I am frequently asked about what gives me sustainable motivation and energy. How do I continuously keep my long-term goals top of mind and how do I recover from life’s setbacks and get back on track?
When it comes to reaching our goals, all of us have setbacks – we get sick, we lose steam, one cheat day turns into a week. All of us slip up. It’s how we reset that matters most!
The key to remaining energetic and passionate about your goals is knowing who you are and what you want for yourself. I can’t understate the obvious – it’s really hard to be happy, have energy or be excited if you’re simply letting life happen to you.
So, how do you take control?
1 – First things first, spend time on your personal core values. I recently ran this exercise for some of the newer leaders at Placers. All were asked to come up with 3-6 core values and be prepared to talk about them. Values are behaviors you want to live by and spending the time to define your personal values will help you decide what’s important and what’s not. You can evaluate life’s choices and how you’re doing against your chosen values.
If you feel good about your core values, move on to the next exercise…
2 – What do you want to be known for at the end of your life? This exercise is not morbid to me and working through it really helped put my goals into perspective. Was I working towards authentic goals that actually mattered to me? Goals that I could be proud of? If not, I knew I had to adjust them.
I often look towards those that I admire to help with this exercise. Why did I admire them and what lessons did I learn? How can I model my life around their teachings?
I did both of these exercises early on in my entrepreneur journey. I looked to friends and family to help as I often felt like they knew me better than I knew myself at the time. The main piece of early feedback was that I was all work and no play. I had become too serious amidst all of the stress that comes with being an entrepreneur. So, I endeavored to bring my authentic self to every interaction and lead with light hearted fun and humor. That felt natural to me and after a while I found that being my authentic self built my confidence and in turn made me a more credible leader – even business results improved!
I also learned that I had no work-life balance and that 100-hour work weeks were far from sustainable. Being a workaholic was not the badge of honor I had once regarded it as – and truth be told, it was killing me. So, I set goals that would allow me to separate myself from work. I cut back on around the clock emails, rolled out unlimited PTO for the team, explored new hobbies and took a new instretest in my health.
These exercises provided a much needed wakeup call and very well may have saved my life. I know for a fact that they did save my relationships, most namely, the one I have with myself.
As always, “thought work” like the exercises detailed above is ongoing. Work on it often, assess your progress regularly and give yourself grace as you evolve.
What helps you determine if your goals align with your authentic self? Reply and let me know.
Until next time, friends.
If you enjoyed this article, I recommend reading these past Outside Insights posts:
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