Episode 38: Take Control of Your Future

Good morning! This is another beautiful Monday morning for you to get up out of the bed, hop to your feet, get ready to take your talent to the world. And I promise you, achieve a wonderful result. Hi, I’m Jimmy Williams, your host with Live a Life by Design. You’re Monday morning morning moments of motivation that helps you realize your bigger, better, and bolder you so that life may become what you want. Instead of what you have.

Last week, episode 37, we discussed two types of goals. Achievement goals and habit goals. In this episode, we’re going to dig down a little bit deeper on our goal setting and provide you the formula for success so that you may, in 2020 realize your greatness that’s within you. We will explore a better formula. This is adapted from the SMART. S-M-A-R-T system, originally pioneered by GE in the 80s. The framework we use though, has been taught by Michael Hyatt and company and provides an even greater approach to success by enhancing the GE system by only adding two additional letters in the name. So instead of the SMART system, it’s now called the SMARTER system.So grab a pad of paper and pen, let’s put into practice today this outstanding method of writing goals that not only inspire you, but challenge you to new heights of greatness.

You know I meet a lot of people throughout this world, and I always ask them, “Why do you feel that you’re not making progress on your most important goals of life?” And don’t sit back there and laugh that you’ve not done this. I have heard every excuse you can imagine. Well, I set some resolutions. That’s not what we’re talking about today. Then they would say, well I just blew it in the first 30 days of the year and just gave up. Well today, I have the solution for you. If you can take this simple process, this framework for writing goals. You will achieve your goals in more frequency and greater results than ever before.

You know, people become frustrated and downtrodden, and they wonder why they can’t move forward in life. You need actually triggers in your day. You’ve heard me speak of this when we bring on new habits. These triggers are utilized in this smarter framework process for developing our goals. So we’re gonna give you the framework today, that our team uses to develop, monitor, and succeed with goals. This process applies equally well to corporate as well as personal goals. And I assure you, we have been growing as a company and I feel personally that each year I risk a challenge in my life to move into areas I’m not comfortable. And those are the areas in which you grow the most.

You see there are many different methods of recording goals. The physical process of recording your goal varies as well. One of my best friends and mentors, as a matter of fact, he was the first guest or one of the first guests on this podcast many months ago, Randy Thurman. He records his goals in a matrix on a dry erase board on his office wall. He appropriately creates columns of the different areas of this life. There’s charitable, professional, educational, family, spiritual, physical and financial. And under each column he records a few words to trigger his reason for the goal.

For example, he may write “run the OKC marathon” under the heading physical. This approach has worked very well for him for many years. However, Randy, in my opinion, is a super achiever with tremendous focus and abilities to control his day far more than most entrepreneurs. I will tell you this man is so driven that he has to drink coffee and iced tea caffeine to calm down.

He is wound tighter, as my dad would say, then a swiss watch. But I digress, no, Randy is a great, great goal setter. He understands the use of his time and where it’s greatest use can help him grow and help his company grow. And his example of how he achieves his mindset to keep his goals at the front of his face at all times. It’s on there when he’s talking to the phone, he sees the goals. He has subconsciously planted these goals in his mind, and the beauty of it is when he can go up to the dry erase board. Take that marker and mark through one of the goals.

He tells me it gives him such a rush. It is incredible. I use a simple yet effective method to record my goals. For many years I utilized the daytime or pocket system for keeping track of my goals, appointments, notes, etc. However in the past two years, I discovered a planner that will transform my system. From purely and analog system on paper to a hybrid system. And what I mean by hybrid is that we utilize some of it is computerized, and some of it is on paper.

My calendar, for example, is on our client relationship management system called Red Tail. This allows the entire team to see my commitments and availability while noting the particular type of days that are presented. And we’ve talked about them on the podcast before. I have free days, of which I do no work. I have focus days, where all that I do are those top three things that drive revenue or drive growth. And then I have buffer days. Days in which I am working on the business and trying to create better systems or I am coming back from free days and getting up to date on things that may have transpired.

So by implementing and maintaining a cloud based calendar system, my schedule for literally the next 20 years is available for anyone on the team to see. However, I have always performed better, and kept my highest goals when they’re top of mind. And that means writing them down. Too often we believe, oh these computers are so handy. They store forever, everything we need, we can recall it. At a brief moment. The issue for me though, is if I don’t write them down I don’t firmly implant them in my mind to be recalled at a later time. So I set up a system to review my hand written goals each week during what’s called my weekly preview. I’ll get to this in just a little bit more about how it’s important to do this preview.

But to accommodate my need for writing down my goals, I literally switched to the full focus planner. My goals, daily big three, meeting notes, client billing, other tasks, I put them all in my full focus planner. This planner has, as I mentioned earlier a section called ‘Weekly Preview’. It simply is a moment in time at the end of my week to sit down and look back at the wins I had for the week. I list three or four, or five, and then I look at my big three for the week, for the previous week, and then I rate how much percentage that I accomplished those big three.

