The DRIVE Goal Setting Method

Most of us are aware of the need to set goals, but few actually take the steps to write them down and make a plan that works. I don’t believe that goal setting is the ultimate requirement for every success, but they do play a big part in helping us get clear on what we want and focused on doing what’s required to make it possible.

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The DRIVE Goal Setting Method, in its simplest form, is about choosing a destination and living each day in the right direction. It’s a way to think differently about the things you want and the paths that will take you there by breaking it all down into small enough steps that you can actually use.


PART 1: DIRECTION

Setting a clear destination with PURPOSE & VISION

If you want to take your life to a better place, then start by choosing your destination. You don’t need to know every single detail before you take your first step, but you DO need a direction in which to move.

Without this important piece, you risk living by your impulses, going north one day and south the next. The end result is spinning your wheels or walking in circles, and ending the year in the exact same position you began.

Before you plot the course, you need to pick your map.

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DIRECTION 1.1: 

Find PURPOSE for the Road Ahead

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It’s time for a change. You may want to improve your health, fitness, career, finances or relationships. It’s also possible that, in the midst of your desire for something new, you feel a little aimless; you know that you want change, but you have no idea how it should look.

There may be a series of unanswered questions in the back of your mind:

  • “Is my life moving in the right direction?”
  • “Am I doing the right thing?”
  • “Will I be able to look back on my life in 20 years and be satisfied with how it turned out?”
  • “Am I stuck or am I actually going somewhere meaningful?”
  • “What should I do next?”

No one likes the idea of wasted time or running on a hamster wheel. Nor do we like the feeling of living in a place that doesn’t fit, like a job we hate or a relationship that drains us dry.

If you have a desire for change, and even if you don’t know where to start, it’s time to fully discover and begin living towards your dreams.

Let’s take a look at the first step: Uncovering Your Theme.

In my own experience, finding the life path that really fits first begins with uncovering your own personal theme. This exercise will benefit you in a number of ways. Here are just a few:

  • You will have more clarity about what’s important & what comes next
    A sense of clarity is an amazing gift. You will now have an idea of how a “successful” year should look.
  • You will feel more energized by everything in life
    When you identify a theme that really matters to you, you’re able to apply it everywhere – in your relationships, career, ministry or other. It makes your whole life feel like it fits your unique makeup, and that everything you’re doing is actually making a difference.
  • Decisions will become easier to make
    Now that you have a theme, you have a guidepost to make decisions. If an opportunity stands before you that doesn’t work with your theme, then perhaps it’s not right for you.

What’s a theme? I like to think of it in two forms: Life Theme and Year Theme.

Your LIFE Theme
Some call it life purpose or calling. While I have nothing against these terms, I find they often cause us to see ourselves too narrowly. Plus, obsessing over finding the one right thing to devote your life to is enough to drive anyone crazy.

Instead, think of purpose as a thread that weaves all throughout your life. No matter what you do, it has a way of making itself known. That is, if you let it.

Your theme is written in your personality, preferences, desires and natural strengths. It pulls on your abilities and makes you the perfect man or woman for any job or task that fits you.

Here are a few examples:

  1. TEACHING
    This person feels most alive when helping someone understand a difficult concept.
  2. HEALING & RECOVERY
    This person may be drawn to medicine, psychiatry or counseling.
  3. LOVING THE UNLOVED
    This person could find joy in becoming a foster parent or volunteer at a homeless shelter.
  4. EMPOWERING OTHERS
    This person is likely to enjoy mentoring, coaching, speaking or writing.

It can seem that in the above examples, or in the lives of those you know who love what they do, that people find their purpose in their jobs. This isn’t necessarily true. Those who understand purpose don’t find it in what they do, they express it through what they do.

For example, a teacher could lose his or her job but then find another one as a product educator and absolutely love it. It’s a different job, but the same theme.

Once you discover your theme, it’s no longer about what you do, but rather why you’re doing it.

Unfortunately, because your theme feels so natural to you, it’s easy to miss.

Here are a few questions to help uncover your theme:

  • Consider the primary categories of your life: God/Spirituality, Relationships, Health, Wealth, Career/Work, Social/Community and Recreation. Can you see a common theme, like nurturing, teaching, fighting for justice, cheerleading, etc that runs through them all?
  • What are your core values? Examples include freedom, adventure, learning, growth, family, love and contribution. Does a particular value stand above the rest and influence every area of your life?
  • What are your skills and natural strengths? For example, influencing others, speaking, athleticism or writing. How do you like to use them?
  • What situations are perfect for your personality? When do you feel most at ease, focused and productive?
  • Who do you want to serve? What problem(s) do you enjoy solving? A life theme often features your own unique way of contributing to the world around you.
  • What are the bright spots in your life? These are the things that, despite everything you don’t like, stand out as the things you really enjoy or appreciate.
  • What about your current situation (career, volunteer work, relationship) first drew you in and got you excited?
  • What makes you feel most alive? (Note: just because something is a passion, like working out or playing video games, doesn’t mean it’s your life purpose. However, it may point to a theme that you can apply to the rest of your life.)

Does it have to be forever?
You might look back and see different themes throughout the years. Growing older, or even a particular experience, could have caused your feelings to change about what’s important in life.

You don’t need to be looking for what has been and will be true forever. Rather, you’re looking for the right theme to live for now.

Your YEAR Theme
Is there one big thing that’s burning in your heart or mind to do or accomplish?

When you choose a central theme for the year, you can plug the rest of your life into it. All of your ordinary days and tasks will now have the power to contribute to something bigger.

Your year theme is about distilling your mission down to a single big idea. It then becomes the first step to crafting a powerful vision that motivates and pulls you up when the going gets tough.

You Don’t Need All the Answers Yet
Rest easy. You don’t have to know the end result yet or how you’re going to get there. You just need to choose the area of your life you want to improve and give it a name that feels right.

Here are some examples:

  • Financial Freedom
  • New Business
  • Finding God
  • Loving Deeply
  • Uncovering My Life Theme
  • Living Fit
  • Bold Choices
  • Big Steps
  • Career Advancement

Are you getting the idea?

It’s your turn
Now that you have a better understanding of uncovering your theme, devote some time to considering your own. I promise you’ll be glad you did.

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DIRECTION 1.2: 

Craft a Powerful VISION

How to Craft a Powerful Vision

Dreaming is a natural part of life. We’re born with the ability to imagine and see what doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, the busyness of life and the demands of “growing up” often cause our mental stage to go dark. As a result, we live each day without focus on the future or hope for brighter days.

When our imaginations do come out to play, it’s often just to wish we could be someone else, live somewhere else or, at the very least, do something else. Whether this lack of dreaming is caused by fear of the unknown, feelings of hopelessness from past letdowns or just plain old ignorance of its value, our imaginations have become underdeveloped and under used.

If you want this to be a truly amazing year, it’s time to reawaken your imagination and rein it back in with renewed focus.

What kind of imagination do I mean? Vision.

