Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How to Achieve Your Goals in One Step: Reverse Engineering

Where do you want to go this year, quarter or month, or your life? Do you have a particular goal or outcome you want to achieve?  70% of people who set goals, which is only 20% of the population, will fail to achieve them.  There are many reasons, such as: failure to plan; fear of success/failure; unrealistic; no support; genuine commitment; and/or failure to accurately assess the gap. There is a valuable self-help document you can download for free to actually do this activity. Click here for the PDF link to the worksheet.       Click here for the Word version.

One step to ensure success is designing your outcome by "reverse engineering" it.  It's similar to using the SMART model in business, or the "power of intention" in your personal life.  What do you intend for yourself or your business?  If you already know what you want to achieve, then you can jump direct to this link on reverse engineering.  Although note that there is a "Vision Board" described below.

If you're uncertain about where you want to go, but you know that you want to achieve a change, then start by answering your vision of the future:
1) What is my vision of the future?
2) What am I passionate about?  When do I notice my energy level go up?
3) Do my actions align with my passion?  You'll get a much more truthful answer if you ask a friend for input and perspective.
Throughout the process commit to having an open heart that allows you to listen and notice your resistance without your blind spots filtering or distorting your truth.
 
Writing a vision statement should be descriptive and visual.  It should be written with future orientation, such as when you wake up, this is how it will be, look, feel and be noticed by others.  Write it from the perspective that an unbiased person would read it and formulate the same visual if they observed you living your vision.  Include in your vision the last time you felt this same way.  Describe what was happening, how and why it felt this way.

This is an incredibly simple activity that produces the greatest reward.  Yet it's the one thing that everyone tends to avoid.  Most people feel that writing or expressing what they are truly passion about, or how they would envision their future would violate what they believe is important for survival.  If you stay within your current paradigm to write your vision, then it won't produce the genuine outcome you desire.  Staying within the paradigm means that you describe your vision with the constraints of your current life, such as being more happy with your job, versus being more happy (period), or using language from the past to describe how you have been and how things should be.

Challenge yourself to move outside the paradigm. The experience of surfacing your inner passion for what drives you and expressing it on paper can be a transformational experience, particularly if it means letting go of safety and security nets to express it.  The feeling deep in your heart, such as believing you must keep the job to have the income that allows you to be what you envision, instead of letting that go for the purpose of this activity.

One example is a client whom I had been coaching for the past year.  He has been experiencing tremendous growth on multiple levels professionally and personally.  He's been an incredible pleasure to coach and a true example of achieving multiple levels of amazing success by intention.  With recent developments, it was time to take him through the process of creating his new vision.  As I described the assignment he expressed incredible discomfort that lasted for hours.  He said that reconnecting with his vision felt like he might have left his passion in the past, which brought tremendous sadness.  But the next day he said it was a "profound" and "life changing" experience which "opened my eyes and gave me a very concrete direction to write down my (description) and practical tools to do it properly (effectively)."   

A majority of every person and business that I coach, or do Organization Development ("OD"), tends to be so busy "running" in pursuit of what they believe to be appropriate, that there is no time to connect the dots on where they're going.  There's no time to check if the actions today support the true intention or outcomes desired for the future, regardless if it's for business, relationships, love, money, health, or peace. One step back to leap-frog forward.  Beyond believing that what you're doing, or the actions that you're taking feel right, take the time in a quiet place to design it up front and exert your intention.

Writing this down forces you to connect with your inner self, whether it's for your business, or for you personally and get it out.   Writing down your passions and what success means to you or your business will functionally translate to:
Vision & Mission - for business
Performance Objectives - for employees
Resolutions - for individuals

Then, routinely check your actions to ensure that you're giving the most power towards your intention/vision.  When you truly desire something you'll do whatever it takes to get there.  Having it written down keeps you aligned to your intention and tells your subconscious to pay attention.  Have you ever taped a new car ad or yellow sticky note to your wall as a reminder of your target objective?  Every decision you subsequently made about your time and money was aligned with that intention.  We do the same thing at work when creating performance objectives.

VISUAL REMINDER:  VISION BOARD
The more creative method that engages the subconscious is to create a VISION BOARD by cutting out words and pictures from printed sources, such as magazines.  Then tape them as a collage onto any size paper or board that you can either carry with you, create as a screen saver, or hang on the wall.  It's your visual reminder of how your vision looks, which creates the internal feeling that causes alignment and action. (Example to right courtesy of Sebastian Skinner.)

Self-reflect on your daily actions to notice what you might be doing to get in the way of your intention.  Take the time for this now and you'll experience a much better year.

Don't obsess with a form or the process.  Particularly in companies where the focus is on the methodology such as SMART objectives versus the intention.  Commit it to your intention of being extraordinary.

Also see the article "How to Reverse Engineer" on this blog.  

Click here for the private link to the valuable MS-Word document to conduct your own self-assessment and "Personal Vision Statement." 

-Ken Sergi

(c) 2013 Ken Sergi updated (c) 2017

Note that images and graphics used in this blog are copyrighted and licensed for use to Ken Sergi.