So I’ll either have 100%, 50% or something in there using my judgment as how far did I get on those big three. And then after that I list what did I do that worked. And then what happened that didn’t work on my weekly big three. And then a section below that, it simply asked, what will you keep doing, what will you improve, what will you start doing, and what will you stop doing? This allows me to see where I can improve for the next week on my weekly big three accomplishments.

The S-M-A-R-T-E-R System

The SMARTER system of goal recording to me is the most powerful component of the Full Focus Planner. To form the best goals, and to reach your pinnacle of life, you must dissect each of the six letters of the SMARTER framework to provide a greater understanding of its use in the goal setting process.

S – Specific

So for example, the first S stands for specific. Your goals should be sufficiently specific that it attracts your focus and channels your energies. For example, you can’t simply say lose weight. There is no specificity to this word, lose weight. How much? One pound, 100 pounds, 4 pounds? You don’t know because you didn’t provide specific amounts that you knew you could accomplish.

M – Measurable

The next letter, M of the framework stands for measurable. For a goal to feel accomplished, you must have the feeling that you crossed the finish line. Your goal should be clear to you so that you can track your progress while achieving it. Another example of this would be, it has to be for a certain period or for a certain amount of or for a number of days. You have to measure it. It has to be measurable or you wouldn’t know that you’ve accomplished the goal.

A – Actionable

So we have specific and measurable. The A stands for actionable. You must use a verb. This isn’t a noun. This is going to be a verb. Something that requires you to take action to achieve it. You see a verb is something that stirs your senses and prompts you for activity in your mind. For example you heard while ago and it said lose weight. Well you have a verb in there, and you have that you’re going to lose weight. But wouldn’t it have been better if you could say lose 5 pounds. So now we have our specific, measurable, and actionable criteria met.

R – Risk

The next letter of the SMARTER framework is the letter R, the first R and it stands for risk. Or risky. The goal must be risky so that you’ll rise to the challenge to accomplishing the goal. Now, no one gets out, sets a goal and just says no risk at all and then feels as though they’ve grown or expanded their horizons because they never were challenged. You must have some risk before you actually feel that you have grown either mentally or physically in your capabilities.

Now, one of the risk that I took when I was a younger lad, is Evel Knievel was one of the greatest daredevils I had ever seen on TV. He is jumping fountains in Las Vegas, school busses in England. This man is just superman incarnate. And one of the things I noticed about him is he took great risks. And when he achieved the jump successfully, he looked like he was flying on clouds. The times that he didn’t land on the bike, but the bike landed on him, he didn’t look so good when they pulled him up to the microphone. As a matter of fact I remember about three times on those jumps where he got hammered pretty hard on the landing, he obviously was in pain. He said this would be my last jump, but nope, Evel Knievel got back on the bike months later.

So the issue of risk is one part of our mind that makes us think more clearly. It makes us discern reality from fiction. And it helps us to become more laser like focused because we are at risk of something. Without risk the goal, to me, is nothing more than a simply boring task in which I cannot find myself again wasting more time. You know it’s not risky to take out the trash and set it out by the curb. It is risky to take the trash, run it down the street during rush hour trying to miss cars as if you’re the Frogger game at the local arcade. Now that’s risk.

T – Time-Keyed

The T in SMARTER stands for time-keyed. To create motivation and maintain initiative in the process of completing a goal, you must take action in a certain amount of time. You see there is no reason to move if you aren’t facing a clock. Now many of us have these timepieces on our wrist. We look at them numerous times during the day. What we’re looking at is realizing that time is passing quicker and quicker it seems, as we age, but what is really taking place in our mind is we are looking to see what have we accomplished and what do we have left in this day? Well the good news is, if we have a time-keyed goal, we treat it the same as that time piece on your wrist. We realize we don’t have six months. We have a three month goal, a one month goal, or whatever time frame we give it, but we are time-keyed so that it requires an action on our part.

E – Exciting

Now the new letters to the GE model of SMART, in this framework is the letter E. And it stands for exciting. The goal must be exciting. You see without excitement in our lives, we become complacent and lack inspiration. But by creating an exciting goal, your mind will harness the power of motivation and help you achieve your potential. One of my exciting goals was I wanted to run a 10k. Now I know you’re laughing cause many of you that listen are running ultra marathons, marathons, maybe half marathons and you’re thinking well what’s so exciting about a 10k?

But think about this, I am more in the clydesdale division of racing than I am the thoroughbreds. I was actually told that one time in my very first race of a 5k. A lady came up to me, and she was rather well endowed lady in terms of size, and she had a clipboard in her hand, and here I was, I had been to Fleet Feet and I’d gotten the perfect shoes and been running in them, I got the socks that abate all the sweat on your feet while you’re running. I got the special shorts that wisk away sweat as you run. I got a special shirt, I mean it is, I’m just impressed with myself that I have dressed for the part. I was a speed demon in my mind and the way I appeared. But I had something that I brought with me to the race that I wish I hadn’t brought. I brought what looked like a goodyear around my waist line. This lady now, with the clipboard came over to me. And I had my number, my bib if you will, on my shirt, I thought I had it pinned on right and she looked at me, she said you need to go to the back of the pack.