Why You Need Vision
Among many great reasons to live with vision, here are three to consider:

  • Your brain seeks to build what your mind sees most
    Almost all of your day-to-day life is processed and managed by your subconscious mind. It acts like a filtration system that monitors everything around you, bringing forward only what it thinks you want or need.
    This is how you can drive mindlessly and suddenly become aware that the green light ahead of you turned amber. It’s also how you notice the sound of your name from across a noisy room or the magazine cover on a cluttered rack that promises fast weight loss; a problem you just happen to be interested in right now.
    Your brain is on a constant mission to find opportunities to advance, as well as to solve problems that are getting in your way. Have you ever had a eureka moment when a great idea popped into your head? You were obsessing about a problem with no success, and then suddenly, there was your answer.
    When you have a crystal-clear and compelling vision, you tap into your brain’s power to seek out and solve. When vision is missing, this power goes largely untapped.
  • Vision directs your daily decisions
    How do you know if you have a good idea?
    The only real way to judge an idea is by its ability to solve a clear problem. Life is full of things that feel good, but many of them won’t lead you somewhere meaningful.
    When you know where you want to go, you have a way to identify the right decisions along the way.
  • Vision injects hope and positive feelings into the process
    Diving right into change with a few simple goals can seem like a good idea, but you might find something is missing. That something is emotion.
    A goal that promises to give you something you want can feel great at first, but that buzz quickly fades. I like to think of a goal as a “promise with a price tag.” It’s an item on your list that you’d like to have, but it comes at a cost of changing habits, friends or something else that doesn’t feel so great.
    Goals are an important management system, but you need vision for real success. Without real hope that the future has something great in store, the process of change can become too dry and uninspiring to reach the finish line.
    A vision that moves you emotionally has the power to keep you going when times get tough.

What Is Vision?
Now that you know why vision is a good idea, let’s consider a simple definition.

In their book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, authors Jim Collins and Jerry Porras coin what they call, Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs).

Collins and Porras maintain that organizations need to set goals beyond simple tactical and short-term objectives and instead recommend setting “…an audacious 10-to-30-year goal to progress towards an envisioned future.” While the authors were writing about companies, the same principle holds true for individuals.

In short, vision is an inner picture of a big, bright future.

Whether you want to land a new job, lose some weight or improve a relationship, you need to see the end before you start, and it needs to be big enough to both excite and scare you.

How to Create Vision
Now it’s time to start crafting your vision, starting from the year theme you uncovered in the previous step.

Take your theme and ask yourself:

  • “If I woke up tomorrow and everything was perfect, how would I know?”
  • “What exactly does my theme mean to me?”
  • “If I painted its portrait, what would it look like?”
  • “What’s the end goal, or the ultimate result of focusing on my theme for as long as it takes?”

Key Elements
In addition to being big, hairy and audacious, here are a few other elements of a great vision.

  1. POSITIVE
    Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. Remember, your brain is seeking to produce what you see most, and if all you see is problems, you have nowhere else to go.
  2. DESCRIPTIVE
    The more clearly you can see the end result, the more compelling it becomes. Make your vision as crystal-clear as possible.
  3. FIRST PERSON
    You’re writing about your life, so fill it full of I’s, me’s and we’s.
  4. PRESENT TENSE
    You want your brain to take ownership of the vision and support you in the process of attaining it. Thinking about the future as a distant place is nothing more than wishful thinking.
  5. EMOTIONAL
    Do you actually want it? Are you really willing to fight for it? Can you feel it in your core?

Example Vision Statements:
To help with your vision casting, here are nine sample statements using different life areas, like the quality of a relationship, where you live or work, and behaviours that are now effortless habits.

Note: I have given various examples, but in your case, each statement should paint the picture of a single theme.

  1. RELATIONSHIPS
    “I have a passionate love and devotion for my spouse that makes me excited to come home from work every night.”
  2. LOCATIONS
    “I work as a consultant to the top organizations in my region, including Acme Inc. and Vandelay Industries.”
  3. BEHAVIOURS / HABITS
    “I wake up each day ready and eager to run 5km.”
  4. HEALTH
    “I have the ability to play in the yard with my grandchildren and to celebrate life with them with non-stop energy.”
  5. FINANCES
    “I give 51% of my income to charity, including the United Way, Red Cross and World Vision.”
  6. ACTIVITIES
    “My spouse and I take the kids on an annual vacation to the family cottage, where we play games and foster deep relationships.”
  7. FEELINGS
    “I wake up each day with excitement to see my family and to go to a job I love.”
  8. VALUES
    “My home is a place that cultivates and exudes love, acceptance and adventure.”
  9. LIFE THEME
    “I mentor three young people, meeting with them every week to teach them life skills and coach them through difficult challenges.”

Start Dreaming
Now it’s your turn.

Remember, crafting a vision doesn’t happen in a moment. It takes time to dream.

Give just 15 or 20 minutes a day to thinking about your future and the results you would like to create.

Begin with a blank piece of paper and write down everything you want in whatever order it comes out. It may not look pretty at first, but it will help prime the vision pump.

You can worry about perfecting it later.

Happy dreaming.


PART 2: REASON

Finding a compelling reason “why” you must follow through

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You were born with a need to know why.

It begins with unending questions for your parents and caregivers, and it never really goes away. Although you may not be as vocal as you once were, “why?” is still a burning question that needs an answer when an unpleasant demand is placed on you.

In this case, the demands are the new habits and tactics that will be required to accomplish your goals.

A goal is just a promise with a price tag, and in order to pay that price, you need the currency called, “why.”

We set goals all the time; deciding what we should or need to do in order to be happy. However, we often fail to attach a powerful enough reason to help us accomplish them. Many people begin each year with great intentions and a resolution to change their lives in some way, but few are actually able to follow through.

Forget About Wants
Goals without the why almost never succeed. They stay on the surface as an “I want to”, while a goal that runs deeper is an “I must”.

The main problem is that when you set your sights on a want, you set yourself up to be led by your impulses because at any given moment, you can want something else.

One minute you want to be healthy and then the next you want to feel better with food. Or perhaps one minute you want a strong relationship, while the next you want to be right.

When we lack a compelling reason, the pressure of temptation or the pull of an old habit becomes too great to pass up, and we no longer want to pay the price for our goal. You have to ask yourself why your goal matters and you need to turn the “want” into a “must”.

For example, a weight loss goal that says “I want to lose weight” is likely to be much less successful than a weight loss goal that says “I must lose weight to see and enjoy life with my grandchildren.”

Have You Counted the Cost?
Everything of significance comes at a cost. Whether it’s your time and energy to exercise and prepare better foods, your raw determination to save more money each month or your self-imposed humility to apologize for the sake of your relationship; it all comes at a cost.

You either have to endure pain or give something up that would provide you pleasure in the moment.

Do You Know What You Value?
Those who have something to fight for, those with powerful enough “whys” are the ones who are willing to make those sacrifices, even if it will cause them momentary pain.

These people are the ones who are able to identify their highest values and connect them to their goal. As a result, they have the emotional fortitude to make the right choice in a difficult moment.

