Episode 192: Reflection to Gain Direction

Today is the day you set up your strategy for a productive new year! Do you ever wonder how some people can accomplish so much in a year? You can too! In this episode Jimmy shares his strategy to setting and accomplishing his biggest goals for 2023.

Episode Keys:

  • Jimmy’s mentality and reasons for setting challenging goals that require him to grow to achieve them.
  • How you should chunk your goals into smaller “next actions” to gain progress.
  • Why you must have goals that change you to become a better you!
  • When to review your goals so that consistent progress can be achieved – weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually.
  • Jimmy’s book of the 1st quarter that motivates him to grow and why biographies are critical to inspiration.

Podcast Transcript

Good morning and Happy New Year! Oh, man, I’m coming to you here on the second day of 2023. It has been exciting already. You know, when you have a New Year’s start, there’s just something about your brain that goes, man, clean slate, more energy, greater vigor to attacking the day’s challenges. Well, maybe that’s just me, but I hope it’s you as well. Good morning, this is Jimmy Williams, your host today on Live a Life By Design, your Monday Morning Moments of Motivation. And Dare I said, you’re a, hopefully a year long coach for all things that make you bigger, better, and bolder. Oh, I gotta tell you, we had a great year in 2022, and we’ll tell you right now, everybody, look at what you accomplished last year. There’s a couple of things you gotta realize about reflecting on a previous year, and that’s what I’m doing right now.

I’m going through what I call, basically my after year review. I wanna see what went well, what didn’t go as well as planned, or what could I have done or not even attempted and still had a great year. These are the questions I ask myself as I look back over my journals. I look back over my goal planner. I look back over the calendar. I just look to see are there areas in life that could be improved that I am using to springboard into 2023 in a more powerful way? Now, I know what you’re saying. Hey, Jimmy. We’ve, we understand there’s a lot that you have going on, but how could you do any more? I got news for you. I’m not looking in 2023 to do simply more. I’m looking in 2023 to be more impactful. Yeah, I’m gonna limit some of my volunteerism, if you will.

I’m going to be more focused on some areas that give greater significance, impact and treat it with abundance to gain the necessary traction that that organization may need to move forward with its goals and ambitions. You know, it’s one of those things in life that as we, we sit down this time of year and we reflect a little bit, it’s easy to go into what we call the Gap. My coach business coach at Strategic Coach Dan Sullivan always says, there’s the gap and then there’s the gain. And too often we sit down and we measure back, well, what would’ve been perfect? I got news for you. Nothing’s ever perfect, right? There was not, but one perfect man that walked this earth. And it’s definitely not me, and I got bad news for you. It’s not you either, right? So we shouldn’t be seeking perfection from imperfect beings, but what we should be seeking and learning from is to be more perfect.

I hope you gained that distinction. I’m not saying you’re ever going to achieve it, but just in the striving is where the growth comes. One of the things in my life that I often do is look for new habits. I can start this time of year as well. What are your new habits for this year? Go to our Live a Life By Design community page on Facebook and just list one of your big hairy audacious goals for 2023. It inspires me to see what others are doing and how you are changing the world around you by being a better you. That shows up every day in the way that only you can to feel that area of need in life for someone else. I I wanna tell you, today’s topic for me is one that, that I just, in the opening here, gave you a sense of, I call it the reflection for new direction period of life.

I’m looking at this time of year, I’ve already got my planner set up for this first quarter. I’ve got my goals lined out, and, and let’s talk about that for just a moment on your goals. Don’t sit down and do New Year’s resolutions. To me, those have no impact whatsoever in your mindset. However, if you set down a goal that’s measurable, that’s challenging, but yet achievable to you, and that you understand will make a change in the ha in the way that you live life, that is what you need to write down. Now, I’ve only written, and I know you’re gonna think, wow, what an underachiever, but I’ve only written 12 major goals for this year. That magic number 12, just cause there’s 12 months doesn’t mean I’m gonna attack one of ’em per month. I may attack two one month and not get the third one achieved in the second month, but I’m going to have three big, hairy, audacious goals for this quarter, and I’ve already got them lined up in writing.

I’ve broken them down into measurable milestones so that I can attack them on my agendas each day and a go forward basis to try to achieve them as quickly as possible. It has empowered me to see that I really don’t have to climb the mountain. I just need to make about three feet of a scent every day. I don’t have to go conquer the world, but I do need to make a step forward in the direction that I wish to go. This is what is important about goal setting that differs from resolutions. Oh, you’ve heard all these statements. I, I don’t know how many of them are true about 80% of all resolutions are busted by the 15th or 20th day of January, something of that nature. But definitely don’t live past the 31st day of January in most cases. But at the end of the day, goals can, and here’s the deal.

