Wheel of Life
Now the first thing to notice is that, as it is currently stands, this would not make a very good wheel. Eh no!
If it was fitted to your car or bike then I think you’d be in for quite a bumpy ride.
The same holds true for your life!
Unless all of these categories are optimised then your going to be out of balance and unhappy in some areas and this may have a disproportionate effect on your life in general……not rocket science but you get the idea!
So this gives us our baseline for our Life Plan.
Step 1 – Architect Your Goals
Now that we know where we are in each Life Area, it’s time to start thinking about what we need to do to improve these areas.
What goals if successfully achieved would make a significant impact to your life satisfaction score and the quality of your life in each area?
For example, what would you need to do to move from a 4 to an 8 in the Career area or a 5 to a 9 in you Relationships sector?
Take some time now to brainstorm these and write down some goals for improving each of your Life Areas.
Don’t rush this. Put aside some quality time when you are not distracted and you can really think about this. You might want to involve your partner or close family members.
Ok. Completed that? Good.
Now the more interesting bit is how you can actually start planning and improving things in each of your categories.
I’m going to show you how you can: work out what you need to do to improve in each area and implement a prioritisation and planning method that will ensure that you are working on the things that really matter to you!…..
Making Your Goals a Reality
Typically, how often do people write down their goals?…..maybe once a year around New Year before they go back to work and get distracted by life?
How do most people follow up to make sure that they are on track to acheiving their goals? You know the answer…..most people don’t but they repeat the same useless exercise year after year with little or no progress on their goals.
In order to move forward you have to plan and execute actions and constantly monitor and measure your progress.
You need to measure progress against each of your goals on at least a WEEKLY basis.
Imperfect action beats No action any day of the week!
Step 2 – Effective Planning – Outcome – Impact – Actions
A goal is really just an idea until you develop a plan that outlines exactly what you are going to do to achieve it.
If we want to set ourselves up to successfully achieve a goal then we need to consider the following 3 things:
- What is the outcome that I really want? (refer back to Step 2 above)
- Why do I want this? What impact or difference is this going to make to my life or the life of those I care about?
- What specific actions do I need to take to achieve this goal?
Review the goals that you wrote down earlier. Now take each one and make them as specific as possible. In business people talk about SMART goals – Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Timebound.
For example if one of your goals is “Lose weight” then you need to make it a lot smarter. So for example, you could change it to say “By July 1st I will have lost 20lbs in weight and reduced my waist size from 42″ to 36” “
Can you see how this is much more meaningful?
Next thing to do is to write down why you want to ahieve this goal. In the case of the example above your “Why?” may be “It’s important for me to lose 20lbs so that I can increase my energy levels and get back to playing the sports that I love including football and skiing. I also want to ensure that I’m fit and healthy and can continue to spend quality time with my kids and grandkids for as long as possible.”
You can see that there are some deeply personal reasons here that ensure that you are emotionally invested achieving your goal.
Write down your “why?” for each of your goals.
Now that you’ve defined your goals in detail and you’ve thought about and written down your “why?” it’s now time to brainstorm exactly what you need to do in order to achieve each goal (or to get to a point where you know what you need to do)….
This does not need to be perfect. As you progress with your goals projects you’ll come up with other actions and different ways to do things and that’s ok.
Repeat this for each of your goals.
You should now have a set of SMART Goals each with a “Why?” and a list of Actions required to deliver them.
The next step is to Prioritise your Actions. Some Actions may have to be completed before others can start. Some may be very important. Others may be nice to haves. Number your Actions – 1 (very important), 2 (less important) or 3 (least important/nice to have).
Some Actions will make a significant impact on the achievement of your goal. The 80/20 rule applies here, where 20% of the actions will deliver 80% of the progress towards the goal. Mark these Key Actions with an *.
Before we can effectively schedule this work we need to do a couple more planning steps.
We need to Estimate how long it will take to perform each Action. Go ahead and write this down. Just remember that most people vastly underestimate the amount of time it takes to complete a task.