A new weight loss program, for example, promises that you will lose 30 pounds, achieve your goal and finally be happy. What’s interesting to note, however, is that many different weight loss programs work equally well and the real key to success is the user’s willingness to comply and stick to the guidelines.

The program you ultimately choose is full of new choices and actions that change your schedule. As you experiment with each new behaviour, you have to decide if it’s worth the aggravation.

Exchanging old habits for new ones is uncomfortable, and if it doesn’t connect with you on an emotional level, then it will rarely stick.

Your C.O.R.E. Values
Now that you have an appreciation for the importance of finding your “why”, it’s time to get practical. Your personal value system touches absolutely everything in your life and is completely unique to you, made up of countless little pieces.

The following list is what I consider to be our C.O.R.E. values. It’s not intended to overload you, but rather to give you some insight into what is at work in your life. The unique things that you have determined to be important are some of the major influencers of your emotions and your decisions from day to day and therefore, must be understood.

Value Type C – Categories
Our lives are composed of basic categories. These are the different pieces of the pie that combine to form our entire existence. Some lists are as big as fifteen or more, but I prefer to keep it simple at only seven.

They are Spirituality, Relationships, Health, Recreation, Wealth, Career/Work and Social/Community.

The amount of attention you give to any one area is largely dependent on the season of your life. A young person may focus more on relationships and career as he tries to build a family and provide for them. Someone in retirement, however, may give herself to social contribution and recreation; no longer working, she instead shifts her values toward something else.

These categories of our lives draw our energy and attention. We become invested in certain ones, desiring to see them grow and improve.

When we find a way to attach our current goals to the area of our lives that we want to see flourish, we become more energized to overcome whatever challenges stand in the way.

Value Type O – Others
Other people can be the most powerful motivators in our lives. Even if we don’t care enough to do something for our own benefit, we can still want to do it for the sake of someone we love.

These are the people that you care deeply about and want to support. It may be a child, grandchild, sibling, parent, spouse or best friend.

If another person stands to gain from your success and/or lose from your failure, then you are far more likely to stick with your plan.

Value Type R – Roles
We all fill many roles in life. It starts with being a son or daughter, and perhaps a brother or sister. As you get a little older, you become a friend. And then, for many, you become a father or mother yourself. Other roles include things like provider, protector, business owner, nurturer, artist, athlete, manager or employee.

As a whole, all of your roles combine to become your platform to the world. There may be some that are done out of obligation, but there are probably others that you love.

If something is going to sabotage your ability to fulfill the needs of a valued role, then you’re far more willing to fight the battle and pay the price to protect what you love.

Value Type E – Expression
Expression is a bit of an overarching term. It governs how you operate throughout your daily life in everything you do. It defines what is most important in the unique expression of who you are, and it becomes the scale by which you judge every experience.

Your value system decides what is appropriate, safe, right, wrong, urgent or unnecessary. This is where your day-to-day decisions are made.

These governing values include character traits, needs and things, forming what you are subconsciously driven to produce. They shape how you respond to conflict, how hard you work for a promotion and what you eat after a setback.

Here are some examples of different Expression values.

Character Traits: honesty, loyalty, bravery, persistence, compassion, fairness, forgiveness, self-control, integrity, respect, gratefulness.

Needs: achievement, adventure, challenge, excitement, learning, stillness, stability, love, human connection, making a difference, pleasure, significance, novelty, creative expression, personal growth, financial freedom.

Things: money, possessions, facts, evidence, faith, truth, influence.

You may classify things differently in your own mind, and that’s fine. I find these lists help to give a more holistic picture of your value system.

It’s Time to Get Clear
Getting clear on what you value is critical, so you can anchor your goal to something that’s really meaningful. Ultimately, your values dictate what needs to be done in your life.

People who make the most significant and lasting change have done so because it truly mattered. They converted their values into action and lived each day with intention. They were no longer able to justify their poor choices, because their standards were raised and the short-term pleasures were no longer worth it.

In the end, a goal on its own is just an achievement with a set of perceived promises. It’s an outcome that would be nice to have, as long as it doesn’t require too much from us.

But when a goal serves the purpose of expressing your core values, then it becomes something more; it becomes a must. You suddenly have the emotional lasting power to fight.

From this place, you are able to endure the pain, to delay the gratification and to do whatever needs to be done in order to make it to the finish line.

Lock It In
It’s time to connect your direction with a strong reason for why you must follow through to the end. Look ahead 5, 10 or 20 years and, by connecting it all to your C.O.R.E. values, decide if it’s going to be worth it.

Here are a few questions to consider:

CATEGORIES

  • What areas of your life are you currently most invested in? (Relationships, Health, Recreation, Spirituality, Wealth, Career/Work and Social/Community.)
  • How will the fulfillment of your vision improve those areas?
  • If you don’t change, how will these key categories be negatively affected?

OTHERS

  • Who stands to benefit most by your plan to change?
  • Who stands to lose or to be hurt if you don’t follow through?
  • How exactly will your loved ones be impacted?

ROLES

  • What are your most important roles right now?
  • How will fulfilling your vision make you better at fulfilling the needs of those roles?
  • How will quitting make you worse?

EXPRESSION

  • What character traits, needs and things are most important to you at this time in your life?
  • How will following through help you to make great choices and feel authentic and satisfied in everything you do?
  • How will giving up make you feel inauthentic, unsatisfied and at war with yourself?

Now You Know
Answering the above questions will help you to see:

  1. How you stand to gain by sticking with your plan; and
  2. How you stand to lose by not following through.

The end result is a compelling reason why you absolutely and positively must never give up.

Hard times visit us all, but those who know what they value and see what’s really at stake are able to buckle down and power through.


PART 3: INGREDIENTS

Breaking it all down to its individual parts

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Deciding what you want is an important step towards a great year, but unless you know how to execute on the vision, your desires will stay in dreamland forever. When hopes and good intentions never actually come to reality, we end up frustrated with the resolution process and heartsick over a future that never seems to arrive.

Through the process of uncovering your theme and crafting a vision, you have already established a clear outcome. Now it’s time to think more strategically about what it will take to get there.

Start With Your Milestone
In the previous step you learned about crafting a big vision that reaches 10 to 30 years into the future. Now you need to bring it down to where you see yourself at the end of the next calendar year.

This year vision becomes a short-term milestone in your long-term life journey.

For example, if your year theme is Financial Freedom, then your milestone vision might include statements like this:

On December 31st…

  • I have twelve new clients
  • My credit card is completely paid off
  • I have launched my first online product
  • I have saved $2,500

You want to challenge and stretch yourself, but you also need to be realistic. There’s little value in getting excited now, only to be disappointed at the end of the year when none of what you want has become a reality.

Get Clear On Your Needs

1) Do a Resource Check
Reaching your year vision is going to require resources. Some of those things are already in your possession, while others need to be learned, acquired or achieved.

Let’s start by identifying what is currently at your disposal.

Your resource list should include everything that will help you; even simple everyday things that you might consider inconsequential.

Here are just a few examples to get you thinking.

