Compelling Reason to ChangePosted: January 6, 2012
Welcome back to the real world after the holidays. Still working on your goals?
Recently I talked about the power of consistency and it’s impact on reaching your goals.
There is also power in writing a goal that is “SMART”… Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely. That is critical to achievement.
The other reason I mentioned for keeping up goals or resolutions is a compelling reason to change. As humans, it’s pretty simple. We are motivated by pain or pleasure and we need to think about what the gain will be if we accomplish our goal.
Have you also invested the time to write down the costs if you don’t achieve the goal and benefits when you do? What’s it worth to you? It’s this type of visualization that is often missed. If you can’t truly think through the value of achieving the goal and really see it, will you actually achieve it? You don’t have to be Einstein to know that “What you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.”
Psychologists speak frequently about the power of visualization when it comes to exercise, weight loss, etc. In fact, one interesting study discussed in Psychology Today on everyday people by Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared “people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads”. Dr. Yue reported that there was a 30% muscle increase in the group who went to the gym. Interestingly, the group who didn’t and only conducted mental exercises of the weight training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5%)!
A SMART goal might look something like this… I will improve my engagement and relationships by scheduling lunch twice a month off-site with a direct report and focusing on purely on connecting and how we can support one another.
Next step… why? Why not? Visualize it. Imagine what things will look like when you achieve your goal. Engage all of the senses. What are you seeing? Hearing? Feeling? For the goal above, your visualization might sound something like…
By spending more time together, my direct reports will get to know me as a person, not just “the boss.” The air of tension and straightening of backs when I enter the room will go away and instead, people will be relaxed and in the rhythm of their work. I will start to understand what motivates each person, what is important to them inside and outside of work. With a stronger relationship, there will be more effort towards making each other successful and achieving the goals. I will see higher engagement and the company will profit from this. And ultimately, I won’t be as stressed and feel confident that we’re all on this team together.
Review your goals daily, if not weekly as that helps with consistency. PLUS review your compelling reason… read your visualization along with your goal. How has visualization helped you? Let us know.