When I facilitate the SOS Leadership Protecting Goals Program individually and in group coaching sessions, one of the top areas of concern for participants is finding the time to achieve their goals. Often when we honestly look at why we haven’t achieved a particular goal, we blame it on not having enough time in our hectic schedule to make it happen. That’s why the last segment of the program focuses on finding time for achievement. We all know that time is finite, and thus it evens the playing field. We all have the same 24 hours each day. We choose how to spend that time. We choose to accomplish our goals…or not.
One of the biggest reasons I fail to accomplish my goals is because I cancel on myself. What exactly does that mean? Well, I wouldn’t dream of canceling a meeting with a client or prospect, yet I cancel time that I have scheduled for myself all the time. Here’s one example: I schedule time to exercise three times a week, yet I often cancel my exercise time because I want to get a few more things done at work or because I want to get home to my kids. I’m often prioritizing my work and family goals over my healthy lifestyle goals. I remind myself often that in order to have the energy to achieve my other goals, I MUST prioritize my healthy lifestyle goal because exercise and eating right give me energy.
In order to ensure that I stay on track with achieving my goals, I’ve created an Ideal Time Picture, which is simply a schedule of how I’ll spend my time in an ideal week. This schedule allocates time for each of my goals. When I keep track of how I spend my time, I notice patterns in my time habits. The biggest pattern that jumped out at me is that I cancel on myself far too often. I schedule time to work toward achieving my goals, but I don’t prioritize that time in the same way I would prioritize an appointment with an important client or a hot prospect. I’ve found that I often put myself last.
At SOS Leadership, we tell people often, “You’re always working on goals. It’s your choice whether they are your goals or someone else’s.” Whose goals have you been working on lately? Your goals? Your boss’s goals? Your significant other’s goals? Your parents’ goals?
I need to make a conscious to choice to work on my own goals, to prioritize myself, and to stop canceling on myself. If I am not making the progress I would like to make and am capable of making, I need to make some changes. How about you? What are you struggling with? What are your time habits? What changes do you need to make to accomplish your goals?