Your INNER Resources:

  • Knowledge
    Your insights and understanding that will contribute to your success.
  • Skills
    The abilities you have developed and strengthened over time.
  • Personality
    How your unique makeup makes you the perfect person for this plan.
  • Character
    Integrity, resourcefulness or resilience that are required for the road ahead.
  • Habits
    The things you already do every day.
  • Experiences
    How your background gives you the right perspective and has shaped you into the kind of person who can do what it takes.
  • Passions
    The way your life theme, dreams and desires connect to the vision.
  • Health
    Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing matters.
  • Energy
    The way you feel makes a big difference in pushing onward.

Your OUTER Resources:

  • People
    Your spouse, friends, staff, family or acquaintances that can support and contribute to the vision.
  • Money / Income
    It’s a powerful tool to get things done.
  • Land / Property
    This can include things like office space, or a rental unit that generates additional income.
  • Computer
    An important everyday tool.
  • Books
    As a means to learn and grow.
  • Vehicle
    To meet the travel demands of your vision.
  • Platform
    Your blog, career or ministry as a place to influence others.
  • Website
    To generate income or meet your other objectives.
  • Job
    To develop skills, make connections or generate income.

As you develop your list, make sure you’re thorough. Think through all of the inner and outer resources that can make a difference in reaching your milestone.

2) Identify Your Limits
Now that you have an idea of your resources, write a similar list that identifies your areas of need. These are your limiting factors that, if left unaddressed, will hold you back.

For example, you may not know where to invest your savings, how to get published or who can introduce you to the right people. You may struggle with procrastination, low energy levels or limited finances.

All of these deficiencies can hold you back and keep your vision in dreamland. However, if you can clearly identify your problem areas, you can make a plan to either fix or minimize them.

3) Answer 3 Key Questions
To help gain even greater clarity into your limiting factors, and to identify the right solutions for each one, consider these three questions.

Question #1: “What Must I LEARN?”
Learning is a powerful way to advance your life. When you grow yourself, you become far more effective because success is rooted in principles. Although life can be unpredictable and full of unique circumstances, when you discover the right way to think and act, your likelihood of success goes way up.

Learning makes you more resourceful by gaining new understanding, beliefs, skills and habits.

Growing your understanding
Do you know how to accomplish each piece of your vision?

For example, if you want to launch a product, you need to know how to identify your target audience, offer the right features and benefits, tell a compelling story and create an effective launch.

If you have been trying to pay off your credit card without success, then you likely need to learn a better way to get it done.

In the pursuit of your vision, knowledge and understanding is a big deal.

Growing your beliefs
It’s been said that behaviours are beliefs turned into action. When you believe the wrong things, you’re at risk of behaving poorly or disqualifying yourself before you even begin.

I like to frame beliefs with The Four Story Formula.

1. Identity: Who you think you are
2. Values: What matters most to you
3. Worldview: How you see the world
4. Pathways: The best way you’ve found to live

All four stories need to support your vision. If any one story is pointing in the wrong direction, it can sabotage you.

For example, in order to improve a relationship, you need to believe that you’re worthy of love, that your deepest values are being satisfied, that the other person is worth the effort, and that connecting deeply doesn’t mean you’re heading for rejection.

Growing your skills
Are you good at the right things?

You may need to improve your skills in writing, speaking, presenting, cooking, reading an income statement or working with a specific piece of software.

Whatever it is, your vision requires that you become more effective at something and, unless you make a serious effort at getting better, you might miss the mark.

Growing your habits
Habits are a huge part of our daily choices. Life is far too complicated to consciously decide on every action we take. Instead, our brains become efficient with automated behaviours that can either get in the way of success or (and here’s the good news) make it effortless.

Rather than focusing on the habits you want to break, set your sights on those you want to build. For instance, instead of breaking the procrastination habit, develop the action habit.

Other habits include waking up early, reading, writing, setting aside $100 per week or going for a daily walk. If it’s something you should be doing every day or week, then it’s a habit you need to build.

What habits would make your vision easier?

Question #2: “What Must I ACQUIRE?”
Some of your missing resources need to be acquired. You might think “learning” and “acquiring” are interchangeable, but I prefer to keep them separate. While you may be able to acquire (rather than learn) a new skill, you can’t learn a new vehicle into your driveway; you need to acquire it.

Let’s look at some examples.

In order to save money, you may need to find the right financial advisor. To gain new clients, you might require a mentor to instruct you or new machinery to increase your capacity. Launching a new product could mean you need a better computer or the assistance of a designer.

In short, acquiring is about getting the outer resources you need to reach your vision.

Question #3: “What Must I ACHIEVE?”
To achieve is to accomplish an outcome through effort.

This question helps to identify the smaller milestones that will lead to your vision.

If you want to run a half marathon, for example, you need to be able to run 21km (13 miles) in total. A smaller achievement milestone is to run 1km, then 3km, 5km and so on.

In order to launch a new product, you need to create the lessons, write the workbooks, build the website and so on. To gain new clients, you may have to improve customer service, order processing or your sales tools. Increasing your savings could require that you achieve higher sales in your day job, which likely means that you need to achieve higher call rates.

What are the mini-achievements that build the path to your year-end milestone?

It’s All About Systems
I’m sure you’re now getting the idea that you need to look at each vision statement as a whole, made up of smaller parts.

When you see it as a living system, full of things to learn, acquire and achieve, it becomes a lot more practical.

You no longer have to live each day as it comes, hoping for the right circumstances that will make your dreams come true. Now that you clearly see what’s required, you can approach your life with the kind of purpose and persistence that makes your big dreams possible.



PART 4: VEHICLES

Planning the right habits and tactics that get results

DRIVE - Vehicles

Life is full of decisions. Not only do you have to fight against the desires and impulses that defeat you, but also wade through countless “good” choices each day in favour of what would be best for your life and goals.

Have you ever had a busy day, but then looked back at the end of it and realized you didn’t really get anything done? It can feel good to multi-task and jump around from one good thing to another, but you make very little progress in the end.

If you want to have an amazing year, then you need to make every day count. But with so many good and justifiable ways to spend your time, how do you know which ones are RIGHT?

How do you filter out the good things you COULD do in favour of the great things you MUST do, so you can finally move forward?

Let’s dive into the final step and create a plan that has the power to take you from here to where you want to go. Since this part is a little longer, I’ll give you a brief overview of its contents, so you can see how it will all come together.

Step 1: Get Ready

1) List Your NEEDS
2) Set Your PRIORITIES
3) Make Them MEASURABLE
4) Determine Your DEADLINES

Step 2: Get Set

1) Add the HOW-TO
2) Add the WHAT-IF

Step 3: Go!

1) Set the SCHEDULE
2) Now START!

Step 1: Get Ready
Your action plan begins by reviewing the limitations in your vision system, which you learned about in the INGREDIENTS section. As you put the pieces in order and fill in the visible holes, you end up with a plan that really works.

1) List Your NEEDS
Remember to keep your list as narrow as possible. There may be 100 things you want or need in the long-run, but if something isn’t going to serve your vision, it can become clutter that distracts you and makes you less productive each day.

