“We choose to go to the Moon…We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win” John F. Kennedy. These are the words that marked a new era for mankind. It was a promise to do what no nation had done, a goal so great that many scientists at the time thought it was impossible to accomplish. On July 20th, 1969, ten years after JFK’s speech, the world witnessed as Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon.
What was not obvious about what came to be known as Project Apollo, was the planning and the major changes that had to be made to actualize the vision of JFK. Prior to his speech, NASA had not yet sent a man into orbit and its budget was at a minimum centered on other less ambitious projects they had. But landing men on the Moon and safely returning to the earth by the end of the decade required a paradigm shift on how space exploration was approached, a sudden burst of technological creativity, and the largest commitment of resources than ever before. Whether it is achieving an astronomical goal as sending a man to the Moon or improving your health by losing some weight or changing your diet, some planning and changes must first take place that will bring about a change in mindset, improved creativity, and realignment of resources.
At the core of resolutions
It’s that time of the year when we make new plans or revive the abandoned ones. We call this process making New Year’s Resolutions, which is basically making a firm decision to do or not to do something to achieve a greater goal. Unfortunately, statistics show that most people stick to their resolutions for only seventeen days. I believe that making New Year’s Resolutions is perfectly an okay practice, but the problem is that we often don’t understand where we need to draw the power to keep them.
Understanding the core of a resolution, which is vision, is the first place where we find the energy to keep them. The most potential resolutions that we can ever make are those that are tied to a vision. So, the question that we must always ask ourselves as we sit down to write our resolutions is what I refer to as the vision question, which states, “What do I see?” Seeing could be in any area, personal life, relationships, professional, or family. Without a clear vision that is outlined (before making resolutions) anything we decide to do will not be achievable. The second thing that’s at the core of every successful executed plan, like the Moon landing, is strategy. And that’s is where I want to spend the rest of today’s post on. And as a teacher, author, and speaker Lee Bolman said, “A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.” I want to share with you three simple yet powerful strategies that will help you achieve your vision. Let’s get started:
1. Predetermine your daily ritual
Deciding to pursue a new and challenging goal or simply deciding to improve an area of your life in order to see remarkable change will require new habits. Since our habits are the product of our choices, we achieve new habits that allow us to achieve our goals by predetermining our daily rituals.
Daily rituals are the things we decide to do every day without fail. To do them daily, we must have the right qualities. First, they must be as easy as possible to do, or we will find ourselves dreading to do them. Second, they must be fun to do. Third, they must be satisfying. A good example that I can share with you in which I have implemented daily rituals with the three qualities I have mentioned is in writing. My daily ritual is writing. To make it as easy as possible. I have developed a writing using my phone’s Notes App. To make it fun, I write my lightbulb moments in paragraphs and share with my friends, which generate lovely dialogues. To make it satisfying, I elicit feedback from a few friends who I know will provide both positive criticism and encouragement. So, think about your vision and come up with daily rituals that will build winning habits.
What is most important is to determine your daily rituals, which are in alignment with your vision because it reduces friction to achieving your vision. Many habit experts have noticed, we decide our future based on the habits we have chosen. While deciding on your daily ritual announces new habits that you want to build, announcing your goals or making them public is the second strategy for sticking to our vision.
2. Make your goals public
When JFK announced that before the decade was over, an American would set foot on the Moon, he elicited one of the most powerful energies to achieving vision; the power of commitment. Making your vision or goals public is the most important step to building commitment to any undertaking. While you don’t have to tell the whole world of your goals, making your vision public, in any way, is compulsory if you will overcome the temptation to quit using the power of commitment.
Making your goals public can take several forms. The first one, which serves as the foundation of all other forms of making our goals public is writing them down. You must transfer your goals from your head to paper. Writing down your vision invites other regions of your brain to be encouraged with your vision. The second form is making it known to your inner circle. Your inner circle could be your friends, close family members, mentors or coaches. Letting your inner circle know of your vision is important in expanding your vision. They often provide critical feedback that helps implement your vision and make it watertight before sharing to the public. They also provide encouragement. Third and final form in making your vision known is going public.
Whichever way you decide to make your vision public, what’s most critical to keep in mind is to make sure you deposit enough commitment in your vision early on. Because commitment is what keeps one going when the going is hard. And your level of commitment determines your level of success on any goal; high commitment big success, low commitment, small success. But it’s impossible to maintain commitment without a standard or way of measuring progress. This brings us to the third and final strategy for sticking to our vision, which is developing and using what I refer to as a progremeter
3. Develop and use a ‘progremeter’.
Without a way to measure your progress, it’s impossible to remain committed. This is where the third strategy, developing a system to measure progress, comes in. From the two words, progress and meter, I coined the word progremeter. In order to last for more than seventeen days and stick to our goals until we see remarkable results, we must develop a way of accessing the progress we make in actualizing our visions.
Despite having different visions and thereby different systems to access progress, there are three things that all systems must account for. First thing is accountability. Your progremeter must have a way to inform at least one member of your inner circle of your progress. Second, your progremeter should have away to compile a progress report. This could be as simple as journaling. It is important when it comes to auditing and reflecting on your vision. Third, it must indicate your milestones. Knowing when you achieve your milestones is a great way to remain motivated. In addition to accounting for progress a good progremeter will help you identify your personal strengths and weaknesses.
In summary, when you have a strong connection between your vision and your resolutions, anything is achievable once you apply a strategy that works. What I have shared here is only a foundation that you can use to achieve any goal you have in 2020 and beyond. Next week we will look at habits.
Happy New Year! I pray you prosper in all you do.