Goals challenge us, but they don't have to be a dreaded slog, filled with procrastinationa and remorse. Make it easy on yourself using the tips in this episode.
Connecting a goal with meaning and purpose will give your goal the best chance of survival! As you set the goal, explore WHY it's important to you and who you will become on the achieving of it. Where, on life's journey, will it take you?
Above all, don't set a goal because you 'should'., e.g. I should do more yoga, meditate or lose weight. Those goals, as you know from past experience, are hard to pull off. They are fuelled by shame, guilt and inadequacy - a negative emotion.
Instead choose a goal that will delight you, both in the actions you take towards it and how you think about yourself as you progress. Love yourself into success.
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Hi everyone, my name's Dex Randall and this is the Burnout to Leadership podcast, where I teach professional men to recover from burnout and get back to passion and reward at work. Here we are then, 2023, and a very Happy New Year to you all, my dear podcast friends from me Dex Randall. If you're new to the podcast, I'm the burnout coach for high achieving professionals and that's why this podcast is called Burnout to Leadership because it's the leadership part we all want to regenerate and optimize and succeed with once burnout's out of the picture, which typically happens in a matter of weeks. So if you're new to the podcast, I do recommend going back to listen to the first four episodes at least because they're really going to help you understand more deeply what burnout really is and what you can do about it. And then after that, they follow a number of episodes with my top tips for you to deal with each of the symptoms of burnout so you can start to make a difference and feel a bit better right away. Anyway, for all of you, especially if you're listening in January, I do hope you've had a good restful seasons break with your loved ones. I trust you have returned or was some very lucky amongst you will return later refreshed and revigorated for the new year. And I do know that many of my US chums have had a bit of an icebound winter. Hope that hasn't affected your social plans too much. I've seen some pretty crazy photos in the media. From here, I'm in Australia. I must report that, to coin a popular phrase now is the winter of our discontent, may glorious summer by the sun of York, all the clouds that loud upon our house in the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Now are the brows bound with victorious wreaths. I mean, I don't wanna go on, but it has been raining in this kind of La Nina cycle for the last year or so. And that's suitably rather poorly, to be honest, in some ways, because I'm really out and about a lot. And so now the sun, welcome back. Sorry to gloat about that. Anyway, this week, what we're gonna do is tuck into a bit of goal setting, which is the beginning of this month's theme of achieving goals since yes, it is that time of year. Always good to focus, I think, our efforts at the start of the year. So we begin as we mean to go on, create the year that we want, create more of what we like during the coming year. And, really, it's about creating more of what does our hearts good because that repercussions beautifully into every other thing. So whether you're thinking about a goal or not, I would entreat you to maybe just give it some consideration. What do you mean you don't feel like it? Of course, none of us do when it comes to that. But goal setting is important. And we're gonna tackle the motivation side and they're not wanting to get stuck in a little bit later on in today's episode. So for those of you who haven't heard me talking about goals before, today I'm gonna give a brief outline of how really to set up your goal in such a way as to support your progress with it. And as I often do on the podcast, I'm going to share with you a bunch of my best practical tips that you can apply to your goal in this case, whatever that may be. And notice, first of all, if you did that, this episode is called finding meaning and purpose. So tip number one is about finding your meaning and purpose through goal setting. Because setting goals really needs to be rooted in meaning. Meaning is a great motivator. It really moves us forward and goals are a big ask typically for a human. You're unlikely to set a goal, for example, of mowing the lawn every week in summer, unless that has some meaning for you. Unless the lawn, for example, was the pride and joy of your father. Man's search for meaning is a search for connection with life, for belonging and a sense of having one's proper place in the world and one's unique destiny to fulfill. So backing goals up with a strong meaning and purpose not only gives us a banner to walk towards our goal under, it kind of stirs the blood. It gives us a sense of ourselves, our strength, our will, our ability to achieve. And I think in the back of that, a bit of pride in who we are. And it also hooks us into our values, requiring us really to be more us and to know and to honor what's important to us. And for those people who can't think of a goal to set, and I know there are many, usually it's because you don't really know who you are or what's important to you if that's happening for you or what you'd like to achieve. Because really setting goals is a passion project. And if you currently don't possess or feel passion, if you can set a goal that's going to generate that passion within you, find a goal that has meaning. Restore your self image and sense of belonging by connecting to something larger than yourself. You're likely to be much more inspired to take action from this place. And creating that meaning and purpose is simply a practice. It's really like a skill. You can just dust it off and have a go. You can create a bit more of it. And the way that I think is quite... Is perhaps the easiest way to tackle that if you can't find meaning and purpose is excavate your history for acts that you've taken that did have meaning and purpose. And ask yourself, why