Once you’ve identified what your vision is, and you’ve considered the traits and characteristics of the you that creates that vision, next you determine what you need to DO to create your vision.
Goal-setting is most effective when you first consider your vision and “vision self.” Without alignment with the outcome you are seeking to create and without intentional shifts in your identity, you’ll be less effective at achieving your goals.
On top of which, doesn’t it just make more sense to align your goals with the overall outcome you want to create in your life?! It totally does.
What do you need to DO to create your vision?
What do you need to DO and achieve to make your vision a reality?
Reflect back on your vision for your life. What action will you take to create that vision?
Of the actions that come to mind – can any of them be combined? Are there some actions that will impact more than one of your vision-life areas?
Some of your goals will require that you take action in other areas. This is another reason that alignment is so important: it snowballs!
Let’s identify these actions and turn them into goal statements, complete with an accountability check. Here’s what this might look like:
What you want:
“To have close, meaningful friendships and a fun social life.”
What you are committed to doing:
“Actually answer texts from friends, even when busy; set aside time to spend with friends, say yes when asked to get together, and arrange some meetups, gatherings, or calls with friends who aren’t local.”
What you are committed to doing, rephrased in a goal statement. Your goal can be a process goal or an outcome goal. This is a process goal.
“When possible, I will respond to social interactions throughout the day. When not possible, I will set aside time every evening after dinner to respond to social texts and messages. I will plan at least one call or meetup monthly with my peops.”
Supportive goal statement (if applicable):
“I will also address my work schedule vision of working less, protecting my calendar, and saying “no” to things that I don’t really want to be doing so that I have available time to spend with friends.”
“Monthly I’ll check in with myself on whether I made time for my social life. I will use my Full Focus Planner as an accountability tool.”
What you want:
“To achieve financial freedom, which includes providing generational wealth to my children, a plan for living comfortably in retirement as I define it, the ability to pay for a home that I love, the ability to travel and take vacations, and the ability to pay for fun things like seasonal wardrobe updates.”
What you are committed to doing:
“Becoming free of credit card debt is the first step. While I am paying off debt I will also save a percentage of every paycheck to prevent future debt even while paying off current debt. I will build a budget plan that supports these outcomes, and seek help with building this plan.”
What you will do (goal statement – this is an outcome goal):
“I will be free of credit card debt by January 2023.”
“I will check in with a money-smart, supportive friend every two weeks and tell her my current credit card balance.”
I encourage you to follow this process for every aspect of your life, so that you can align all of your goals, behaviors, habits, decisions, and achievements with your vision.
That being said, it’s ineffective and unreasonable to set more than one goal at a time.
So here’s your final step: choose JUST ONE of your goals to focus on this quarter, these next two quarters, or this year.
Choose. Just. One.
Choosing just one area of focus at a time can be a challenge. It’s one of the areas with which I assist my clients in the Alignment Transformation program!
Get in the Zone
We’ve now identified actions that you can take to create your vision.
Let’s put another spin on the actions that you take – your daily tasks.
To live aligned, the tasks you are executing every day should not just help create your vision. They should also be in your zone of genius. This concept originally comes from Gay Hendricks’ The Big Leap, and I’m a huge fan.
When most of your tasks are outside your zone of genius, you’ll feel exhausted, drained, unfulfilled, empty, and eventually burned out.
When most of your tasks are IN your zone of genius, you’ll feel all of alignment feels that I shared a few weeks ago: joy, challenge, growth, fulfillment, peace, passion, and purpose.
Every activity you perform during the day falls within one of four zones:
Zone of Incompetence: These are things that you aren’t good at. It’s not just that you don’t know how to do them. It’s also that you don’t have an interest in learning them, a natural drive to do them, or an innate talent at them. These are things that other people do better than you, and they are tasks with which you will struggle, even with there being a severe consequence of your not doing them.
Zone of Competence: These are things that you’re good enough at. You know how to do them and you can do them, but you’re not great at them. You don’t have an interest in getting better at them, a natural drive to do them, or an innate talent at them. You also don’t find these activities meaningful or fulfilling. These are activities that you do just fine, but someone else does them as well as you do. You might do these tasks if there is sufficient extrinsic motivation or if there is a severe consequence for not doing them.
Zone of Excellence: These are things that you excel at doing – you’re better than most. But despite being excellent at these things, you don’t love doing them. You don’t have an innate drive to do them and you don’t find them particularly meaningful, even if you do have some level of natural talent at them. When motivated extrinsically, you will happily execute these tasks.
Zone of Genius: These are things that you are uniquely amazing at in the world. No one else can do them the way that you do, and at the high level that you do. These are things that you love to do. You have a natural interest in them and seek to get better at them. You have an innate drive to do them and a natural talent for them. Your motivation for doing these tasks is almost entirely intrinsic, and you find them meaningful. These are things that you love to do so much that you could do them all the time, you feel your best while you’re doing them, and you tend to lose track of time and space when you’re engaged in them.
For the next week or so, write down every task on your to-do list, every task you have completed that day (yes, literally everything you do!), and every task that you *should* have completed but did not.
Categorize them into the zones, then consider:
What tasks are you doing that are in your zones of incompetence and competence?
How do you feel when you are executing (or avoiding) these tasks?
What tasks are you doing that are in your zones of excellence and genius?
It’s OK if you don’t know what your zones of excellence and genius are. Frankly, most women don’t know.
Instead, most high-performing women have been grinding it out doing what we “should” do, without considering whether the things we are doing are using our unique talents and gifts.
By letting external inputs decide where we focus our efforts, we deprive ourselves and the world of the benefits of our optimal impact.
As you identify and consider your activities that are in these different zones, simply pay more attention to whether you’re actually good at or want to be doing the task that you’re executing.
What action can you take to reduce or eliminate the time and energy you give to tasks in your zones of incompetence and competence? How can you delegate or otherwise remove these tasks from your to-do list to make more room for your genius?
Exhaustion and Burnout: When Your Tasks and Goals Aren’t Aligned
According to recent research…
→ 42% of women report feelings of burnout
→ 80% of adult Americans suffer from some level of physiological “adrenal fatigue”
→ Women are nearly twice as likely as men to struggle with exhaustion
The conclusion I draw from this smattering of data points is that there are a whole lot of high-performing women giving precious energy to executing tasks that aren’t aligned – and it is burning us out.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
My friend, you were put on earth to make a positive impact.
You can’t make that positive impact if you’re burned out and exhausted.
We believe that together we can…
- optimize our impact by leaning into our zones of genius and living aligned with our values.
- push back against burnout culture.
- let go of the narratives that keep us from resting and maximizing our efforts.
- make peace with what has hurt us and choose courage over fear.
- transform traditional gender roles to create more equitable workloads.
- love ourselves and our bodies, and elevate function over aesthetics.
- prioritize friendship and connection.
- uplift and encourage each other.
Energy & Purpose: What Happens When You Live Aligned
When you follow our six-step signature Alignment Transformation process, you’ll have clarity on how to choose your tasks, activities, habits, and goals so that they create what you actually want for your life.
You’ll identify the sources of energy-draining, dysfunctional stress in your life and build an action plan for addressing and overcoming those exhaustion-inducers.
You’ll stop mindlessly doing what you “should” and instead intentionally choose that which is aligned with your gifts, talents, calling, and sense of purpose.
You’ll have a plan for living aligned with your values, achieving your potential, being fully present and optimally productive.
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