The Big Idea
Take a big goal and make it achievable
Questions I Answer
- How do I make a big goal more achievable?
- What steps do I need to take to accomplish my goal?
- Is there a strategy that will help me achieve my goals?
Actions to Take
- Listen to Episode 001: Why Resolutions Don’t Work
- Listen to Episode 002: Setting Goals You Can Actually Achieve
Key Topics in the Show
The 3-step process in creating a custom goal achievement map
How to bank time to achieve your goals
Marshall Goldsmith’s $250,000 secret
The two most important questions to ask yourself
Hello, hello everyone. Welcome to Productivity Paradox. I’m your host Tanya Dalton, and this is episode three. Part three of our anatomy of goal setting series. Today is our final step in our three step process. I’m really excited because in episodes one and two, we laid the groundwork for setting achievable, personalized goal. The keywords here was achievable and personalized because we found our why. We really focused on why these goals are important to us, and we customized them so they would fit you, and where you want to go in your life. We set our what by setting smart goals, and now today is our action day.
This is our how. How are we going to achieve these goals, and how are we going to make it so these goals seem so much more reachable than they’ve been the past. Let’s think of it this way, I’ve talked a lot about we’re laying down the roadmap, right, for finding our goals. If you were traveling across the country from California to Florida with no map, no compass, no GPS, would you be able to make it to your end destination? I can tell you right now that I would not. I would end up in Central America or if I’m being totally honest, I would end up in Canada because I have a terrible sense of direction, but even if you have a great sense of direction, and maybe you would end up in Florida, it would probably take you two or three times longer than if you had a map or if you had some directions because with a map you know where you need to go. You know what roads to go on. You know where to turn, and you know what’s coming up ahead. It’s easy to prepare for the next steps.
That’s what we’re going to be doing today. We are going to be creating a map for you so that you can get to those goals, and you can get to that endpoint where you can celebrate these goals that you have customized and personalized for you have now been achieved. It’s really not a terribly difficult process, I promise you. There are three steps we are going to be focusing on today. Step one is finding the time. Step two is designing that map, and then step three is creating accountability.
Let’s go ahead and get started with talking about step one, finding the time. A lot of people like to think of their time like a water class. You have a water glass, and once you fill it up and it becomes full, the water starts spilling over because there’s a limited capacity, but I’m here to tell you your time is not a water glass. At least if it is,
your water glass is probably a lot bigger than you give it credit for. Don’t get me wrong, you have limited amounts of time. We all only have certain amounts of time, 24 hours in a day, but you probably have a little bit more than you think you do. You need to learn to run your time like a bank account. That’s how I like to think about my time.
What do I mean by that? Just like a bank account, I budget my time. I budget my money, I budget my time. I have a limited amount of funds in my bank account. I have a limited amount of time in my day. The difference is with our bank account, when an emergency crops up, we’re able to somehow find money by tightening our belt somewhere. Let’s say for example, the engine in your car dies, and you need to use your car to get to work. Are you just going to leave your car sitting by the side of the road, or will you get that engine fixed? You’ll find a way, right? You’ll figure out a way that you can pay to get that engine fixed. You won’t go to Starbucks for a month, or you skip a pedicure or two or three to get that engine paid for, but we find a way to tighten up our belts.
That’s really what you need to do in terms of time. Really, instead of saying I don’t have time to go after these goals, try saying it’s not a priority right now. How does that feel? We’ve already talked about these goals in terms of them being important to you because they’re customized to you. They are priorities. We found that through the reflection process. Now we need to treat our goals like they are the priorities they deserve to be. What we need to do is find the areas in your day that are your time sucks. Now, I guarantee I can probably name for you a couple right now, and I’ve you were in the room with me, you’d be nodding your head. Are you ready? Facebook, checking your phone incessantly, binge watching a TV series, these are all things that we do, we all say that we don’t have time, but we have time to do these things. These are not contributing to your personal priorities. These are the things that are not moving you forward towards the person you want to be.
It’s okay to take time to check our Pinterest or look at the new funny cat video on Buzzfeed, but if you’re saying you don’t have the time, figure out exactly how much time you are spending on these tasks that are not bringing you revenue. By revenue, I’m thinking about that bank analogy again. You want to bank up the time for yourself to make room for your priorities. I could do a whole series on finding time for yourself, but I need to make it brief today because I really want us to focus on goal setting, but try to target those areas where you can tighten your belt and bank up the time later. Five minutes here, five minutes there, it adds up. Pretty soon, you have 30 minutes, 45 minutes.
Think about those things you’re doing in your day that are taking up a little bit more of your time, and see if you could tighten your belt a little bit. There’s lots of techniques we could talk about in focusing on finding this time and banking time, but that is something I’d really like to dedicate another podcast episode or two or three to talking about because I really do think that’s something important, but for now, let’s focus on finding the little tiny bits of time in our day where we can allow ourselves to focus on our goal setting.