did you choose them? What values did they align with of yours? Might as well check in if you can't really kind of get to this yourself, check in with a partner or a friend if you find it challenging to do that so that you can start excavating values that are genuinely your own. And it kind of, it colors you in as a human when you can get in contact with that. So even if it's a difficult process to find those things, it's a worthwhile project all by itself. So tip number one, cultivate a strong meaning and purpose for your goal. Tip number two then on setting a goal is set the right goal for you. Many of my students have work or money goals, but by no means all. Often family relationships and activities outside of work have fallen away under the pressure for a man in burnout. And that's felt very keenly as a failure by that man as well as by his long suffering family. And so those types of things might also be early goals for people in burnout. Choose whatever inspires you and makes sense for you. Whatever goal you think you wanna set for yourself, make sure it's a good fit. Make sure it aligns with your values and aspirations and that it's your top priority goal. If you've got more than one goal, set a target result and finish date for the first goal and don't activate the second goal until you've achieved the first. And that's because it's really helpful to water down your efforts on a goal by tackling more than one at a time. So simply prioritize them and do them serially. Then inquire with curiosity into why exactly you want to achieve your one goal. How does it align with your values? What does it mean to you? Why does it matter? What becomes possible on the achieving of it? You can nominate any goal you like, but you're gonna ask of yourself a big commitment to make it happen. So don't do it to achieve something that really doesn't make your heart sing. Don't do it to placate, for example, other people or to impress other people or for the status of it, unless that has a tangible benefit. And reasons for your goal that may not hold up very well include other people suggesting you should do something like losing weight. As soon as there's a should in the sentence, there's a whopping barrier to effective follow through for you. It's more likely that you're gonna resent the goal, feel unmotivated to comply and accidentally fail to follow through. If you do want to, for example, lose weight, how can you do that for yourself? What are the direct benefits for you? What outcome do you desire so strongly for yourself that you're gonna stick with it and be proud of yourself? Another reason for your goal that might not hold up very well is social acceptance. What you think society expects of you. We're improving some habit that's gonna get people off your back at work. For example, answering all your work messages every night. Sometimes choices like that are driven by guilt, shame or the need for approval and then not the best motivation for action. And just on a side note here, in my burnout coaching program, during the phase where we're bringing you out of burnout, I do encourage students to set goals about things like feeling better or taming their inbox. Something tangible that demonstrates progress. I do that in the context of the active support that comes with coaching. I teach my students the practical tools and specific skills to overcome such issues. And without that, I don't know, but you might struggle to make that kind of change using your normal methods. For most students, if they were able to do that by themselves at the start, they wouldn't be in burnout in the first place. Burnout happens to people with no off switch, type A hard driven people. We need to do a little bit of light rewiring of those habits to make taming work, your workload a bit more sustainable. So if you're trying to punish yourself by curbing some poor habits at work or taking up yoga when you hate it or signing up for a study regime you don't have time for, just think about how that's worked out so far and why. Cultivating habits really comes from inviting change with the carrot, not threatening with the stick. It comes from love for the person you're becoming the doing of it. Because most of us are pretty worn out with self criticism and self rejection already, particularly when we're in burnout. Ask instead deep into your heart what you personally would be thrilled to achieve as a gift to yourself, your future self. So that's tip number two, make sure it's the right goal for you. Tip number three, make it a smart goal, specific, measurable, achievable by you, relevant and time bound. And that does sound trivial but actually it's essential. It must be specific and measurable so that you're gonna see progress and know when you get there and it must be time bound and an absolute deadline that you can commit to. Otherwise your brain's got every excuse to wiggle out and procrastinate. A smart goal keeps you on track, it keeps you focused and you will notice if you veer off. And when you're writing your smart goal, also write down your values that substantiate it, why it's important to you and congruent for you. Then write down all the benefits... Okay, this is a really good one. Write down all the benefits of achieving your goal. Paint yourself as appealing a picture as you possibly can. Many people write down one benefit and stop, it's not gonna cut it really. So this is where I wheel in Russell Brunson, the king of such things, his idea of writing down as many benefits as you possibly can and then the benefits of the benefits. So really give your brain a workout, this is worth spending time on. What will happen when you achieve your goal? What will be avoided when you achieve your goal? Who will you become? What becomes possible for you if you achieve that goal? Then when you've got a list of 50 or 100 benefits, I'm not kidding, take each benefit separately and write down the benefit of having that first benefit. So you make it into a kind of tree structure and your brain is going to really love this, it's going to love to see it. It's kind of a reward in advance for pursuing