And I looked at her, and I was puzzled since this being my first 5k race. And I looked down at my number and I said are we starting in numerical order or something, what’s the problem? No turn around and look at what you see. And as I turned around, behind me was a lean, mean, running machine. A young man that had 6 pack abs, he might have had a body fat percentage of 6% if he had any at all. He had the perfect shoes, you know the pair that I didn’t buy, they were about $250 bucks. He didn’t have a shirt on. He had just a pair of these fancy running shorts. He had taken the bib and attached it to one leg of the shorts. He had earbuds in at that time, you know we didn’t have air pods in those days, he had these earbuds in that had a white line that ran down to the shorts where he had tucked in a small, I’m guessing radio or some kind of player back then. And she said that man right there ran this race last year in about 19 minutes. I said well that’s impressive, but why does that mean I need to go to the back of the pack. And this lady that had all of this weight on her, looked at me and she said, well you’re in the clydesdale division. I said, now wait a minute, what does that mean, she said that that means the thoroughbred behind you is gonna run up over your back after about the first five paces of this race.

So that was my first experience on running 5ks. So now I am challenging myself to run a 10k in 2020. And I’ll go through the process of training, I will do everything necessary but it is a risky but exciting goal for me. And so the E stands for exciting.

R – Relevant

Now the last letter for the SMARTER framework for goal setting is the letter r and it stands for relevant. If your goal is to improve your overall life, it must be relevant to your life. You know, look for context within your own life to bridge your current life you lead to the desired life you want. As and example of one of my 2020 quarterly goals, and I’m hoping you have started on yours if you haven’t gotten them finished. I’ve already set down and written my goals for 2020 and I’ve got to tell you I’m excited just thinking about it. I can not wait til January 1 starts. But I have one of my goals as eat properly each day and lose 5% body fat by March 31 2020. This is located in the life area of physical. I’m going to work on my health as I do every year, but I want to work on my health in 2020. Lose additional body weight and body fat. So let’s analyze this just for a moment, see if it meets the SMARTER framework. First of all is it specific? It certainly is, I want to lose 5% body fat. Is it measurable? Certainly I can weigh each week, which I plan to do on a Sunday morning each week noting my weight and body fat, and I bought one of those nice scales that has the built in body fat % for you. Is it actionable? Yes, it starts with a verb. Eat properly and lose. So eat and lose has a verb in there. Is it risky? Oh man, has it got risk in it for me. And I will tell you the risk is that as I’ve said before, I live to eat. I just love good food. Especially Italian food, seafood. Matter of fact anything that ends in food. But you know I digress again. But anyway the point I’m making is it is risky for me. Is it time-keyed? Certainly is. I set a date of March 31, 2020 to lose 5% body fat. That’s pretty good time-key, three months. The E stands for exciting. What will this do for me? Well, this is exciting to me because it will allow me to feel much better with my body. My knees and hips will feel better. I’m not that overweight now, but I could stand to lose some weight and this will help me feel better in my self esteem as well. It’s exciting.

Now how is this goal relevant, you ask? It’s relevant because I am in need of losing some body fat. Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re looking there at your skinny little waist line and you’re thinking well, I don’t want to go like that. Don’t use my goals for your life. Sit down, get some quiet room somewhere, and determine what you would like your life to be. It takes a vision from you to see where you want to go. You can be what you want to be, if you’ll just work on what you are today and don’t try to do it all in one day. You have the capability within you to become what you wish to be. And at the end of the day, just work on your goals. Design them to fit your needs and not someone else’s goals.

This week, spend that quality time thinking on the various areas of your life. Consider how you would improve your life if you had the power. And I’ve got great news for you, the power of change is within you. Don’t continue to suffer mediocrity when greatness is screaming to come out of your body and rule your life. Don’t start another year with baseless and senseless resolutions when you can construct an achieve meaningful goals that actually move you forward in life. Write down at least one goal in each of the areas of life we discussed in episode 37. You can reflect back on those show notes, they’re all listed there, all 10 of them. Take only your top three of the 10 goals that you’re going to write and work on them the first quarter of 2020. You can do this!

To truly achieve your highest and most challenging goals, review them each week. Keep them in mind so that you are subconsciously working on solutions to complete the goal. I am excited that you are going to have the best 2020, the best year ever in your life, and we’re gonna be right here with you every Monday morning inspiring you, helping you reach for greater heights. If you haven’t already go to our iTunes account and like, rate the podcast. I’d certainly appreciate that. Now next week we have a great guest coming on. A special guest, he’s rather busy this time of year, but we were successful in booking him for a special episode. Until next time, keep living your life by design.

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