Spring goal setting
With snow melting and flowers starting to bloom, this is a great time of year for you to review your goals. Last year I extolled each of you to write your goals down; this year, I am going to ask you how much further along you would be if you had written them down when I suggested it two years ago! If you didn't write your goals down last year, I ask you to share Gerry Harvieux's outlook, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today."
However, if you didn't start 20 years ago, start today by writing down your goals in each of the following areas: spiritual, service, family, educational, physical fitness, career and financial goals, and your fun goals. For each major goal outline the path to achieve the goal, starting with the goal and work your way back to where you are now. Be sure to identify any challenges or shortcomings you might have and then identify your strengths and anyone who can help you toward your goal.
For those of you who are with me from last year and wrote your goals down, go get your goal sheets and take a few minutes to review them. Cross off the goals you have accomplished since you last reviewed them, and give yourself well-deserved congratulations. Then review your goals and cross off any goals you no longer desire to pursue. After you have brought your goals up to date, it is time to draft the next steps of your goals.
Once your goals are in order, sit down with your spouse and encourage them to update their goals, or if they have to, begin the goal setting process. The two of you should then align your goals to each other. Make sure you negotiate a fair decision of attention to each other's goals and then be a great help to your partner when they are pursuing their goals.
If you have gone this far, you will be a great example to your children if you do nothing else. However, teaching your children how to do this process and monitoring their progress will be a gift both to you as their parent and to them for the rest of their lives. Have everyone on the family take turns telling each other their goals and discuss how you might help each other with their accomplishment.
I encourage every member in your family, in the strongest of terms, to dream bigger than you think you are capable to accomplish. The quote, "Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become" by James Allen couldn't be more true. Dare to take the first step of your adventure and the map will unfold before you.
If you run into roadblocks to your goals or if your challenges seem steeper than you can climb, I suggest you love and support each other, and recall the words of the famous Tory and man of letters Samuel Johnson, "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance."
Mark Altman is a speaker and leadership consultant with the Altman Leadership Center. He is an international speaker with two books and a DVD that can be purchased on Amazon.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.