So I fell off the blogging wagon…after only two days!! Last week I had some fabulous ideas and then when I could grab a few minutes to write, only drivel spewed painfully forth. My entire week was like that. Every goal I set took inexplicable hours to complete instead of the mere minutes I had allotted to them. My list grew ominously large and dark…my personal demons raged: How can you be successful if you cannot keep your own goals moving forward???? Look at your list…you are way behind on so many items and you still have the pile of paperwork to wend through to get your accountant going on your taxes…you call yourself a businesswoman?
And then I stopped them.
I asked how else I might look at my week and what I could learn from it.
And I did. I followed the path Marilee Adams calls the learner path. She suggests that in considering how something impacts us we have the choice between the learner path and the judger path. The learner asks questions like:
– How else can I think of this?
– What else is possible?
– What can I learn from this?
– What are the next action steps I should take?
So I did.
I acknowledged that I had been productive and prolific in my client work early in the week. I listed the things I did get done. I realized that perhaps my time goals on some of my objectives were perhaps a bit unrealistic.
I noticed that those days I had identified very specific goals went more smoothly than those for which I more or less winged it with a vague idea of on what I wanted to make progress. I determined that the next action steps should include planning in my every day. Making sure I follow the sensible path of Ready…Aim…Fire. Because when I get trigger happy and just fire, much of what comes out is drivel.
This morning as I was pondering my day, this thought popped into my head: Begin with the end in mind. I recognized that this pithy and perfectly formed mandate was unlikely to have come from my brain first. In fact, I was sure it had come from one of my standard go-to books, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People yet a quick review of Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book proved me wrong. Google gently reminded me that it is one of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits. Number two in fact.
In transitions, beginning with the end in mind can have a profound effect. As a filter, a planning tool and a driver of everything you need to do.
Here are some thought questions to identify the end you have in mind, or to consider while determining just what that end should be:
- What am I known for?/What do I want to be known for?
- What do I know about what I’m looking for?
- Can I articulate what I’m looking for in 30 seconds or less? (think: positioning statement, value proposition, brand articulation)
- Do I have the time and resources to hold out for my ideal or do I need a two-pronged strategy?
Don’t fret too much if you don’t have all the answers. If you start to worry, take a suggestion from my friend Dale: Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health and hope.
A job search can be overwhelming particularly in economically challenging times. And in times when the need to be searching has come as a surprise and catches you unaware and unprepared it can feel like a crippling blow. Forgo the personal recriminations and shoulda’s-coulda’s-woulda’s. If that’s just not in your composition let yourself wallow for a day or two and then be done with it.
Start a virtuous cycle. Pick three things to do today that will help you feel good about yourself and about your day. Start with some easy stuff—making it to the gym, eating healthy (or healthier), updating your LinkedIn profile or connecting with a long lost former colleague. Write them down. At the end of the day, check them off your list and acknowledge yourself for doing so.
You know the drill: lather, rinse, repeat…tomorrow, pick three more.
Thanks to Chandlee Bryan, I am participating in March Career Madness on Twitter. Chandlee’s invitation was just the kick in the pants I needed to get writing…