Client work, personal writing, socializing, studying…lots to juggle. My schedule shows back-to-back appointments. Some reminders conflict with appointments. And some tasks don’t even make it to the calendar! Ooops, when can I do laundry?
Which action do I take first?
The true question: What are my priorities today?
I shut off the ringer and close down the email. Breathe. Calmly, I look at my action list and calendar.
- Let’s get a bit more centered—perhaps some spiritual work. Priority 1.
- A meeting with Client A that requires prep. How much prep? Determine that and since it’s a meeting, this activity becomes Priority 2.
- Throw in some socializing or a fun activity. How long? I think I have an hour…at the end of the day. Although I’d like to assign the activity Priority 3, I really need to defer.
And so it goes. I look at the action items and due dates. Have I figured enough time for the activity? I weigh the pros and cons of taking action now or pushing it off. What are the consequences to me if I push off an action? Can I negotiate a due date—even with myself?
I still haven’t learned to juggle real balls in the air. I have learned to juggle proverbial balls and enjoy the process!
Me: What kind of work you like to do?
Client: I’m not sure.
Me: Do you have any favorite hobbies?
Client: Sure—but how can swimming become a job?
Me: Ahh…that’s a challenge. Have you ever dreamed about what work you’d like?
Client: No. Why dream? Isn’t that unrealistic?
Me: No. Dreaming expands our mind. By letting our mind wander, we can creatively brainstorm ideas.
YES! Long after I wrote Goal Getting, I realized that we need to dream before we identify a goal. Dreams expand our minds; they also spur us to action.
My client might need to make some smaller dreams into goals before she gets to the core goal—what work she wants to do.
Let your mind go—from the practical “I need a job”—to the exotic “I want to vacation in Hawaii every year.”
Ask yourself, “What do I want?” Jot down whatever comes to mind. Let that list sit a day or so. Then…
Pick a Goal
Review your list. Ask yourself:
- Does an item jump out and say “Yes, do me first!”
- What common themes or characteristics show up?
- Could I make a small dream into reality now?
- What do I enjoy doing?
Pick one item, perhaps a small dream, and start there.
- What tasks do you take to make this happen?
- Do you need someone to help with any of the tasks?
- Add due dates to each task—that will keep you accountable.
- Create an action list so you can tick off those tasks.
Visualize what you will look like when you reach the goal.
One of my mentors used to remind me to “Keep your eye on the prize!”
- type up the goal in colorful creative fonts OR
- hand-write the goal using vibrant markers
- post the page so it’s in front of you—in your workspace, kitchen, den…
Create a Visions Poster
- gather magazines
- cut out pictures that are colorful, match your dreams and goals
- choose a cool colored poster board–or settle for plain white
- glue the pictures to the poster
- hang the poster in a prominent place (I use my fridge!)
- join with friends or family for a festive event
What action steps do you take to create your vision?
Photos © Sherri Leah Henkin 2016