Three Ways to Reverse Engineer Your Goal-Setting - jennwhitmer.com

Aug 1, 2022

Three Ways to Reverse Engineer Your Goal-Setting

I love looking to the future. I am always thinking about what’s next, how to make things better, what new ideas are around, what can I do, and dream to make life better for me, my family, my clients, and the world around me.

Turning to a fresh page in my iris-leather planner, inkjoy pen in hand, so much possibility awaits. 

I used to think that forward-thinking was all there was to it.

Look forward and dream!

Set a goal!

Lean into it!

I was never super bothered by not achieving a goal. Usually, because I was already dreaming of the next idea. (Hi, Enneagram 7. Nice to meet you.)

Do you do this too? Jump to what’s next? Or feel the pressure to move on?

Here’s what I’ve learned: If you only lean forward, you fall flat on your face.

This is true in our leadership, relationships, businesses, and homes.

For me right now, I’ve started to think about autumn. The demands of launching a new kid to college and one to another country. The keynotes and workshops booked and the coaching clients I’m working with. The training and support you want from these emails.

If you only lean forward,
you fall flat on your face.

The way to make any of that planning, dreaming, and goal-setting effective? Pause and reflect. So, as we round the end of July, wherever you are in your year, take a moment to pause and reflect.

Three Tools to Reflect

Here are three different practices to focus your reflection. Take time to write with your actual hand. There is power in the forming of letters that is different than typing.

  1. Life-Energy List
    Emily P. Freeman talks about this one a lot. Simply take a sheet of paper with a line down the middle. At the top, title one column is life-giving and the other column life-draining. And just write. List the people and activities that are bringing you life and the activities and people who are draining you. (No shame. Just be honest.)
    As you look at the list, see what you can give up of the life-draining and what you can increase of the life-giving.
  2. Two Questions
    Write question one at the top of the page: What worked this month? (or summer or quarter. You decided the time.)
    Write as much as you can. From the smallest, I got a great new pen to your communication process at work.
    Write question two at the top of a new page: What didn’t work this month?
    Again, write as much as you can.
    Use these answers to adjust what you’re doing.
  3. Needs and Wants
    Write: What do I need right now?
    Think broadly and specifically. I need a coach. I need more resources. I need rest.
    Then write: What do I want more of right now?
    Without shame or self-editing, write what you want more of. Time with kids? Flexibility at work? Peace with my friends? Laughter? Movies? Chocolate?

Pick one of these practices and spend 15 minutes. I’m going to work on a life-energy list. I need to redo my weekly rhythms and routines, and a life-energy list feels helpful there.

What will you choose? 

And if you want to take it one step further, can you create space for your team to do the same?

Tell me in the comments!

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