Developing a Healthy Relationship with Goals

Standard

I have always hated setting goals.

No, really. I always thought, “I’ll just work as hard as I can, and wherever I get, that’ll be good.” ‘Cuz hard work gets you places, right?

It does. But never as far as you would get if you had a destination in mind. Kind of like treading water as hard as you can, versus actually swimming for shore. There are times when treading water is wisest, but not often.

My lack of goal-setting always had to do with fear. What if I don’t make it? I would feel like such a failure/never live it down/feel stupid/whatever. So rather than admit I had a goal, I would just work hard… and sometimes make the goal, sometimes not.

Case in point of how silly my relationship with success had gotten: Pampered Chef Canada had set up sales achievement goals for their consultants in January 2012 to be reached by June 30th: $10k, $12k, and $15k in sales.I was a new consultant, and I figured there would be NO WAY for me to ever to do that, so I’d just work hard and do what I could… true to the form of fear. By May 2012, I was within $2000 of the $10k goal, and started to sit up and take notice…. but still wouldn’t commit. Then, in the last 5 days of June, I was $175 away from $10k, with no time left to book parties. I suddenly realized how silly it would be to NOT reach this goal, and how much I truly wanted to, and I got desperate. I cornered a bunch of [kind, understanding, wonderful] moms on the bench at my kids’ baseball practice, told them about my [very new] goal, and asked if they or someone they knew needed any Pampered Chef. Between all those ladies, we managed to scrape enough orders together for me to reach my goal with $125 to spare. 

Still didn’t learn my lesson, though.

Then in July 2012, it was Product Free-For-All month – you could earn your new Fall product FREE based on your sales. I thought, oh, I don’t have time. I’ll be going on vacation late in the month… there’s no time for parties. Excuses, not reasons. So I pulled back from reaching for what I wanted, and submitted what I thought should be “reasonable for that season”. I didn’t make the sales result  I was secretly hoping for… but did ok. I ended up ordering the rest of my fall product at a discount.

All this secret hoping changed in August 2012, during my first Pampered Chef National Conference. I remember sitting in that room of 400+ women and men – a room charged with energy, delight and determination – listening to people talk about setting goals and then plowing fearlessly through personal troubles and doubts to achieve their professional goals.  And I thought, why not me? WHY not?  INDEED!  Everyone else around me believed in me – they told me so… why couldn’t I?

Imagine what I could have achieved in the June results if I had actually set a goal and worked towards it sooner than 5 days before the deadline!  And that July sales goal? – I was only $400 away from the level I wanted – that’s a small catalog show. How foolish was that, that I had to spend all that money to buy something that I was to afraid to earn for free?

Fear. That rotten, stinkin’ fear.

That was that. No more silliness.

I went home, set some goals, and went to work. I didn’t achieve all that I set out to do… still had some run-ins with my fear, but it sure was empowering to reach for what I wanted.

And in 2013, I had a LOT of personal troubles to work through as I reached for my professional goals. Extreme illness. Self-doubt. Even death in the family. But as I persevered, I was able to make it, with much love, support and help from those around me.

So here’s what I learned:

There is a big difference between an excuse and a reason. An excuse is trying to justify something that should have or should not have been done. A reason just is. We will either make the time for something, or we will make an excuse… and it all depends on what priority we place on a thing. How important is your goal to you?

The disappointment feels worse than the fear. Yes, the fear feels bad. Horrible, in fact. Maybe even debilitating! But, it’s true!  Ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen if you do reach your goal, and if you don’t reach your goal. You’ll likely find that not reaching it will be worse than if you do.  Like that saying says, “Aim for the moon. If you don’t make it, you’ll still land among the stars.”

Help comes to those who reach for their goals. People are inspired by fearlessness and ambition. Not the ambition that is self-serving and proud and distasteful, but the positive, goal-setting kind, where you have something in mind, and you’re giving all you’ve got to go for it. I was still a ways away from some of the professional goals I had set, but because I was making such a strong effort, team members around me saw and wanted to help. I could not have made my goals without them. They. ROCK. And have helped ME to rock as a result. 😉 It forged stronger bonds with my team AND helped me reach my goal. Awesome, huh? 😉

Dwelling in fear keeps you linked to your past. The past may seem safe, but is that really where you want to live?  If you’re even thinking about goals, chances are, the answer to that is NO.  Announce your goals to the world, to keep you accountable, and to burn the bridge to the past where it is safe to live. You won’t regret it. This excerpt from Secrets of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived by Mike Murdock was fantastically helpful to me as I forged a path for myself into the land of goal-setting and success, and it was shared by a friend on Facebook. It said:

“Your DREAM should be so big, that it unleashes conversations around you.