this goal. So here's an example to get you started. Let's say your goal is to be promoted by December 31st. And by the way, if that actually is your goal and if you're currently in burnout, you must come and see me right now and we'll really fast track that goal for you. So one of the benefits of this promotion could be that you stop doing so much of the grunt work, the technical legwork that you do now. And so the benefit of that benefit might include working less hours, being less tired, having headspace for better quality, strategic ideas and thinking, having more opportunity to collaborate with other leaders, being able to champion new initiatives to support other staff, getting home from work before the kids are in bed if you have kids or the wife or the husband, the partner, not shouting at any of your family members or wishing they'd go away when you get home and so on and so on and so on. Be really exhausted. Show yourself the money, right? This is to inspire you towards achieving your goal and every piece of inspiration you can gather together will be valuable to you later. So tip number three, make it a smart goal and back that smartness up. Tip number four, you're going to love this one so much. Calendar your sub goals in order not to be overwhelmed by a long term goal. You know, we can't just see an elephant two miles down the road and go after it. The human brain needs to cut the elephant up into bite sized chunks, doesn't it? Chunks it knows how to handle, chunks that aren't overwhelming. So if you have a goal, break it down into sub goals and put deadlines onto each of them. So for example, if your goal is to get promoted this year, think of all the steps you have to take. Assign the achievement of each step to a month on your calendar as a deadline that month. Then for each month from now until your deadline, break that sub goal down into weekly action steps and put those on your calendar. Allocate the time, make it non negotiable time, non fungible if you want the blockchain of your goal to be sound. Then each week, write a list of actions to take that week to achieve this week's designated result. What do I have to do? Put those actions on your daily schedule. Actually write them on as fixed, immutable, 60 minute tasks. Just break them down to one hour chunks and commit to that one hour each time on your schedule. And that's because we don't make it an open ended nightmare. We don't say "I'm gonna sit down this afternoon and do work on my goal", because that's neither specific in function and result nor on time. It's just a nightmare. So we put it into 60 minute blocks and we say what we're going to achieve in that 60 minutes 'cause the mind will wriggle out of anything that's not concrete, won't it? So whatever your style is with time and goals, whether you start strong and fizzle out, whether you leave everything until the last minute or whether you're a bit haphazard with your commitment to goal tasks, you're going to need to learn a new system of working with time and goals, of sticking to your word in whatever way that you can. And that's why we did all the values work and benefits work at the beginning. So you've got some ammunition to stick to your work to achieve the goal this time where you may not have achieved it before. So tip number four is put bite sized actions on your calendar as immutable one hour commitments. Finally, when you break it right down there. Tip number five, accept and gently work with your resistance, 'cause you probably won't want to do any of your goal work. You'll probably resist even starting. Your thoughts are going to lead you astray probably at every stage of the process. You're gonna experience all the negative emotions when you see those tasks on your schedule. An emergency will crop up in your mind. Oh, like having a coffee instead. So you need to anticipate resistance and work with it with some skill. You can say, "Oh, here it is resistance. I don't want to do this task." Just notice that you don't want to do it. Notice that you're resisting and then make a conscious choice to do it anyway, uncharacteristically, perhaps because you promised yourself you would. Accept the negative thoughts and the negative emotions that you're having about not knowing what to do, how to do it, who can help, how long it will take. Forget all of that. It's on your schedule for 60 minutes. Just start. This is your moment when you promised yourself you would do just one hour of work on a specific task to produce a definite result. So start at the top of the hour, finish at the top of the next hour, produce one thing you're proud of. Don't check social media. Don't research. Don't phone a friend. Just do the task because you're an adult. You can make that choice just for that little amount of time, even though you don't feel like it. And that's why I asked you kind of at the top of the episode to write down your reason for pursuing your goal and the benefits to achieving it, because this is what you'll need to keep in mind in those moments of doubt and confusion and sneaky retreat. So tip number five, learn to honor your commitment and celebrate yourself for that mightily every day for actually doing the thing you said you wanted to do, because when you celebrate it, you're going to be inclined to go again tomorrow. So that's all for this week. That's my top five tips to get started on your goal. I am going to share more goal tips next week about getting your goal off to a sound start, taking action. So please do pop back then. And I will also be sharing these tips as videos on social media. So look out for those. Thank you for listening today. Appreciate as always you being here. And if you are in burnout, please listen for the link at the end. You must come and talk to me about how to recover quickly and sustainably and get back to your best performance leadership, most of all, enjoyment inside you and out. If you're in burnout and ready to recover, come and join my Burnout to Leadership program. You can book in to talk with me at burnout.dexrandall.com. Just tell me what's bugging you and let's make a plan to fix it.