Hope Is Not Your Goal Strategy by Coleen Ellis

The New Year came in like a boss, and people casually threw around “Happy New Year.” Maybe you heard it, or maybe you even fooled yourself by saying the same thing in your self-speak. “Here’s hoping this year is the best yet!”

Well, I have a huge news flash! The success of your year should fully be because YOU made it the best yet. It’s the title of a rockin’ awesome book Hope Is Not a Strategy and should be everyone’s life mantra!

Hope IS NOT a Strategy!

What has your goal setting looked like to get yourself off and running to the best ever? Have you written down what it is you WANT to happen, not what you HOPE will happen? What does your year look like? What does each month look like leading up to your year-end goal, giving you the opportunity to break down the big goal into more chewable steps? In fact, what does each week look like within the month, more opportunity to make progress toward the big year-end goal?

Where are you logging the year’s goals? Put them somewhere where you must see them frequently, where they are right in front of you as a reminder to keep your eye on the prize. When will you do your checks for progress to see where you are to success?

Personally, I believe the first few months of the year is a wonderful point in time to check in with myself to see what I WILL do with the next 9 months. A wonderful time to review the past year and find those areas of change. To review the past year and see what goals I will build on.

Call me “old school” but I’m still a good ‘ole Franklin Covey planner girl. Admitting this to you… I tried going tech, but it was a darn disaster! So right back to the 2-page per day Classic size planner, and I’m breathing again for some solid goal setting and time management.

As I do every year, I put those delicious Franklin Covey pages in front of me, and I start the planning! Then, each day I take some time to assess how I did yesterday on 5 goals: Personal activity, Professional learning, Spiritual time, Emotional check-in, and Physical/Health activity. That starts the day off with “getting real” with myself so I’m solidly in a mindful, good place to kick off the day. For each month, a quick review of the goals written at the beginning of that month’s pages gives me an idea of the project timeline and progress, or lack thereof. The goals are everything from health (okay, let’s be real… always weight on this one!), fitness to the goal for miles ran during the week, what home project to complete, the financial goal for the business, which books will be read, and then random goals based on the time of year for travel, family focus, and more. I do not allow myself to have excuses. In reviewing the goals, I stay super honest with myself about how I’m doing. And, if I do find myself making excuses for why I need a “delta” on a goal because I had myself unrealistically too loaded up for what would be “real” that month with travel and commitments, the “delta” gets logged for the next month. The worst thing in the world is to have too many goals and they become de-motivational because they are unrealistic! Be REAL and honest with yourself, Rockstars!

See what I did there with the “delta?” The question I ask myself is “what did I crush with the goals, and what will I need to change?” We are fragile, Rockstars. The self-speak is not “what did I crush and where did I fail!” Give yourself some credit and talk to yourself like your own life/business coach! There are enough other people in the world to kick you around… talk nice to yourself!

So. What say you? Are you hoping for a good year, or are you ready to take those steps necessary to MAKE it happen? It takes some work, no excuses, and the discipline to “plan the work and work the plan.”

You up for it? C’mon in, and let’s do this!

Coleen Ellis