This is very important; your dream must be big enough to consume you, or it will NOT move you; it must consume your time, your mind, and your conversation.

Telling many others about your dream destroys the option to fail.

You see, if you whisper to yourself, “I’d better not tell anyone about my dream, so I won’t look stupid in their eyes if I fail”, you have just created a BRIDGE BACK TO YESTERDAY. Stop building bridges to your past; it divides your attention and dilutes your energy and enthusiasm.”

Worried or afraid about setting goals? Don’t be. It’s the best, most constructive thing you can do for yourself.

Talk to me! What do you find holds you back from setting goals? What do you find helps you? Tell me in the comments… let’s chat! 🙂

2013 – the year that Faith and Struggle built….

Standard

This blog has been a work in progress for months. And months. Not that I didn’t want to get it together… but this year was a year full of struggles and challenges – some good, some not so much. Health struggles. New, lofty goals to reach for. Death in the family. Self-doubt and overwhelm. Hope.

I must start by telling you what I told my hubby, Mr. PChef, on New Year’s Eve 2012. I really had a sense that 2013 was going to be a time of challenge and personal growth. As if, so far, we’d just been “cruising” and enjoying life with no real difficulties, nothing to complain about.  Looking back on the year, I’d say that ‘challenge’ and ‘growth’ pretty much defined the year! Not that these are negative… they are just tough things that we go through that make us stronger, more faith-full people.

We are not defined by our moments… but we are definitely shaped by them. There were times this year where it definitely would’ve been easier to give in to overwhelm, or give up in frustration or hopelessness. There were circumstances that could make for some unsavoury bitterness or jealousy. Why them and not me? Why me and not THEM? Why any of us? Indeed….

God was a faithful Pilot this year – taking over the helm when I was sure I could not go on. Too many courses, too many commitments;  not enough time, not enough energy;  too many good ideas, not enough of me to go around.

Some great lessons I’ve learned this year, in both my personal and professional life:

Let whatever you do today be enough. Stop stressing about stuff and wondering, ‘surely there’s more I could be doing to advance my ___________ [insert concern here: business, family, spiritual life, whatever]. How many times have I told my hubby or children “You can only do what you can do.” – same applies for me. And for you. 😉

You are enough. God has been prepping you for this moment all your life. Whatever you lack will be developed in the moment or in the progress of time. He has promised us ALL His grace, and ALL sufficiency in ALL things. Our sufficiency is of HIM. “If you don’t got it, you don’t need it right now.” 😉

– No excuses. It doesn’t matter that your [dad, dog, fish, hope…] died. You need to keep picking yourself up and putting one foot in front of the other. Who else will do it for you if you don’t? God is bigger than your problems, and bigger than you… He’s a gentle Shepherd, and He’s got this. Stand up, buck up, and git ‘er dun – with His help.

You DO have time. You just didn’t make it a priority for your time. See line above about no excuses. I’ve caught myself so many times this year about to say, “I didn’t have time to…” and corrected myself with “I didn’t TAKE time to….”. Refuse to blame – that’s the name of the game.

“There is no dream too big, and no dreamer too small.” Love this line from the movie Turbo. I felt so small and incapable so many times this year… but had friends and family who backed me, and saw potential where I didn’t. They encouraged me to go on. I had some pretty lofty goals this year, and was able to achieve them. “I get by with a little help from my friends.” 😉

You have not arrived. The destination is still ahead – the best is yet to be. Don’t settle for making it part-way to your goal. Don’t let off the gas. That alone caused me to fall behind so many times this year in accomplishing what I wanted to – internally, in my subconscious, I relaxed and settled for less, content with a bit of success.  But, it ain’t over ’til it’s over, baby! 😉

I’m sure there’s many more lessons I learned…. but if I’ve forgotten them, I’m sure I’ll learn them again this year. God’s good that way… He knows when we need reminding. God has been faithful… and I’ve been blessed beyond measure, through thick and thin.

Wishing you God’s richest blessing for this coming year! xo