What's your excuse?

I attempted a run this morning - first in two weeks as I've had a cold. (Excuse #1)

The weather is mild; perfect for an early run, even my running clothes were at then end of my bed - but I just had to check my social media, emails etc. (Excuse #2)

So, I eventually got out at 6am, ran about a km and it started to rain! (Excuse #3) 

Thinking I'd keep close to home I then realised I had to get the household out earlier than usual - and home I went. (Excuse #4)


How many excuses do you have in a day? I hesitate to guess. Whether it's to avoid giving someone feedback to a colleague, making that call to sell your great idea to a stranger or even saying "No" to that coffee - we all make excuses to avoid the feeling of anxiety or loss and the affect on our ego!


Resilience, courage and discipline all come to mind when I consider the development of a character required to avoid these excuses. 

Be up front with yourself - build your list of tasks/goals/challenges and all the excuses to avoid tackling these. Then, remind yourself why you need to complete these tasks/goals/challenges, how you're going to achieve these and how you might reward yourself!

No excuses this week! 

Do you plan your goal achievement?

Do you plan your goal achievement?

Goal setting is one of my favourite activities – it’s up there with writing lists, saying “yes” to challenges and drinking champagne!

As I prep for a workshop, which is already prepared for me using the process of #TakeON!, the SMART goal writing tool is used. I’m not an avid user of SMART, I used to be, many moons ago, but it’s well worth revisiting or sharing with your team if you struggle with achieving results. I generally find it’s in the specifics of the goal.

My favourite approach is back-planning. I visualise the accomplished goal and then work backwards – identifying the significant milestones arrived at and achieved, then back plan each step which I completed (in my head) to arrive at the goal.

It may have a fancy or trendy term (can I trademark it?) however I’ve used this technique for decades and its 80-90% foolproof.

What tool, technique, method, model etc. do you use to set goals and plan to achieve them? Or, dont you?

I recently completed the Locus of Control (thanks to Carol Howard @blackbirdsthree) which uncovered that I have a strong Internal Locus of Control – I’m very achievement-orientated. So, note to self – be mindful that we’re not all fanatical about goals!

Check Mind Tools for the neat article on Locus of Control – Are you in charge of your destiny?

Lou's Leadership Views: DON'T SET GOALS

Oh please don't set goals, especially if you're one of the folk who have all the good intentions in the world, setting goals at the beginning of the year and then don't do anything about them! You're then the first to say “Oh Goals, they seriously don't work.”

Stop giving Goal Setting such bad press. Your failure should not be the catalyst of non-action by others who you have the opportunity to influence.

Maybe you don't realise you're on the anti-goal setting team? Let me help you identify yourself.

Here’s what I've discovered in the past few weeks working with a few people and their goal setting attempts:

Grand Plans – creating the long list or dreaming up the gargantuan goal which is seriously way too big. It’s like ordering a big steak and then shoving into your mouth and attempting to eat it! Generally we use techniques & tools (a steak knife is good) to manage the goals. I’m loving Evernote to manage my goals (and business).

No Support – attempting to go it alone and being a hero. There are people in your life who would probably like to achieve the same goals. In the workplace – tell people, involve people – there are so many ‘helpers’ around who would be ‘turned on’ by being asked. And, if your partner loves you, then get them to join you or at least be there for moral support.

Self Doubt – listening to the negative language in your head; it’s a killer. It’s the biggest enemy of Goal Setting. If you’re hearing voices say “I can't do that” or “I'll start tomorrow” then focus on controlling this before you do anything.

No Visuals – relying on your memory to recall goals and goal progress – it is almost unachievable. Help your brain by ‘posting’ your goals, targets, achievements etc in places visible to the eye – in writing or try images.   

If you're guilty of the above four then you may need some help if you want to give the Goal Setting another go! 

Or, if you've given up on Goal Setting, then encourage others by using a crafted story which identifies your mistakes and 'what not to do'. Then, shut up!