Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.. –John F. Kennedy
How often have you gone outside to check the mail only to see the garbage can on the side of the house and remember that tomorrow is garbage day? You walk over to the can with the intention to roll it out to the street when you stop half way. You now remember the garbage in the kitchen is full and it will take you longer to carry the kitchen garbage bag all the way to the street, so instead you walk back inside to grab the garbage sack from the kitchen. As you are about to walk in the front door, you pass the beautiful flowers and notice they are surrounded and hidden by weeds so you stop to pull a few only to now have to walk halfway down your driveway to throw those weeds in the garbage can that still hasn't reached its destination and the mail still awaits in the mailbox.
What was your goal? What was your aim?
Whether in a corporate setting or in daily personal living, losing sight of the aim is one of the most common reasons that goals falter and cave.
World class sprinters recognize the importance, in a race based on a hundredth of a second, of every motion and movement that they make. They are consistent in moving every action in one direction toward the finish line. Their aim is deliberately focused on the placement of each strike of the foot, every drive of the arm and the constant intake of air throughout their lungs. They utilize every action to strategically propel them to a higher level of performance.
No movement, no action, no moment of time is wasted.
PACE perFORMance StrategyTM
The last newsletter, Legacy, Purpose and Passion, discussed briefly the first key element (Purpose) in the PACE perFORMance Strategy specifically designed for goal setting and performance enhancement. Now we will focus on the second element: AIM. Many people have asked me,
"What is the difference between the goal that I set and my aim?"
The goal that you set has a final destination. It will be achieved by a specific time. What is it that you are hoping to achieve by when? Aim, however, ensures that your time and efforts are moving in one direction, and in the right direction, toward your desired goal.
Heading into the 2014 Olympics, my coach would often say to our team,
"We've got to be process oriented,
and results driven."
While each of us on the team had a very strong desire to stand on the top of the podium at every race (our GOAL), we had to ensure that all of our efforts in striving to improve were moving in one direction (our AIM) toward our goal. This takes complete focus. This means that distractions must be intentionally pushed aside to allow a clear vision for where you want to go. As many of us, if not all of us, can attest, it's not always as easy as it sounds. We live in a world full of distractions and often times our aim is derailed as we strive to check off as many items on our "to-do" list as is humanly possible. Then we give ourselves a pat on the back for "multi-tasking our way through the day".
Look back on your day so far.
What were (or are if you are reading this at the beginning of the day) your top three goals for the day?
What are some decisions that you have intentionally made today which lead you a step closer to your goals?
What decisions have you made today that had absolutely nothing to do with a goal that you wanted to achieve?
It is imperative to begin each day with an awareness of what your goals are (these are not the same as tedious "check-list" items) and where your aim will take you. Goals push us outside of our comfort zone and into the growth zone. In knowing beforehand what your goals are, you will be empowered to make better time-management decisions throughout your day as life's distractions pass you by.
Research shows that the most successful people in life make much better use of the minutes in a day than the average person. These successful people know that, as Tim Ferriss says,
“What you don’t do determines what you can do.”
What can you eliminate on your "to-do list" today? What is something that is not urgent or extremely important (the Eisenhower Matrix takes this a step further) that you can say no to in order to open up your schedule and aim more intentionally in one direction toward your goals?
This week I had the privilege to discuss strategic performance strategies at the Accelerate18 Executive Summit hosted by InsideSales.com. It was such a great event including incredible speakers such as Michael Lewis and Sugar Ray Leonard.
"Nothing will divert me from my purpose." Abraham Lincoln