Step two is designing the map. I have a really quick and easy download that you could use to help you create this map. You can grab that at InkwellPress.com/ podcast. If you look on the show notes for episode three, there’ll be a link there for
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you to download this quick and easy worksheet. I’m going to go through it with you. It might seem a little confusing because I’m going through it verbally, but when you have it in front of you, I promise you it’s super super easy to do. Let’s go through the worksheet together. I’m going to give you an example of a goal that I had. My goal was of course, starting a podcast, which you are listening to right now. I will go ahead and post an exact image of the action worksheet I created for starting this podcast in the show notes so you can see a plan of goal setting in action. This is the actual plan that I used to get to where I am today, recording this podcast and sharing it with you.
On the sheet, there’s a section for you to write down your smart goal. Of course the smart goal is specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding, and timed just like we talked about in episode two. My goal was I will help others reach their goals by starting a productivity podcast by the end of the quarter. Then, what I did is I broke it down into the steps that I needed to do to accomplish this goal. I had 10 steps, brainstorm editorial calendar, create bullet points, research topics, create content, edit for 20 minute shows, record podcasts, intro and closing lead ins, podcast channel created, sound edited, and then post on a weekly schedule. That seems lik a lot doesn’t it? When I look at that I think, wow, there’s 10 steps there, am I going to be able to do this.
Then, on the worksheet and the whole worksheet just walks you right through this. It shows you how you can group them together to create four mini goals for yourself. I created four mini goals as well as little measurable steps. For example, I took the first two items on my to-do list, which was brainstorm an editorial calendar and create bullet points. I created mini goal number one, editorial calendar. I made that measurable because I said I would measure it by having a calendar completed with bullets. Then, I took my next three to-do items, research topics, create content, and edit for 20 minute shows. That was my mini goal number two, creating content. I made that measurable because I said I would have episode scripts ready for recording. I did this for all four mini goals. Again, you’ll be able to see this on the image that I’ll post at InkwellPress.com/podcast under episode three. Feel free to follow on in looking at that.
What I did is then I then set deadlines for each of these mini goals. When you look at the picture that I’ll post, you’ll notice that my deadlines are not evenly spaced. Some of my mini goals will take longer, and some take less. My first mini goal was much quicker, so I gave myself two weeks. The second mini goal was a little bit longer. I gave myself a little more than a month. When I hit each of these mini goals, I felt a surge of energy to keep my momentum going. That’s really what helped push me along to get this done. I know that might have seemed a little bit confusing, but I
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promise you if you go and download the worksheet, the action worksheet, you’re going to see that this is such a simple simple process. It literally holds your hand and walks you through the entire process. It should take you no more than 15 minutes, 20 minutes at the most to fill out how you’re going to create your roadmap for your big goal.
What I’ve done here is instead of looking at this as one big overwhelming daunting goal for myself, I now at it, and I think, wow I have these four mini goals. This is completely achievable, and my first mini goal, I’ll have done in two weeks. That’s really when the magic happens, when you really start to feel like, okay if I take one step forward today towards this goal, after a little bit I’m going to be all the way at the end. That is really at the heart of the whole process, is making it feel like you can do, that you can accomplish these things. I really encourage you to use that download because it is really easy to do, and it is easy to follow, and it’s going to ensure that you feel successful with your goal setting. Okay? All right. That is step two.
Step three is creating accountability. I really believe that creating accountability for yourself is really important because we really have a hard time when other people are asking us if we’re doing well with our goals. It’s really easy to tell ourselves, “Oh I’m fine. I can push that off for another day,” but it really does help to have somebody keeping you accountable. Marshall Goldsmith who is a world renowned business coach, he’s the type of guy who charges $250,000 for one on one sessions with the world’s largest CEOs. He says if you measure it, you’re more likely to do it. I like Marshall, he sounds like my kind of guy to be honest.
What Marshall does is he has someone who calls him every single day, he has hired someone to be his accountability partner. This person calls him everyday and asks him a series of questions that he, Marshall, has written himself. He designed the
questions to be a little bit hard. Not difficult in that it takes a lot of thinking, but they’re questions that kind of hit in with what his goals are. They’re hard because they ask for honest answers. He has to answer to someone else because he knows if he’s only answering to himself, he won’t necessarily do it. You know what? Marshall’s a lot like the rest of us. We’re all a little bit that way. His questions are directly related to his goals and who he wants to be.
One of his questions is, “How many times did you insist on being right today?” Ouch, right? That’s obviously something he wants to work on, and it’s really pointed, and he has to answer it honestly. Another one of his questions, “How many steps did you take today?” You can tell these are questions that are pushing him towards his
goals. What he does is afterwards, he inputs the information in an excel spreadsheet, ©Productivity Paradox 2017 Page 4 of 7
and he creates a little weekly snapshot at the end of each week to access how he’s doing.
