creating credit where it’s not due.
- Last but not least, value the journey. We set goals and fixed results and often claim to give everything for it but in the process, the sacrifice needs to justify the end. If we end up regretting how we behaved, how must we hurt others in order to achieve a victory, we may find ourselves, fulfilled but alone, with a pile of money and a dark cloud of regret. Both the journey and the end need to be valued, otherwise the process will simply not be sustainable. Regret is a bad friend.
Avoid setting goals around each of the seven areas of life other than to find perfect balance. It is not the achievement of balance that becomes the ambition, it is the search for it. you are nature and nature seeks balance, rarely finds it.
Base your management of the seven areas of life on stability, rather than optimism. These areas of life are not achievements. They are foundations.
90% of the management of the seven areas of life is mind stuff. First and foremost, appreciating what you’ve got and so, this demonstrates the pitfall of aspiring to goal set in these areas when actually being thankful is the secret to self-belief and sustainable process of self-management/leadership.
Have a single goal. Use the seven areas of life as a platform, a launchpad, be satisfied with all seven areas as a concrete launchpad and have only one goal that launches itself from that foundation.
Enjoyment is a huge word, but all self-mastery leads to it. Joy, Enjoy, enjoyment are the embodiment of successful process. Sometimes you can’t change a reality. You might find yourself in a team at work that really operates in an ugly, mean way, so then, your job is to master life so you enjoy that team not change it. Learning how to enjoy the diversity of what comes your way is how you build a non depressive, inspired and healthy foundation on which you can build your single goal.
Most often, when we are disturbed by our circumstances, angered by others, disrupted, distracted by something that pisses us off, there is simply nothing to change. The only thing that needs changing is our ability to embrace a new perspective. If we can see the opportunity to change our mind rather than change our circumstances, we will not waste so much time setting goals to fix what most often, isn’t broken.