Just because something is beneficial doesn’t mean it’s right.

 

 

My LEARNING Needs:

  • Understand basic marketing
  • Understand financial planning
  • Identify the right KPI’s (key performance indicators) for my department
  • See myself as a person who makes healthy choices
  • Develop more integrity
  • Value family more
  • See the world as a place of opportunity
  • Improve my writing skills
  • Learn to prepare healthy meals
  • Develop the ‘take action’ habit

My ACQUISITION Needs:

  • A financial advisor
  • A new piece of machinery
  • An editor or publisher
  • Increase my income by 15%
  • Find new office space

MY ACHIEVEMENT Needs:

  • Run 5km
  • Write a weekly blog post
  • Make 30 sales calls per day
  • Reduce order processing time by 5 minutes per order
  • Cut expenses by 15%
  • Inbound 15 new sales leads per week

2) Set Your PRIORITIES
You can’t do everything at once, so you need to be strategic. Take a look at your needs list and identify an order.

Is there a natural progression that needs to happen? For instance, you can’t get a publisher for your new book idea until you find a literary agent and write a proposal. You might want to run 5km, but first need the right equipment and a good coach to show you the way.

If the right order isn’t easy to see, then ask, “where are my current bottlenecks?”

Is there a limitation that prevents other things from working properly? For example, you may want to increase your number of sales calls or the amount of time you can allot to a specific project, but you need to improve your administrative skills so the increased workload doesn’t bog you down.

You might be able to start with two or three things, or perhaps just one for now. It all depends on your situation.

3) Make Them MEASURABLE
If you don’t have a clear target, you’ll never know if you hit it. Do a quick check over your needs list. Are any of them a little too general?

For example, ‘cut expenses’ doesn’t give you a specific outcome. How much do you want to reduce it? A better way to express it is, ‘cut expenses by 15%’.

What about something a little less tangible, like ‘learn how to prepare healthy meals’? You may want to break it up into measurable stages, depending on your current skill level.

  1. Level 1: ‘Learn how to prepare three healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners.’
    This allows you to get started without the stress of figuring it all out on the fly.
  2. Level 2: ‘Learn how to read a nutrition facts panel.’
    This empowers you to start making healthier choices on your own.
  3. Level 3: ‘Learn how to buy nutritious groceries with a weekly budget of $50.’
    Now you’re really getting equipped to make the right choices.

Finally, it might seem completely intangible, such as ‘develop more integrity’. Although a measurement may not be clear at first, it becomes easier by focusing on what you DON’T want, rather than what you DO want.

If you want more integrity, then you must have witnessed a lack of integrity somewhere in your life. In what instances have you been dishonest or insincere?

For example, you could seek to, ‘develop more integrity so that when I make a mistake, I won’t offer up excuses or shift blame to other people.’ Now you have a clear way to measure your success.

4) Determine Your DEADLINES
We all need deadlines. Parkinson’s Law says that, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Whether it’s a school assignment that isn’t due for three months or a project in your backyard that doesn’t need to be completed until the family reunion next year, we have all fallen prey to putting things off.

Now that you have an order and a measurement for every item on your list, decide exactly when each one should be completed.

Step 2: Get Set
Every item on your needs list requires that you do something differently. It could be a one-time action or a long-term habit, but you can’t keep doing the same old things and expect a new result.

1) Add the HOW-TO
Deciding the right HOW-TO begins with a bit of brainstorming, but let me first define what it means.

Your needs list is an outline of HOW you will reach your vision, but it’s still very conceptual. Although it’s great in theory, you can’t just understand personal finance, value family more or run 5km simply because you want to.

Consider your legs. Taking a physical step forward, sideways or backwards might seem easy to you now, but it wasn’t always that way. When you first started out, your brain and muscles had to learn how to balance, move everything in the right order and hold up your weight.

If you wanted to teach someone else how to walk, you wouldn’t simply say to ‘take a step’. Instead, you might give instructions like this:

  1. While standing on two feet, shift your weight to your left leg
  2. Raise your right knee up until only the ball of your right foot is touching the ground
  3. Lift your right leg off the ground and move it forward, using your right hip flexor
  4. Place your right root on the ground approximately 6” ahead and to the right of your left foot
  5. As you move your weight to your right foot, allow your left foot to roll from flat on the ground to up on its ball
  6. Lift your left leg up and swing forward using hip flexor
  7. and so on…

“Ten steps” might be HOW you get from your living room to your kitchen, but the HOW-TO isn’t quite so simple. Your vision is no different.

A lot of people know, in general, the HOW of accomplishing what they want. However, they don’t drill down the extra level to make it actionable with HOW-TO; the deliberate and measurable things you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Are you ready?

Take a single item from your needs list and write down everything you can do in order to make it happen.

For example, you may have written, “Better understand financial planning so I can start investing this year for retirement.” Your HOW-TO list might look something like this:

  • Read Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins (or any of the other personal finance books that are currently sitting on your shelf – unread).
  • Ask Jeff (friend/colleague) about his financial advisor.
  • Download and listen to the podcast, Radical Personal Finance.

The list doesn’t have to be long; it might be as short as one item. The important thing is that you think each need through and identify the best path.

 

Pro Tip: Make Them MINI
At this point, you should have a clear sense of what your vision needs, as well as the required steps to get it done.

Many of your HOW-TO items are likely habits that you now have to create, because without consistency on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, you won’t make any real progress.

The problem with new habits is that they feel uncomfortable, and your brain fights against them. In his book, Mini Habits, Stephen Guise explains the idea of making them as small as possible.

This strategy does a few things:

  1. It all but eliminates the amount of willpower required to get started
    When you need to devote a big chunk of time and energy to a new habit, you’re often overcome with resistance. When the requirement is so small that it takes neither time nor energy, your brain poses no real opposition to it.
  2. It opens the door for the full habit
    A common phrase, taken from Newton’s first Law of Motion is, “an object in motion stays in motion.” Getting started is the hardest part, but if you can get yourself moving, you have a high chance of following through. For example, you might have zero interest in reading on a daily basis, but you’ll find that if you simply sit down, open your book and take in a few words, the inertia dissipates and reading for 30 minutes is no problem at all.
  3. It makes it easy to feel good about progress
    When a 30-second action is all you require of yourself each day, it’s easy to feel accomplished. You lower the demand you place on yourself and, as a result, you end up doing more than if you set your sights on something much bigger. However, if life gets crazy and all you were able to do was open and close your book, you’re able to feel good about that, too.

Here are a few examples of turning regular habits into mini ones.

BIG Habit: Read for 30 minutes every day.
MINI Habit: Open a book every day.

BIG Habit: Listen to a podcast every day.
MINI Habit: Open the podcast app every day.

BIG Habit: Workout 3 times per week.
MINI Habit: Drive to the gym 3 times per week.

Are you getting the idea?

2) Add the WHAT-IF
Sometimes it pays to worry. A lot of things can go wrong on your way to success, and while choosing ignorance might feel better, it’s only going to hurt you in the long run.