We’re gonna be reflecting on what the big, hairy, audacious goal is each day, but we’re gonna break it down into those smaller steps, so we can put that all that, that wonderful and vivid check mark. We like to put in a box to the left of that particular step knowing that we’re now inching our way, you know, to that goal accomplishment. But let’s take a a few minutes and reflect a little on 2022. You know, the world just kinda went a little crazy again, right? And you thought, hey, the covid thing was enough, but it, it decided to turn a pivot. And now we have disruption, geopolitical issues, those types of things. But here’s one thing I want to ask you to ask yourself. When you wake up in the morning, what can I do to eliminate political disruption across the globe? And you’ll quickly look at it and feel like you’re inadequate to do so.

And I got news for you. We are, we can’t change what’s going in someone else’s mind to create dysfunction and disruption in the world, but we can take charge and control the mindset we bring to the day in our local community, the impact you may have on those around you that I believe is an exponential means of changing your local part of the world. You know what, we look at this calendar opening up, and you got that January one now, January the second, looking on the calendar. And, you know, it’s just awesome, man, when you open a, a new calendar or whether you are doing it electronically or not. I, I like to use a paper planner in connection with my Evernote system. I use, I’ve talked about many times on this podcast, and I love to smell that fresh ink and those clean pages of opportunity.

They’re just blank sitting there for you to capture the accomplishments you’ve made and to gain traction on what you desire. It’s most important in life. You know, the blank calendar pages are just waiting for your input of a remarkable life in this new year of 2023. And I gotta be honest with you, it looks very, very promising. Why do I say it looks promising when I’m sitting here saying, Jimmy, look at the news, read a newspaper. There is not a lot of positive things happening. It’s because I don’t look at the news or read those newspapers to generate my internal thinking and beliefs. I don’t look at things from the world’s perspective, but from the perspective that I have the capability to accomplish anything I wish in life, if I’m willing to work for it. You know, one of the most important tasks I undertake as each new year begins is this reflection on the previous year.

To me that’s so important because you can’t really predict and charge into the future without knowing where you’ve been. And most importantly, where you are currently. You know, I know the ladies think this about us. Men, they think, Hey you guys get in the car, you’re going to a new destination, and you simply start driving before you even look at the direction you wish to go. Now, ladies, that’s partially true, but I do believe that we are saying as men, let’s just do something and we can make a new decision when additional facts are made known. You know, I have got a good idea of the layout of all of the United States states, so I I know where they are. I’ve been taught this in school all my life. I have been to many of those states personally. But if you were to say to me some small town in Iowa, for example, that I’d never been to, and I need to get there by tomorrow, I would be glad to get in my vehicle and start driving from my location in the direction of Iowa.

Now, I’m not going to get there in the first hour or two, but I do know it’s in the general vicinity of heading north from where I live. Now, unless Iowa has moved its location in the United States map, I know I’m headed at least in the right direction. Now, I need more specific facts. Once I take my position on the road, that highway headed north, and I need to know what side of the state is it on east or west in Iowa, that’ll gimme some idea of which highways I need to take. The point I’m making here is, is just get up today and take some action toward one of your goals. It may not be the full achievement of it, but what it does, it allows you to take that precious momentum that generates the accelerator in your body and your mind and your spirit to go, I need to move forward on this.

You know, it’s one of those things that I, I have set back and thought when I looked at some of my most difficult days, I then reflected on my journals and noticed that I had made the most accomplishment in the goal I had set. So it’s not actually in the achieving, it’s in the striving that you gain the most benefit. And it’s important to me for you to understand that I’m a eternal optimist. I believe that amazing opportunities lie in front of you, and you don’t even know what they look like at this time, this early in the year. You do not realize how important and big opportunities are waiting for you just over the next hill. You know, in 2022, I worked on goals in a variety of areas of life. Most of them may have been accomplished, but the finish line still lays ahead of me even at the end of ’22.

You know, I didn’t be very frank, I didn’t get all of my goals met. I put some pretty big stretch goals out there. And what I mean by stretch are those things that’s gonna really take 110% of me, not just me showing up. It’s going to take a lot of my mentality, my thought, my energy, my being present at the time necessary to make this goal happen. And I will say to you, I had 12 pretty difficult goals to reach, and I only reached eight of them. You know, it wasn’t one of my most profitable years in terms of reaching my goals, but it was one of my biggest growth years in my goals. Let me explain a little further. I set such difficult goals to accomplish. One of my friends said, why do you do this to yourself? As he checks off each of his goals every year, and this feels like he’s empowered himself to take on the world.

And I said, the reason I set a goal that requires me to learn something new, be someone new, be a greater me, be a better person, is because that change in transformation cannot come about simply by writing something that I could accomplish today, being the same old Jimmy. Do you understand what I mean? You must stress yourself in a good way, a little bit more than you did yesterday to see growth. It’s as simple as weight lifting for the physical body. You can’t lift the same weight every day and expect your muscle to grow because it gets attuned. It gets used to the resistance of that weight. You must challenge it by either more weights or more wet reps. You’ve got to have something in you that changes what your routine is to become something new that you’ve never been. Wow, that’s quite a profound statement.