I’m not saying you have to create an excel spreadsheet, if that’s your type of thing absolutely go for it. I love it. For a lot of us, that might be a bit much, and that’s okay to not create an excel spreadsheet or anything like that. That is one of the reasons why I really love daily habit trackers. That is why I incorporated them in my planner because I really feel like it holds you accountable. I like the idea of using a daily habit tracker, and having somebody else hold us accountable because honestly, you can lie to yourself all day long. We all do. I do it too, but it’s so much harder to lie to someone else. It’s the same thing with saying no. You can say no to yourself all day long, “No, no, no,” but if somebody else is asking you, and everyday you’re answering no, eventually it becomes a little bit embarrassing, and you want to give them a yes. That’s the beauty of having somebody hold you accountable that is not you.
What is nice about accountability partners is you don’t even have to contact each other everyday. You don’t even have to be in the same room or in the same physical space. It is nice to touch base once a week, but you could be texting each other, or sending each other images of what you’re doing, or you could be sending an email. It’s a great way to stay in touch with someone who maybe you don’t see on a regular basis. It could be your aunt. It could be your cousin. It could be your best friend who lives in another city. It’s a great way to stay in contact with someone, and it’s a good idea to have someone else hold you accountable.
I’ll give you a great example of how I have to use accountability partners myself because do you remember how I talked about how I really wanted to start working out? We talked about this in episode two, I believe, where my reflection sheet had showed me I need to start working out. I said I was going to work out. I created an action plan, and part of it was I needed to figure out a type of exercise I could do that would not hurt my back. I needed to find a place that I could do that, and then I needed to sign up for some personal training sessions to make sure I did it correctly because of my back issues, and then I needed to start going on a regular basis.
I did mini goal one, great. I did mini goal two, fabulous. I got to the part where it was time for me to sign up for my personal training, and I didn’t do it. Didn’t do it, didn’t do it, didn’t do it, didn’t do it again. For some reason I kept giving myself the excuse of I have so much going on, I don’t have time to call, which is silly. Right? I was telling myself no, just like we all do. Finally, I said to my husband, “Listen, I really need you to hold me accountable. I need you to ask me everyday for a week if I have
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called to make this appointment to get this personal training done.” He said, “Absolutely, I’ll be happy to do it.”
He asked me and I said, “No.” He asked me again the next day, “No, no.” Finally I said to him, “Listen, if I say no to you one more time, I want you to call and make the appointment for me. I will have to go, and then I will start making the appointments.” I knew if I broke the ice there and got in, I would be fine. The next day my answer was no again, and my husband said, “Okay, I’m going to call and I’m going to make the appointment, and then you’re going to start going.” He did. He made the phone call. I was sitting in the same room with him while he did it. For some reason I couldn’t do it, but he did.
He calls, makes the appointment, I go to the appointment, while I was there I made the next appointment, and you know what? Now I’m going all the time. I’m going to classes. I’m going on a regular basis, and I feel so much happier because you know what? I needed a little extra push, and he gave it to me. That is okay. We all need a push from time to time, me included. I’m not going to pretend like I have all the answers or I do everything right because I don’t. I’m human just like you, and I need accountability just like we all do.
Keep that in mind that it’s really important for these last three steps for your action items. You want to make sure that you are setting time aside, you want to fill out that action worksheet that we have that download for, and then I want you to create accountability for yourself. I think the important thing to remember for your goals is you can dream big. You just have to make big plans to go with it. That’s all there is to it. Big dreams take big plans, and you can do it because you know your why, you know your what, and now you know your how. I’m really excited for you to lay out this map of how you’re going to accomplish these goals. I really am excited to see how you’re going to take those goals you set for yourself and create them into actionable plans.
I would really love for you to post images of your action worksheets on social media and tag me, InkwellPress on social media or use the hashtag ProductivityParadox because I want to see how you’re doing, and I would love to see you accomplish your goals. Email me, let me know because that is the reason why I’m doing this podcast. I really want to see you making a difference in your life. Let me ask you a favor, if you feel like you’re ready to set and achieve your goals, and you feel like you’re going to be successful this year, do you mind giving me a 5-star rating or doing a review for me on iTunes because I would love to keep this podcast going, and I’m really excited about it because I have a really fun first season planned.
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Our next episode is going to be focused on finding your personal mission statement. We are going to be talking about setting your priorities. We are going to be talking about learning how to say no. All kinds of things that I have planned for this podcast, and I am really excited that this is just the beginning of our journey together on this. This is so exciting, and I am so glad that I set this goal for myself because it’s because of getting to help people like you and work with people like you that really makes me happy. I’m hoping that you’re feeling empowered and ready to go for your goal setting because I really know that you can do it.
I’d love to connect with you. Again, if you’d like to find the show notes, InkwellPress.com/podcast, and you’re going to go to episode three to download that action worksheet, and to see my own action worksheet. If you’d like to find me on social media, I’d love to chat with you there. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as @inkwellpress. All right, until next time, happy planning.
**This transcript is created by AI, so please excuse any typos, misspellings and grammar mistakes.
Tanya Dalton is a top female keynote speaker. Her talks on productivity and purpose are motivating and inspiring. As a woman, Tanya brings a unique perspective to the conversation about goals, habits, and time management.