You need to enter into your plan with eyes wide open and with a clear WHAT-IF strategy in mind.

You need to ask two important questions and create a response in advance.

1. What will stand in the way and resist my attempts to change?
2. What could go terribly wrong?

a) Planning for RESISTANCE:
Whether it’s sticky old habits that don’t want you to change, or another person who doesn’t like what you’re up to, you need to anticipate everything that will resist your efforts. By planning ahead, you won’t have to react (often poorly) while under stress.

You can phrase your pre-planned actions as If/Then statements that are ready to execute in a moment’s notice.

The Resistance: Feeling criticized and disliked when making a tough decision.
The Response: If I feel criticized and defensive, then I will take a breath, smile and thank those who disagree with me for their opinions, and objectively explain why the decision must be made.

The Resistance: Sugar craving at 2:30pm every day.
The Response: If I crave sugar, then I will take 10 deep breaths, drink a glass of water and go for a walk.

The Resistance: The urge to finish your plate while eating out.
The Response: If I eat out, then I will ask the waiter to bring half the meal in a to-go bag

The Resistance: The urge to drink when driving past old favourite bar.
The Response: If I feel tired and weak after work, then I will drive the long way home to avoid the bar.

b) Planning for CONTINGENCIES:
Creating a contingency is about having a Plan B in case things go wrong. It helps to bulletproof your main plan, and it keeps hope alive when life takes a bad turn.

Here are a few example questions you could ask:

  • What if the big deal falls through?
  • What if your partner doesn’t deliver on his/her promises?
  • What if the currency takes a nosedive and you can no longer afford raw materials from your current suppliers?
  • What if you lose your job?
  • What if you can’t find a publisher that likes your book?

I’m not suggesting that you obsess over every possible problem and create multiple in-depth plans, “just in case”. However, you DO need to consider the possibility of failure and what you will do if that happens.

It’s nice to think that life works out for those who plan well and work hard, but that isn’t always the case. Choose to look at potential problems, no matter how uncomfortable they feel. Assuming it will all be fine is naive and, in some cases, dangerous.

Step 3: Go!

1) Set the SCHEDULE

If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.Tony Robbins

You likely have a sizeable HOW-TO list that will take time to implement. Although you’re much closer to success than most, there’s still a big piece missing from the puzzle: a schedule. Unless you decide exactly when each task or habit will be completed, you will be likely to either forget or push them off. 

Your Perfect Day
We’re all limited by a set number of hours in a day. If we don’t learn to schedule as many as we need, those precious moments quickly slip away, and we end the year no further ahead.

Close your eyes and imagine your perfect day.

Take your HOW-TO daily habits and determine the best time for each one. You may be fresh for reading and writing in the morning, while exercise and quality time with your family could be better planned for the evening.

Create a schedule from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, and put everything in 15-minute blocks. You don’t have to assign every minute of the day, but you do need to slot in everything that matters.

The Next 30 Days
Now that you have your daily habits scheduled, you need to pick a date and time for each non-habit item on your list. If you need to ask Jeff about his financial advisor, for example, when are you going to do it?

Perhaps you want to attend a course, meet with a specific person or work on an important project.

Take your coming month calendar and decide when and where you will do each item, but don’t try to be a super hero. It’s easy to look ahead and assume that life will align with our intentions, but that rarely happens. Depending on the demands of your daily life, you may not want to schedule more than 60% of your time; leaving the rest open to whatever comes up.

The last thing you want is to build the perfect schedule that falls to pieces on day one. The next 30 days won’t be your last, so give yourself some space.

2) Now START!
The best laid plans in the world accomplish nothing when they stay on paper.

Don’t wait for tomorrow, next week or next month. Success is for those who choose to act right now, regardless of the present circumstance. Every little step matters, and the longer you wait to start, the farther you fall behind.

What are you going to do today to get moving? What can you do right now?

Life is waiting to see how serious you really are about this big dream of yours. Will it continue to be the grande idea you talk about with whomever will listen? Or do you have the guts to fight the odds, get it done and actually show them what you meant?

Ready?

Good.

Now go make every day count.



PART 5: EVALUATION

Tracking your progress so the plan stays alive

DRIVE - Evaluation-2

What gets measured, get managed.Peter Drucker

The final piece to the DRIVE Goal Setting Method is tracking. All of the effort you put into uncovering purpose, casting vision, breaking it down into systems, and choosing your tasks and habits can all be wasted if you have no way to measure and manage your progress.

Its easy to set it and forget it”, where you create the plan, put it on paper and then put it away until some unknown future date. However, that would be a huge mistake.

Why You Need to Evaluate
Here are nine reasons why measuring your progress is such a vital part of your success.

  1. It changes your brain
    Evaluating your progress every day keeps your plan at the centre of your mental focus. According to Dr. Andrew Newberg in this NPR interview, “The more you focus on something—whether that’s math or auto racing or football or God—the more that becomes your reality, the more it becomes written into the neural connections of your brain.”
    When your purpose, vision and reason become integral parts of your brain’s reality, you become more motivated to make the right choices and you continually see new opportunities that could speed up your progress.
    In short, if you want to succeed at this new plan, you need your brain onboard; and to do that, you need lots of daily focus.
  2. It reduces mindlessness & improves decisions
    Mindlessness happens when we live on auto-pilot. It’s easy to let life take over our attention, and for our daily decisions to happen without measuring it against our new standard.
    In fact, many dieters and money savers assume they’re doing well, not realizing just how many poor choices they make every day. Why does this happen? Because they’re not measuring themselves.
    Whether you want to eat less, exercise more or grow your savings, you can increase your success by staying mindful and in the moment.
  3. It keeps you accountable
    Louis V. Gerstner, past CEO of IBM, once said that, “people don’t do what you expect but what you inspect.”
    Gerstner was speaking about managing others, but it’s equality important for managing ourselves. When we don’t actively inspect our own work, we quickly slip into procrastination and back to our old habits. You need a measuring stick that keeps you accountable, so you don’t let yourself off the hook.
  4. It saves you from obsessing over mistakes
    We all make mistakes, and the longer we stay stuck on a slip up, the worse we feel and the more likely we are to quit. Evaluating your progress from day-to-day helps you see how far you’ve come, and it keeps your attention on the many little victories that are paving your way to success.
  5. It makes progress a game
    Loyalty programs work so well for businesses because of the power of games. When we have a goal in mind, and we feel the thrill of gaining ground towards that end, we become motivated to keep going. Whether it’s buying 10 to get one free or earning enough points for cash, once we start gaining ground, it’s really hard to stop.
    When you track your progress every day, you start to feel momentum build towards something great. It feels like you’re winning bit by bit, which helps to make good choices even easier and poor choices less tempting. For the sake of the game and the excitement of progress, you happily keep pushing onward.
  6. It encourages you to push your limits
    A workout journal is a helpful tool when you’re seeking to improve your strength and fitness. When you show up at the gym each week with no recollection of what you did last time, you’re likely to have much slower progress. Why? Because you’re less able to push yourself.
    The best way to grow is to work a little harder every time you workout. However, if you don’t know where your current limits are, you don’t know how to push them.
    The same is true for any goal. When you have a clear picture of where you are, you can see what limits need to be pushed. You no longer default to your stress-free comfort zone, where growth just isn’t going to happen.
  7. It highlights your weak spots
    We all have blind spots. These are the areas of our lives where we don’t seem to see our mistakes or weaknesses. This could be the way we eat, the kind of people we hang out with or a reoccurring poor judgment in business.
    Although others can see it, we think we’re doing fine because there isn’t a good enough mirror to show us otherwise.
    You may also struggle with tension or anxiety that seems to come from nowhere, or self-sabotage that keeps getting in your way without explanation. Whatever your unseen challenge may be, evaluating your progress can help shine a light on the source. When you’re no longer ignorant of the facts, you have the power to fix your mistakes and make better choices.
  8. It highlights your bright spots
    Do you know when you’re at your best? When, where or with whom your willpower is strongest? Does certain music or other environmental factors put you in a more empowered state? Do certain foods bring up your energy and make you feel good enough to make tough decisions?
    It’s unlikely that you’ll know the answers to all these questions unless you take the time to track and evaluate your life. When you can leverage the factors that bring out your best, you can set yourself up for success more often.
  9. It generates self-efficacy & agency
    Self-efficacy is the belief you have about your ability to produce results. If, deep down, you think you’re incapable of getting to the finish line, then your motivation will suffer and self-sabotage is likely to get the better of you. However, when your self-efficacy is high, you’re more likely to push yourself, take risks and fight for what you want.
    Self agency is the belief that you are in control of your actions and an influencer in how your own life unfolds. Those who believe life happens to them regardless of what they do give up their control and surrender themselves to managing bad circumstances. On the other hand, high levels of self agency means you’ll take each day head-on, seeking to create change.
    Evaluating your progress on a regular basis increases both of these critical factors. First, you’re able to see your successes and recognize how great you’re becoming at getting results. Second, you can now connect the dots between your actions and the outcomes you’re getting, which is evidence of just how much influence you have in the quality of your own life.

