Setting Goals To Live Out Your Vision
The only thing more discouraging than not knowing where you want to go, is knowing where you want to go and having no road map to get there.
Last week we talked about developing a vision for your life. This week I want to share some really practical tips you can apply with your teens to help then with goal setting and reaching their vision.
First let me say, many plans have been created by men and women of all walks of life through many generations. I believe it was Napoleon Bonaparte who said, “The best battle plans never survive contact with the enemy.” Meaning, you cannot plan for everything. There is no catalog, map or schedule for future impending catastrophe. While we cannot predict and plan to avoid all tragedy and error, we can plan to proactively prevent some and we can plan for success where circumstance will allow.
Most people do not plan to fail, but many people fail to plan. Expecting a vision to fall into your lap and then cause itself to occur is a bit like watering the sidewalk and waiting to pick daisies.
Teens tend to be short sighted and self centered. This is not a criticism, just a realistic observation. As a result, teens often hope for the best, ignore reality, take credit only for the greatest successes and truly believe the worst will always happen to someone else.
Goal Setting made simple:
- Identify the finish line.
- Confess your need for help, guidance, direction, and assistance.
- Repent – redirect your attention.
- Forgive the mistakes and mis-steps.
- Forget what went wrong – even if it was your fault.
Without a clear picture of your vision, you will not know when you have fulfilled it. Once you paint the picture, post it clearly for yourself to see on a regular basis. Some people use a “vision board”. It is a series of photos, drawings, paintings or illustrations that represent the achievements you seek to complete. This board serves two purposes. First it reminds you what is important, your why. Secondly, it provides regular motivation to keep doing the hard work to reach it.
Confession is not about telling the world all the things you have done poorly, wrong or bad. Confession is simply agreeing with reality. If my doctor says I am morbidly obese, but I look in the mirror and say, I look like a supermodel… one of us is delusional. If I tell everyone I am happy and wealthy and healthy but then I go home at night and gorge on ice-cream as I cry myself to sleep on a pile of unpaid bills, I am not coping well with reality. With a skewed view of reality, I will never admit I need advice, or assistance. If I never admit my need, I will never get help. It is critical that we inspire and demonstrate for our teens a healthy view of reality. We must admit when we need help, remain humble and remain teachable.
With a healthy view of reality, we can then focus on specific thoughts, ideas, habits and negative emotions that are not rooted in truth. We can redirect our thoughts to positive, hope filled, truth-rooted ideas that lead us to spiritual mental and emotional stability. We must be willing to set our sights on goals that are achievable, beneficial and worthy of our time and attention.
In my life I have made huge mistakes. Not only huge in magnitude of the pain they caused, but also huge in volume – as in – LOTS OF THEM! I know I am unique in that way. No one has made as many bad mistakes as me. I can tell you one thing for certain, there is a great deal of pain and guilt in hoping for dreams to come true when you carry the baggage I carried for many years. When I was finally able to let myself off the hook, I was able to feel worthy of some form and measure of success. I am amazed at the young people I speak with who say, “You don’t know what I have done. God simply cannot forgive me. I don’t deserve to be successful or to win or to have nice things.” WELL FOOOEY! God can and will forgive if you simply ask. The hard part is forgiving yourself – trust me, I know. But if you want to fulfill your vision, you must forgive. As a parent, you must forgive yourself then model forgiveness with your spouse, teens, neighbors, friends and even that idiot in traffic that just cut you off and made you spill your coffee.
There is a process in management that parents of teenagers are notorious for applying. We tend to look at “current results” and use them to measure performance and prescribe correction. When we speak into the lives of others with “look what you just did” judgment, we create an instant feedback loop. “Look, you just scratched the car.” This statement tells the subconscious brain “SCRATCH THE CAR”. The next time the opportunity avails itself, the brain sees the scratch, hears the command, repeats the action and WHALA, you have another scratch. One of the hardest things to do is let it go… unless you are a very cold, blue eyed, blonde headed cartoon character in a cute little movie. Course correction should look and sound like hopeful direction, not anger filled correction. Teens need to believe their goals are achievable. They need parents to say, “well, let’s try parking a few feet further from the bushes next time.” Nothing good comes from nagging, reminding of failure, repeating the anger, regurgitating the disappointment.
I know this does not sound like “SMART Goals” or “5 Simple Steps To Success” or “Your Best Year Ever” but I promise, whatever goals you set, whatever plan you choose to apply, if you will keep these tips in mind, you will lead a much better life and you will lead your teens to do the same.
J Loren Norris is a Conference Speaker and Certified John Maxwell Team Leadership Coach. Loren is the creator of the Insuperable Vision Workshop. This Two Hour Course is designed to help others create and craft their own personal Insuperable Vision. This workshop is hosted live in the Dallas Ft Worth area annually but is also available on audio CD for self paced home study.
The above content is a preview excerpt from a book to be published in the spring of 2016.The ICRFF Path is a coaching model developed by J Loren Norris more than ten years ago to help those recovering from addiction.