The last but arguably most important step is to review the Actions and see if there are any that can be outsourced or delegated to someone else. Particularly if there are Actions that involve skills and experience that you don’t have. It may be a more effective use of your time and money to simply pay someone else to do it for you?
Step 3 – Schedule and Diligently Execute
Now that you’ve prioritised and estimated the time to complete each Action it is time to allocate time to work on them.
If you don’t already use one, you’ll need access to a Calendar. There’s probably one on your phone. I use Outlook but Gmail and most email packages have good calendars.
Looking at your Key Actions and priorities, you want to block out time on your calendar to work on them.
This is where the magic really happens!
If you want to make progress on achieving your life goals. You are going to have to ensure that you can work on the Key Actions uninterupted.
It is really important to be diligent and disciplined when it comes to this step.
Make sure to schedule your most important Actions first at times when you absolutely know you can work on them. Work on these at the expense of all others.
Step 4 – Monitor and Measure
There is a famous quote in business – “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!”
I would say that the opposite is also true i.e. you can’t manage it, if you don’t measure it!
With this in mind it’s extremely important to perform a regular review of progress on your Actions and Goals.
I would suggest that you should spend 10 minutes every evening to check progress against the Actions that you had planned to complete that day. You can then make adjustments to your schedule for the following day or remainder of the week if required.
You also want to review overall progress against each of your Goals. Typically, I would suggest doing this at the weekend and spending 15 or 20 minutes to review progress, make any updates or refinements to your Goals and/or Actions.
Tip: Build review time into your Calendar and set reminders!
Step 5 – Celebrate Completion!
Remember back in Step 2 when we established how important achieving these goals would be to your life and the impact they would make?
Chances are that you will have had to work very hard over several months or even years to realise them.
Do yourself a favour and celebrate in style whenever you achieve one of these major goals!
Enjoy the moment and use the elation and energy to supercharge your efforts on your other goals.
Bonus Step – How to use 5 Senses Visualisation to Achieve your Goals
“Simply by changing your habitual vocabulary, you can instantaneously change how you think, how you feel, and how you live.” – Tony Robbins
How would someone who has already acheived this goal act or perform….what would their habits be? How would they carry themselves? How would they talk and act?……
THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT…..Start being that person right now……in advance of acheiving this goal…..
It’s also a key point that most people get back to front i.e. I’ll start acting that way one I’ve acheived the goal. No. You need to act as if it has already happened and programme this success into your DNA.
“Shoot for the moon and if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars.” – Les Brown
Institutionalise a daily practise of visualising your goals as successfully completed. I do this as part of a 15 minute morning meditation. It’s important to really feel how you would feel if you’ve acheived the goal. What would it mean to you? How would you feel? What would you see, hear, smell, taste etc? In doing this you will dial that success into your DNA.
Tip: Try to get all of your 5 sense involved in your envisioning practise. If you are not used to meditating then watch some guided meditations on YouTube to show you the ropes. Once you feel comfortable then start envisioning having achieved your goals and try to add as much detail as possible:
- What do you see? Visual
- What sounds are there? Auditory
- How do you feel in your body? Kinesthetic
- What can you taste in your mouth? Gustation (difficult one I know but just go with it)
- What can you smell? Olfactory
So think about where you are and what is the scene like? Who is with you? What are the background and foreground noises? What’s the weather like? Are you hot, cold, just right? Are you eating food or drinking? What can you smell…..the sea, your partner’s cologne, the food that you are eating? You get the idea.
I also use a visual planning tool called Trello which is like Post-It notes on steroids. I find it very intuitive and useful. And what’s more it is completely free! Check out Trello here.
I’d love to hear what if you have some Key Goals that you want to achieve and what would be the impact on your life. Send me an email and let me know!
PS – I’m going to leave you with a link to a Tony Robbins video where he talks about how you can increase your energy levels so that you’re inspired to take action and get things done!