What to Evaluate
It’s important that you focus on the right things. Simply tracking the outcome, like your weight or how much someone respects you, isn’t the best place to start. This is because there are too many factors outside of your control.

For example, if you’re tracking your weight, the number on your scale can be affected by stress, hormone imbalances, sleep and muscle growth, just to name a few. This means that as you’re working hard to eat well and exercise, your body won’t always respond as you expected. You can control what you eat and how much you move, but you can’t control how quickly your body changes.

The key is to monitor your progress and evaluate your actions.

Monitoring your progress means measuring the number and tracking it over time, to make sure you’re moving in the right direction. If you don’t lose any weight for 3 weeks, you know that something probably needs to change.

However, this is not a sign of failure, because success is now defined as your ability to follow the plan – the things you’re actually able to control on a daily basis.

To make it even clearer, you need to:

1. Evaluate the execution of your tasks & habits
2. Monitor the progress of your learning, acquiring and achieving goals

Choose Your Tools
The right tools can make a big difference, but deciding exactly what you need depends on your own situation. Here are a few examples to get you started.

  1. Camera 
    Track your eating by taking a picture of everything you consume, or monitor your body transformation with a bi-weekly progress pic.
  2. Calendar
    Put an X through each day that you successfully complete your tasks and habits, and try hard not to break the chain.
  3. Software 
    You can use something like Mint for managing your spending, Evernote for tracking your goals and actions (an excellent model by Michael Hyatt can be found here), and countless other online or phone apps for task management and goal tracking.
  4. Journal 
    Even with all of the digital tools available to us, there’s still something great about pen and paper. In my own experience, I find handwriting to be more flexible (you don’t have to stick to a set template all the time), therapeutic (it’s more relaxing than looking at a screen) and insightful (creativity seems to flow better than with a phone or keyboard).

Think In Scales
A standard way to measure progress is to assign a yes/no or pass/fail mark. Did I complete the task? Did I execute the habit? Am I on track?

All of these questions are narrowly focused, and they don’t allow for measuring and monitoring the finer details that provide a much clearer picture. Instead, try thinking about your tasks, habits and progress in scales of 0 to 10.

 

 

The Task Scale:
While your plan may be to fully complete all of your tasks, it doesn’t always work out that way. When you choose to view each item along a scale of completion, you can feel good about what has been accomplished so far, and more effectively schedule whatever work is left.

Think of your Task Scale in terms of percentages. Every task you complete receives a perfect 10, and can be removed from your list. Anything that receives a less than perfect score must be rescheduled to a future date.

The Habit Scale:
Building new habits is hard, and it’s helpful to see your progress beyond, “Did I do it today?”

Every small step in the right direction makes a difference. When you complete a habit in perfect form, you can give it a 10. Otherwise, there’s room for improvement and you can identify ways to make yourself more successful.

The nice part about the Habit Scale is that it not only allows you to evaluate your daily success, but also monitor your progress over time with more clarity than a simple check mark or x.

The Progress Scale:
The final scale is about overall progress. Remember, you evaluate your tasks and habits, but monitor your learning, acquiring and achieving goals.

The Progress Scale helps to answer the question, “Am I on track?” A 10 means you have been executing your tasks and habits consistently and your external circumstances are in order.

Anything less than 10 means something needs to change. You may have to schedule more into each day, add new tasks to fill in the gaps and correct problems, or push out your date to something more feasible.

Create Your Tracking System
Your personal tracking system is the daily routine that keeps you focused and moving forward. Here are a few key elements to build into your own plan.

1) The Morning Set-Up
Morning is an important part of the day. Although I’m not a naturally early riser, I’ve found that getting myself out of bed with enough time to plan my day and start it well has been a huge help in achieving my goals.

Set-Up Part 1: Review, Commit & Schedule
This is your opportunity to start well by reviewing the D, R, I and V of your plan. However, don’t let it consume your entire morning. Keep it between 10 and 15 minutes.

Here’s how to use each step:

Direction – Holding your theme and vision at the forefront of your mind helps to keep you motivated and on track. These components of your change plan are only effective when you live them, so give yourself time each day to review them and remind yourself how important they really are to you.

Reason – There will be regular opportunities to quit or skip out on important tasks and habits. Unless you stay connected to your “why”, it’s not going to feel worth the hard work. Reconnect with your reasons for a few minutes every day.

Ingredients – Keep your learning, acquiring and achieving goals in your line of sight in order to see how your schedule will contribute to the bigger picture.

Vehicles – Most of your review time will be spent on your tasks and habits for the day. Your habits will likely be pre-scheduled already, but it’s a good idea to review and recommit to following through. Your tasks, on the other hand, are more flexible. Find the right time each and put them in your calendar.

Set-Up Part 2: Your Big Rocks First
Morning is a great time for your more intensive work. For many of us, it’s when we are the most creative and fresh. If you need to read, write, brainstorm or create something important, then do it at a time when you have the greatest clarity and freedom from distractions.

