Guiding principles to accomplishing more than you thought possible
As we enter a new year, it’s a good time to reflect on goals and plans for 2019. Instead of outlining ways to set goals (SMART) or discuss the merits of short versus long-term, I’m going to provide a few “guiding principles” to consider as you create your path to a successful 2019.
These “guiding principles” have become the foundation of my approach to goal setting. I’ve learned these guiding principles over time and I hope you find something on this list that can act as a stimulus to achieve greatness in your life and/or career.
Why not deviate from incremental, good-enough goals? “Aim High,” and achieve more than you thought was possible.
Whether you’re setting expectations for yourself or for your team, aim high and don’t settle for good enough. At the same time, be realistic, and set interim objectives to ensure you’re on the path to achievement and to build momentum. Importantly, keep in mind the best way to push beyond “good enough” is to lead from the front. Aiming high requires courage, and resiliency; and making sure you’re out in front on the toughest issues and challenges. My bet is you will be surprised to see how much you’re capable of accomplishing.
Know when, and how far, to swing the pendulum
As I’ve written before, understanding the need for harmony is key. Be sure to swing the work-life pendulum appropriately based on the circumstances. As an example, this year my second grandchild was born and the pendulum swung towards family immediately after he arrived. Importantly, I also kept my eye on the clients I served too, but I knew this experience would never be replicated.
On the other hand, there will also be times when circumstances require you to swing the pendulum to work. You may have to work long hours, stay late at the office, and make sacrifices of time and family for your job, because these times are also fleeting.
The point of the harmony pendulum is that it swings, based on circumstances and values. It should not get “stuck” in place.
Open your heart and mind
Every person, and every idea is unique and different. Be open and receptive to these differences. The road to renewal and reinvention is paved by “new” experiences and perspectives. Embracing diversity in thought and opinion will broaden your perspective and initiate new thinking. Really listen to ideas and views that are contrary to how you think. Find the nuggets of truth and incorporate into your approach and mindset. Staying relevant and current requires broadening your thinking and aptitude by opening your heart and mind.
The power of positive thinking can transform relationships and outcomes. Being realistic, yet positive is a contagious attitude. Acknowledge setbacks and failures, and then move ahead quickly and in a positive manner. One of my dearest friends, Shawn Green, fought an intense battle with brain cancer before succumbing to the disease. During the battle he always answered “how are you” with “Every day is a good day.”
Viewing the world through a positive lense had a profound impact on those around Shawn and was a driving force in enabling Shawn to extend his battle with cancer. This real life example amplifies a very important point; NEVER underestimate the impact of a positive and optimistic outlook on the people you work with and the performance of your team.
Enjoy the ride
Experience is the only path to real intelligence, and you won’t benefit unless you enjoy the ride. Embrace all situations as growth opportunities. We tend to forget that the only way to grow is to be put in uncomfortable positions, situations and circumstances.
We all know we do our best work when we’re lost in the moment, focused on success, and learning from the experience. Enjoy the journey, knowing every chapter may not unfold as planned.
I encourage you to keep these guiding principles in mind as you develop your goals and plans for 2019. .
Because… greatness occurs when we strive to do more than we believe is possible.
This article was originally published on medium.com on 1/30/2019.