I have a confession. I’m a bit crap at goal setting. I used to beat myself up a little bit about what I thought was a serious character flaw (I mean who can’t set a goal?) That was until I found a new way to set a goal to get shit done for gender equality.
I am good at following my gut instinct, I have a strong bias for action and have a well known get shit done attitude. So, I learned how to channel these positive traits into a different method learned at a weekend retreat nearly 4 years ago with Margie Warrell.
I want to share the method and how I have adapted and adapted it into a yearly ritual that is mindful, deliberate and intentional.
Who Are You Going to Be?
Margie asked me (and about 30 other women) “Who are you going to be?” After considering the fairly open question, we worked through a bunch of personal development experiences that helped many of us to live bigger, be braver and frankly, get out of our own damned way!
The question and the work also helped me to define what my version of getting shit done (for the benefit of women and girls) and what my behaviours and habits were going to look like from that point forward.
How I Decided to Get Shit Done
When I started this process I was at a major crossroads in my career. I was grappling with how to exit my corporate working life to enter the world of self-employment. I was filled with excitement, exhilaration and anticipation as well as some healthy trepidation. I was fearful that I was going to end up a pauper after 35+ years of working my arse off because now I had to hustle for my income! Now I REALLY had to get shit done!
The weekend was a profoundly positive experience in so many ways, because I got out of my own head, got out of my own damned way and got serious about how to get shit done for my career. I became very mindful, deliberate and intentional about focussing on what was going to enable me to make the bold moves I wanted so desperately to make. I learned a process to follow which is want I want to share now.
The process is important when you are choosing your intentions. The process I learned, and now follow in a ritualistic way, is to, every year:
- Stop. (Take time out of the day to day hustle and bustle to focus on who I am now)
- Reflect (What has got me here? What are the experiences that have formed me and shaped me into who I am?)
- Visualise (Who am I going to be? What will that feel like? What will that look like?)
- Decide (On the behaviours, in one word, that will enable who I am going to be)
- Commit (To the four words)
- Write (Them down, including the description of the behaviours that I will model)
Decisions Were Made
After diligently following this process for the first time in 2016, I decided to repeat it at the end of 2017, and every year after that. It has now become my annual end of year ritual.
In 2017, I decided that my defining and guiding words for 2018 and what they mean are:
Fearless: I have to be fearless, a lot. The conversations I have to have with people in powerful positions mean fearlessly calling out what its time for now. Now!
Audacious: I adore this word that I cottoned onto in 2017 whilst judging the TBWA. You can read about it here. I must continue to be audacious. Pick up the phone. Talk to that person. Write that contentious article. Audacious women will change the world.
Persistent: Persistence, resilience and tenacity are traits I must draw upon regularly. Don’t let the knock-backs, the setbacks and the drawbacks distract me from what I must do.
Simple: Now this is a new one for me. Simplifying my life, my business, my client’s lives and businesses is a pathway to joyous success. I’ve started by making sure I communicate what I do, simply and ensuring that I stick to my knitting…don’t try to be all things to all people.
The Annual Ritual
I have a beautiful journal courtesy of my weekend away with Margie and those other powerful women in 2016. My words for each year are written there. I refer back to them and their meaning whenever I get a bit wobbly or need a dose of self-inspiration.
This ritual at the end of/start of each calendar year is an essential part of my personal and professional cadence. After all, I am my own CEO so its the much better equivalent of an annual performance appraisal and objective setting session from my corporate days.
So, what steps can you take to be more mindful, deliberate and intentional about your hopes, dreams and aspirations?
Copy these six questions into a new document, a journal or wherever you feel comfortable. Then take some time out to stop, breathe and reflect on your answers.
- What methods, processes and rituals do you have to enable your career aspirations? (Outside of your employer’s performance management process?)
- Can you clearly articulate your career aspirations when asked? (if yes, what are they?)
- Can you clearly and confidently ask for what you need to enable your career aspirations? (if yes, what do you need. From whom?)
- Do you know what it will take to successfully transition to your next role? (if not, how will you find out?)
- Are you ready to make the move to your next role? (And who knows about that?)
- Who are you going to be?
How Women Can Have A Career that Soars!
A Career That Soars! is our online, global community where we bring the benefits of our leadership programs and the shared experiences of women leaders to thousands around the globe whose companies don’t offer internal programs. Our passionate purpose is to enable your career success and that of other women.
A Career that Soars! is your personal (but enterprise-worthy) leadership and career development resource built around a global community of like-minded, career-motivated women. It’s a supportive, private and distraction-free space (its not Facdebook!) for emerging and experienced women leaders with the ambition to advance and who work inside an organization.