Life goals and key performance indicators (KPI’s) affect all aspects of our lives, not only career and finance. We need to make sure we have a balance by setting comprehensive goals and KPI’s, so I suggest considering the following categories when setting goals:
- Physical Health
- Mental Health
- Financial independence
Once those aspects of your life are inked in – I say, “inked” because not one of these can be erased if you want a limitless and fulfilling life. Some may overlap – if the family loves a particular sport and does it together while on vacation you have three areas covered – family, physical fitness and recreation time – perhaps even four if the activity brings the family together spiritually. For each area of your life become SMART with setting the goals and KPI’s that are:
When mapping out your course, remember that even in charted seas unexpected hazards may pop up so the plans need to be adaptable. You need to be like the palm tree whose leaves can move with the storm rather than snap and break.
Don’t become a prisoner of your goals
The words goal and gaol (jail) have only two letters transposed. It’s very important to keep your eye on the prize without allowing goals to become imprisoning and limiting. What you are aiming for is a liberated and limitless life. And I am going to show you how to put systems in place to achieve your best quality of life.
If an important life event comes up and it interferes with a goal that was supposed to be achieved then go with the flow, but don’t make a habit of it.
Why life goals often don’t work
We all know that the reason new years resolutions don’t work is that there isn’t a review plan – but that doesn’t mean you should give up on setting annual goals entirely. The goal needs to be top of mind each day and you need to be able to check off something that you have done towards achieving that goal – in the beginning it may be research, then education followed by an action plan. What is important is that you don’t lose impetus and let setbacks put the plan out of action completely. It’s better to get back onto the proverbial horse once you have fallen than to wait three months and let your fear and anxiety build up. I should know. I’ve fallen. More than once. When I was younger I expanded too fast, made some wrong decisions and was too trusting, but I jumped right back into business and have gained far more than I lost creating highly successful franchises and businesses worth millions of dollars.
Create weekly mini-goals
What I find works is to break larger goals down into 3-month periods and then review the progress weekly. This does not mean you set a goal on a Monday and the next Monday take a look, realise it hasn't been achieved and push it to the next week. Instead take a few minutes during your goal setting time to plan your step-by-step actions towards achieving your goal on each day of the week.
You may have more than one goal for a week – there may be goals overflowing from the previous week due to circumstances beyond your control, goals you feel need to be researched and put in place for further along in the year. Don’t worry – with careful planning you can handle it all!
There are no priorities
It’s a mistake to think that one aspect of your life takes precedence over others – many people have sacrificed their families, their mental and their physical health in order to promote their careers. It’s a hollow victory. Every aspect of your life is important so schedule it some time. Who wants to miss out on a birthday, a wedding or the birth of a child because work comes first? Far too many people end their lives wondering why they put financial success first and lost out on love, family and health. You need to become a good juggler and not drop any of the balls!
Structuring your to do list
Start with the VIT’s (very important tasks) – if you get these done your day will have been a success!
Then there are the goals for your own mental and physical well-being - like chatting to a loved one, going to the gym or for a run with the dog. If you don’t do these on a daily basis the world won’t end but you will be more emotionally healthy and fitter for having done them.
Completing items that are on the nice-to-do-if–I’m-not-interrupted-and meetings-don’t-carry-on-too-long list can make you feel like a super achiever by the end of the day. Try to schedule in times for these in the beginning. Soon you’ll know what is possible for you in a day and what is not. People’s biggest mistakes are overestimating the time available – either they enslave themselves trying to finish everything on the list and become angry and frustrated as they see the next day’s list growing longer or they simply give up saying they can’t cope.
Take control of your day before it controls you. Let’s say you have a number of tasks to perform don’t just write them down – plan them in order of priority AND the estimated time each should take, allowing for traveling time if applicable.
Strategies to give you more time:
- Get up an hour earlier. This way everyone won’t be awake and you have time for meditation, planning, and preparation for your day.
- Checking email is a difficult one – there is advice that says wait until later in the day to check mail. Personally I feel people want answers immediately so check and answer important emails as soon as the day starts. That way people know you have attended to their requests/orders/queries and won’t harass you with follow up calls or emails. Leave all other emails for later in the day when you have finished your important goals.
- Schedule meetings into a particular time you have chosen – for example inform people that Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 to say 3pm you will be available for meetings. Unless something is very urgent try to ensure that all meetings are scheduled only between these times.
Above all when you are stressed do not simply keep on going. Get help. If you break down then none of the goals or KPI’s will be achieved, but if you take some time for a pit stop you’ll soon be back ready to live life to the limits.