In our last blog, we looked at aligning your strengths with potential with aspirations and used the 5As as a guide to get individuals thinking and using strengths to achieve their goals.
In this blog, we consider that with less than 6 months until the end of the year, it’s worth taking stock of how you’re progressing with your personal goals.
Keeping the Plan Alive
How many times have you been involved in a “new initiative” at work? How many meetings have you sat through, where a fresh and exciting project was passionately evangelised? The whole team left feeling energised and enthused by the possibility of change. Only for the “new initiative” to slide off the radar within a month and never be mentioned again after 6 weeks.
It’s a common experience in many areas of our lives, not just at work. Plans are made and objectives agreed. Only for them to be placed in the bottom draw of our daily activity and never looked at again.
Halfway through the year, it’s worth looking back at the resolutions you began with in January. How are you performing against your aspirations/goals? Are you optimising your strengths as best as you can towards your aspirations? Are you on target to achieving those goals, maintaining the energy of your changes? Or have your plans been left in that bottom drawer? Have you managed to make any changes, or are you still where you were six months ago?
Reviewing the Situation
If, on review, you’re maintaining the energy of your change, well done!
But if, despite the initial good intentions, you haven’t managed to do anything significant to use your strengths to effect change. Or haven’t managed to achieve any of your personal objectives, now is the time to review and take stock.
Whatever you do, it’s important not to beat yourself up about it. Don’t dwell on your shortcomings, as that takes you down the spiral path of limitations but revisit your dream, go back to the possibilities and think about the strengths that you can focus on to help you achieve those goals.
Here are 5 Steps that can help you get back on track before the end of the year.
1. Review your Objectives
Was your resolution realistic? How are you measuring yourself against it? Now is the time to be honest with yourself. If you haven’t managed to meet your goals, it’s worth asking, were your objectives realistic? Did you have a SMART plan?
Making a plan to achieve your goals, make sure it’s realistic rather than too optimistic. Most of all, make sure that it is attainable; what else could you do to make it attainable? Do you need to upskill yourself or draw on the skills and support of someone else? Check yourself against it regularly to see how you’re doing, it is often easier to see the incremental changes than the big change; get feedback from other people to help you gain perspective on yourself. That will help you to see that you are making progress, even when progress seems slow and difficult.
2. Review what truly motivates you?
During tough moments you begin to realise what really keeps you motivated. To reach your goal, you need a deep understanding what motivates you individually. What do your strengths mean to you? What combination of strengths will help you to stay focussed on your objectives? Take some time, go back and review your strengths using the tools on this website. An awareness of how and when to dial-up / dial-down and stretch your individual strengths will help you bring the best out of yourself.
3. Get amazing support
Motivation from others can never be underestimated. Compliments are like a mini-orgasm for the brain. A simple “well done” or congratulatory message can boost your self-confidence and give you the extra motivation to achieve your goals. To achieve your long-term resolutions, you are going to need to draw on the strengths of those around you and share the load. You need the support of colleagues, friends, family and dedicated professionals to keep you focussed. Motivating yourself is a daily challenge. If you actually ask for help and support, people will be delighted to give it. Ask for feedback, but ask for them to be specific, to describe the behaviour they observed that made the difference and the impact; ask them avoid generic feedback, platitudes or overly general criticism.
4. Celebrate successes
It’s hard to stay motivated if you’re only focused on a distant finish line as the point where you can celebrate success. Breaking up your goals into smaller, more achievable targets can help keep you motivated for longer. Find a buddy who is on the same mission so you can jointly share reaching your successes; make your aims and successes public. Research shows public visibility of goals increases the chances of you achieving your goals significantly. Don’t miss obvious opportunities to celebrate small successes along the way!
5. Keep a positive mindset
Enthusiasm and optimism are often cited as the drivers behind achieving goals. And it is certainly the case that unrealistic optimism can help you achieve successes that you never thought were possible.
But, equally important, is allowing yourself the space to feel negative and occasionally despondent. It might sound odd, but it is imperative to understand why you feel that way, when you do. There will be a reason you feel you can’t achieve your goals or that your strengths are not being utilised in the best way they can be.
The solution when you are going through the negativity, is not to push yourself through, but rather to chunk up the challenges into realistic bites, which you can quickly achieve to feel back on the path of possibility! Recognise that all feelings have value, the negative ones as well as the positives; come to appreciate that feelings are also transient. Whatever you feel now, will pass. headspace.com
Optimise Your Strengths to Achieve your Goals
If you are using your strengths properly, it’s easier to stay energised. We’ve covered some essential points here, but for more help with optimising, engaging and utilising your strengths, contact Co-Creation and let us help you achieve what you didn’t think possible.
Getting people behind you and giving you that extra push to lift and carry you at those moments you need them the most is highly beneficial.
When it comes to your personal goals and resolutions, the good news it doesn’t just have to be January to pick up a new habit or start a new way of being. With a focus, consistency, determination and support, the resolutions you’ve abandoned could become natural to you long before the next New Year comes around.