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Life and spinning plates: When balance is key

Posted by Meredith Papas on 11 November 2018

When was the last time you did an audit on your goals?

Do you even have a list of your goals to audit?

So, I did a bit of an audit on my goals recently. I will admit right now, I was pretty sure I had missed almost every target.

But, no. As I ticked crossed and "almosted" my way through the chart, I realised that despite (and, actually, in spite of) the curve balls, distractions, hurts, let-downs, WTFs and moments of sheer and undiluted fear, 2018 has not been all bad.

Indeed, there have been challenges. But from them I have grown, and my resilience and determination are better for it.

Even where there have been some "fails", many were the result of changed pathways and a new direction - so they more accurately kind of went by the wayside! And that is totally allowed!

I have done, this year, some things I never thought I ever would. It's been far from a bed of roses.

In fact, the disenchantment and the disappointments have been of the ilk that has, at times, taken my breath away.

I have had to step up, step back, step out of my comfort zone.

Where some doors have been slammed in my face, others have opened. Where there have been learnings and growth, there have come insights and peace of mind.

I've loved and loathed. I have questioned, walked away and graciously declined to partake of that which lent me nil but harm and hurt.

I have embraced with open loving arms; and, finally, I think I am getting my priorities right.

None of this - the good, the bad or the ugly - would have been possible had I not consciously and deliberately set myself some solid goals.

The result? Not that bad, in fact!

There have been a few knocks; and let's face it, the year's not over yet.

But I make a habit of acknowledging that someone, somewhere, is always doing it tougher. Often much, much, tougher.

Why I share this, is because just about every person I speak to endures the same kinds of challenges and milestones: day-in, day-out.

But when you have goals, you have an anchor point; something to ground you, motivate you, set you back on track. Even, a distraction, if you will.

You learn what is applicable and what is not when you have goals. What's really cool, is that even something right out of the blue can fatefully (and sometimes quite spectacularly) set you on a fast-track to achieving them.

Either that, or life can happen and you find that what you thought was a goal was actually a classic red herring and you start your path anew.

Our goals, when apportioned properly, are brilliant motivators. However, there is no point setting them if they are willy-nilly and haphazard.

I give you Ziglar's Wheel of Life Balance. This is my favourite this-time-of-year go-to!

I have adapted it a little to meet my own needs, and to match my own thought patterns and way I see the world. It is a very cool tool!

Ziglar has taken the concept of balance and beautifully deconstructed it to offer up eight key elements of our lives:

  • Business Wealth Finance
  • Spiritual Self
  • Social Friends
  • Health Fitness Wellness
  • Service Community
  • Relationships Love
  • Career Development Study
  • Family

Now, importantly, these are in no particular order; rather they are randomly listed and, I have found, this means you take each facet on its merits and consider accordingly.

How you go about presenting these goals when you come up with them is completely up to you.

As someone with a predisposition to kinaesthetic and visual styles of information retention, I find penning my list onto a segmented poster with all eight categories equally highlighted works for me.

For you it might be a list on your phone, a stunning, colourful visual completed in indesign or canva, a voice recording or selfie video, a Facebook post (be careful not to overshare!), a handwritten letter to yourself ... the list goes on and the possibilities, as they say, are endless.

They key is to do this YOUR way. This is your thing. Noone else's and the sooner you become comfortable with that, the better your list will be.

Your approach, your accountability, your checks and balances are all up to you.

So too is the way you refer to it throughout the year, or during whatever time frame you choose.

For me, being able to mark off goals achieved throughout the year was probably more productive than prioritising.

If you're honest with yourself, really, you know what your priorities are. And it's discipline then, which decides whether you respect that.

Short, medium and long term goals are a cool way of allowing yourself the wonderful sense of feeling like you're getting somewhere!

So too, small and larger goals - and there is no harm in breaking them up into stages either!

Some of your goals will be achievements set to carry you closer to a bigger goal.

Some will be those things we call BHAGS the Big, Hairy Audacious Goals! Whatever they are, make them challenging but doable and, vitally, as Simon Sinek will attest, know your WHY!

Knowing why you're doing something, and why a goal is set, is the most important "thing" to be clear on. There's your motivation, your reason d'etre, your refusal to quit.

Lastly though, you'll have your knockers and naysayers and sometimes the loudest will be that voice within.

Acknowledge that, though, and have a few tools in your kit bag to silence the critics - whomever they might be.

This is your journey, and your journey alone.

It's no one else's business or prerogative to participate or pontificate on what path you're on.

Now, go set some goals!

And may you be successful!

Author: Meredith Papas
About: WORDS In business they are your most powerful tool; but use them poorly, and they'll be your undoing. Enter, Meredith Papas and iScribe Consulting. Words are Meredith's business. For the past 20 years Meredith has used the written word as her tool of trade. She cut her teeth as a journalist in Regional Queensland, where she specialised in business, agriculture and industry writing, as well as penning features and profiles on regional businesses and identities. She honed her skills as a sub-editor and proof reader, and then took on leadership roles as a newspaper editor in Mount Isa, Gladstone and Mackay. Add to that, roles as a regional editor and then senior group content editor for one of Asia-Pacific's largest regional media organisations, and it rounds out a solid skill set which spans the full gamut of high-level professional writing. Meredith has a simple philosophy: Everyone has a story to tell. But it's not what you have to say - it's how you say it. From professional bios, to business capability statements; CVs to business cases; funding submissions to content for your website, Meredith will work with you to make sure your clients know exactly what you're about. It's insight. It's experience. It's your story to tell. So, tell it.
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