You’ll find this practice of starting well will set you up for a successful day. Rather than feeling rushed and out of control from the moment your feet hit the ground, you can take on the day in a more empowered state.

Note: If you’re an evening person, you may want to tackle the big things later in the day when you’re at your best. Whatever your sweet spot is, make sure you find and use it to your advantage.

2) The Mid-Day Check-In
It’s easy to start the day off well, but then get sucked into the whirlwind of phone calls, emails, meetings and fighting fires, only to arrive at the evening with a full list of incomplete tasks and habits.

Life is full of distractions, so unless you check in on your own priorities throughout the day, it’s easy for everyone else’s desires to take over your agenda.

Check-In Part 1: Scheduled
It doesn’t take long to get off track, so check in with yourself every two to three hours. Try setting a reminder in your calendar/task manager, or an alarm on your phone.

Check-In Part 2: Triggered
You can also set up triggers that remind you to check in. This might be regular events such as every time you eat something, take a sip of water, turn on a light switch or check your phone. As you do these things, you can quickly ask the check-in questions below.

You can also use emotional triggers, such as every time you feel stress, anger, annoyance, sadness or other. If you have a recurring negative feeling that either kicks in when you’re off track, or encourages you to make poor choices (like eating junk food), then use it to check in and become more mindful of what’s happening in that moment.

Your Check-In Questions
Your regular mid-day check-in doesn’t need to be time consuming. Simply take a look at your tasks and habits and ask:

  • Are my tasks and habits on track?
  • Whose priorities are owning my agenda?
  • Do I need to change my focus?
  • What comes next?

3) The Evening Debrief
The day has quickly drawn to a close and it’s time to look back and see how it went. It’s a perfect opportunity to evaluate your success with tasks and habits, and to monitor progress on your vision and goals.

Your debrief helps to keep you on track as you:

1. Celebrate your victories
2. Learn from your mistakes
3. Reschedule what you missed
4. Focus on what matters

Keep this exercise between 15 and 20 minutes in length. It’s not meant to be a long daily journal entry. It’s simply a quick way to stay on track and find creative ways to solve the problems that get in your way.

 

 

Your Debrief Questions:
At the end of each day, ask yourself the following questions. You don’t need to answer them all; just the ones that make sense for you.

DIRECTION Questions:

A)  Did I live my theme today?  (Overall on a scale of 0 to 10)

  1. Rate my progress for each theme on a scale of 0 to 10.
  2. How did I win? In what ways did I express my life and year themes?
  3. What did I learn? Where did I compromise, and what will I do differently next time?
  4. How can I live my theme more? What will I do tomorrow to make it a priority?

B)  Did my vision influence my choices today?

  1. If yes, how?
  2. If no, why not?

REASON Questions:

A) Did I live my values today?

  1. Rank my progress for living each key value on a scale of 0 to 10.
  2. How did I win? In what ways did my C.O.R.E. values benefit from today’s choices?
  3. What did I learn? Where did I compromise, and what will I do differently next time?
  4. How can I live my values more? What will I do tomorrow to make them a priority?

INGREDIENT Questions:

A) How am I progressing towards my LEARN goal(s)?

  1. Rate my progress for each one on a scale of 0 to 10.
  2. How did I win? How exactly did each understanding, belief, habit, skill and/or habit grow?
  3. What did I learn? Did I sabotage my success today? What will I do differently next time?
  4. Is the target date still realistic?
  5. Is there a way to speed up my progress?

B) How am I progressing towards my ACQUIRE goal(s)?

  1. Rate my progress for each one on a scale of 0 to 10.
  2. How did I win? How exactly did I progress on each one?
  3. What did I learn? Did I sabotage my success today? What will I do differently next time?
  4. Is the target date still realistic?
  5. Is there a way to speed up my progress?

C) How am I progressing towards my ACHIEVE goal(s)?

  1. Rate my progress for each one on a scale of 0 to 10.
  2. How did I win? How exactly did I progress on each one?
  3. What did I learn? Did I sabotage my success today? What will I do differently next time?
  4. Is the target date still realistic?
  5. Is there a way to speed up my progress?

VEHICLE Questions:

A) Did I complete my tasks today? (Overall on a scale of 0 to 10)

  1. Take a moment to feel good about everything I accomplished today.
  2. What prevented me from completing my incomplete tasks?
  3. What can I do differently next time?
  4. Reschedule unfinished work to a future date.

B) Did I complete my habits? (Overall on a scale of 0 to 10)

  1. Rate my success for each one on a scale of 0 to 10.
  2. Take a moment to feel good about the habits I completed today.
  3. What, if anything, prevented me from following through on each habit?
  4. What can I do differently next time?

OVERALL Questions:

A) Am I progressing as well as expected? (On a scale of 0 to 10)

  1. What, if anything, needs to change?

The Dark Side of Evaluating
Goal tracking is a hugely important piece of your success, however, there can be a potential downside to it. Thankfully though, as long as you’re aware of the danger, you can steer clear of it.

The danger is: your brain has a bad habit of playing tricks on you. I wrote about four of them here; one of which is called Moral Licensing.

As you accomplish more and move towards a goal, the urge will get stronger to cheat “just a little bit”. This is because you’re feeling virtuous about your progress, and you want to reward yourself for doing such a great job.

This act of Moral Licensing could result in eating a fattening treat when you want to lose weight, buying an expensive item when you want to save money, studying less when you need to improve your grades or some other kind of counter-productive behaviour.

The key to offsetting this dark side of evaluation is to stay mindful of your theme, vision, values and action plan at all times. Don’t let yourself get tricked into making poor choices, just because you’re doing a good job so far.

You must keep the momentum.

Celebrate your success and find rewards that help to keep you on track.



WHAT NOW?

Congratulations, you’ve reached the end of the DRIVE Goal Setting Method! I hope you’ve found it both enlightening and empowering in the process of upgrading your life.

At this point, it all comes down to execution and your ability to stick to the plan.

The two big remaining challenges are:

  1. Change is hard
  2. Willpower is limited

Can You Relate?
Have you ever set a goal, created a plan and started making progress, only to discover that you continually sabotaged yourself?

You knew what you wanted, you knew what to do and yet you just couldn’t do it. No matter how hard you tried, self-sabotage seemed to have become a way of life.

A Better Way
The road ahead won’t be easy, but there IS a way for you to make it more manageable. I wrote about it in The Inevitable Win. It’s an easy-to-read ebook that offers a practical strategy to derail self-sabotage and pave a new path of least resistance all the way to the fulfillment of your vision.

You’ve got a great plan. Now you need the right conditions to ease the pain of change and make success a no-brainer.

This is exactly what you will learn in The Inevitable Win.

The Inevitable Win Book

Now Go Win!
There’s no better time than right now for you to take a giant step towards a brighter future. It’s a tough day-by-day process that requires persistence and desire, but you’re ready. You see it, you want it and you’ve got a plan to achieve it.

I have every bit of faith in you, so go! It’s time for you to win.

Good luck!