I hope we write that down. You know, so I didn’t have my, my accomplished goals all checked off, so guess what I did? I’m simply going to look at them and see were they that important that I wrote them down? Yes. Is it something now that I just need a little more time and a little more growth in a certain area to accomplish the answers? Yes. Guess what? I’m moving that goal from 22 to 23, and I’m going to take the progress I made from 22 to 23, and I’m going to accomplish that goal in the first quarter of this year. It’s one of my top three goals of the year. I’m gonna finish it this year. I’ll be, be focusing on these remaining goals, as I said, and I will give myself something I learned in 2022. This is where you carry on what you’ve learned.

And I call it grace space. Do not be so hard on yourself now, boy, this is the pot calling the kettle black. I’m very, very hard on myself when I do not reach a goal, but then I look at and realize where I came from. So I don’t go in that gap. I go back and measure, am I a better jimmy today than I was a year ago? And the answer in my eyes is profoundly yes, in all aspects of life. You know, the opportunities we had in 2022 allowed me to grow as a person. Well, what opportunities did you identify in your life in 2022 that gave you the opportunity to be a better person? If you look introspectively, boy, that’s another big word gotta tell you, Lori will be onto me for using such a polysyllabic word. But those glaring times of interactions that could have been better, or statements you may have made in public that that could have been crafted more eloquently, they just jump off the page of your journal.

You just think about it and go, oh, boy, I could have done a little bit better job of that. But the key thing here is you learned from it. You know, the key thing in life is not to ever go through life avoiding mistakes. If you do, you’ll never grow and learn as a person. One of my dearest strengths says he loves to study failures in life. And I looked at him a little bit funny, and then I realized what he was hinting at. He studied some of the greatest battlefield failures of World War I and World War II and the commanding generals. He studied some of the battlefield failures of the Civil War in the United States and the general’s mindsets and their mistakes they made. And I asked him, I said, Hey, Alonzo, I gotta know why you’re asking yourself these questions. Why do you study failure?

He said that his capability of studying the failures of others gave him their mindset so that he himself could understand when he failed at something, it was merely the learning point that he was needing to learn. It was what he did not possess on the day he made the mistake that caused the failure and has learned from that and from others. Yeah, we all would say, wouldn’t he? That probably a lot less expensive to learn from others’ mistakes than our own. So I am going to share with you a couple of things today for 2023. I’m gonna share with you my most recent book. This’ll be my r book. I read this first quarter, and highly recommend biographies. I am a big, big fan of reading about successful people, the challenges they faced, how they overcame them. I just really like successful people that had built their wealth on their own.

I’m talking about came up maybe born very poorly in life, didn’t have have a whole lot, but grit, determination, and ambition. And they took it to the highest level of our country’s wealth. I’m reading David Nassau, n a s a w is his last name. The biography of Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Carnegie has left such an imprint on our country and the world. For example, from a rags to Rich’s story, and became one of the most iconic business legends in, in the world. Actually. He was considered our American first modern titan of wealth. So it’s, it’s pretty funny starting from a very young age at 13 years of age to becoming the richest man in the world upon his retirement. And you know, it’s just one of those things I love at how people learn to build the world they wish to have by working hard and growing as a person.

So that’s my, my book of the quarter, Andrew Carnegie biography by David Nassau. And I gotta tell you, one of my habits I’m changing this year is I’m basically going to be doing more yoga and stretching instead of just two or three days a week. I, I think I’m gonna go in all the time every day just to have that flexibility. I’m kind of listening to my body more. I had several injuries from working out last year in 2022. And, and my doctor as I went to my Yearend physical just a few weeks ago, he is such a great guy. Very, very healthy works out a lot, has his own injuries that he’s dealt with. And he’s about four years older than me. He said it’s just part of the aging process and recommended a book for me.

And I even went ahead and got a great courses course on the the process of staying healthy and aging. And so we may get older, but we should never act old. So I hope those are a couple of things that help you set your tone for the year. Find a great book to feed your mind. Feed your body the great things you need to grow and stay healthy, and then exercise and challenge those muscles to be what you want to be. And that’s a stronger person as we get older to take on all the great things in life that are gonna come our way. Our challenge for you this week is to pick out a great book that will inspire you, motivate you, and challenge you to become better than you were yesterday. This is a year that you can achieve whatever you wish. You know, I love the phrase, if, if you look at how you can conceive something and believe it, you can achieve it, as I paraphrase. So my point to you today is dream what you want to have happen in 2023. Work toward realizing those dreams and then as you achieve them, bring someone along for the trip. Great year for you this year. Happy New Year in 2023. Lori will be back with me next week, and I hope and wish each of you a very healthy and prosperous 2023.

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