How detailed do you like to get?
Keeping with the same theme of the last couple of weeks (‘keep it simple, keep it light’) we’re going to look at the act of goal setting itself and how that can lead to overwhelm if not done right.
I love detail but often get easily overwhelmed with too much detail. Equally, I find that some of my clients make their accounts (and goals in life) more detailed & complicated than they need to be and end up overwhelmed too. Alternatively, I find those who are less detailed can lose sight of what they would like to have happen and end up somewhere else entirely (which might be ok, depending on what you want from life).
In Successful Business Minds I talk about intentions rather than goals. A goal is definite. It’s a result we’re actively working towards. An intention on the other hand can sometimes sound more like a dream (would like to have happen but taking no action towards it). Yet an intention has just as much impact if done right, and in fact it’s kinder to you and everyone around you too.
So when is an intention detailed enough to be a goal that we will achieve but not so detailed that it leads to overwhelm or too dreamy that it doesn’t happen at all?
For each task it may differ but only you will know what you need to motivate yourself but you must allow for the crucial unknown factor that most people (including myself) sometimes forget in the excitement.
To achieve the goal we plan. We take time out to assess the manageable steps we assume will take us there. This is just the same as intention, but the next part of the process is when we can run the risk of heading towards overwhelm.
Those who are not detailed enough will simply stop here, in fact they may have already stopped after dreaming about what they want. Most detailed people, will state dates each step must happen by, how exactly that step will happen, enter the details in their diary/ to do list and start taking action. Those who set intentions will go further by following up with the most important step of all.
The intention setters know that their goal may not be in their control. In fact, they know it’s highly likely that the goal will rely on so many factors outwith their control. After clarifying the steps that are needed for their goal, they let go of the need for it happen by a certain date in addition to the exact detail of how it will happen.
For example, if developing a new product or service to add value to your customers, you may think most of the steps are in your control (planning, drafting, crafting, finalising, manufacturing then selling). It is usually assumed that we only need others to help us with the end part. Sadly not… We need to consider others from day 1.
Your family, friends and clients all play a part in your life and you need to give them attention or you won’t have a home to come back to nor a business to go to.
So often those of us in business (and I include myself in here) can get excited about the next new product or service that we forget to give some of our attention to what we already have and need to do no matter how mundane that may be. They get so excited about a new service but ignore the current one and it crumbles, or they spend loads of money but ignore their accounts and soon find themselves a little short for their tax bill.
Through studying psychology, I have found that we are a combination of many things, but predominately our environment (offline, online, immediate and global). When we set goals we think we are in full control. We are not. Everything your family, friends, clients & strangers do impact you and your business.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your goals and to do list then I encourage you to take a step back, ask what you are in control of, what you need short term & long term and what detail you could maybe let go off with an intention of perhaps enjoying the moment for what it is and not for what you would prefer it be.
Love Helen x
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