How a Bunch of 8-year-olds Taught Me the Truth About Goal-Setting

How a Bunch of 8-year-olds Taught Me the Truth About Goal-Setting

In soccer, the objective is to get the ball in the goal, a big white rectangle standing prominently at the end of the field, obvious and highly visible. As the coach of my son’s soccer team, I made sure everyone was clear.  We talked about kicking goals. We practiced kicking goals. We talked about kicking around the goalkeeper.  We were ready! In organizations, there’s a mission and/or value statement along with major annual and quarterly goals used as a barometer for goal-setting.  These are usually posted on walls, letters, signs, screen backgrounds, webpages, etc. – obvious to the employees. Easy as pie! The mission, values, and major goals are communicated in emails, speeches, posters, etc. No excuses for not knowing. Everybody’s supposed to be clear. Pie…right? Wrong. When goal-setting doesn’t work. Well, game time and the whistle blows. The players begin running in a mob around the ball. They steal from their teammates, kids are falling, looking confused, disengaging and getting upset. Parents are yelling from the sideline. The other team is stealing the ball and scoring with ease. We’re not even close to our goal!  It’s chaos!  Sound familiar? Think about it next time you’re watching the news or observing your own organization. There’s many stories of failure to meet goals.  Employees are frustrated, disengaged and leaving. Stock holders are selling. Customers are shopping elsewhere.  In schools, parents are mad and kids are failing. What happened? The goal is clear! In the case of our team, kick the ball in the goal and score points.  In business it’s something like increase sales 20% or reduce injuries 10%.  In...
How to Build Your Strengths to Sophistication in 4 Easy Steps

How to Build Your Strengths to Sophistication in 4 Easy Steps

The Tension Between Who You Are & Who You Dream To Be Yesterday evening the local radio station called me to ask me if I’d be on a panel in the morning to discuss the upcoming federal elections in Canada. The election campaign has just begun and Canada is scheduled to vote for its next Prime Minster in two and a half months. Now, as a disclaimer, they didn’t call me because I’m an expert in politics but because I’m on a list of young females from my neighbourhood who interview well based on past interviews. I mumbled an unsure response, wondering if I could muster up an informed opinion by the next morning, processing my thoughts out loud on the Calgary oil sands and our dipping dollar to the stranger on the line. In retrospect, my immediate answer should have been no. I always vote with an informed opinion but hadn’t yet informed myself to an interview-comfortable degree. I carried on the conversation for five too many minutes because…I just hate to say no!!! As I was driving along to my evening plans after hanging up the phone, I laughed to myself. “Rosanna, learn to just give a hard no and move on.” I asked myself, “What would it have looked like if you showed up like a real leader in that conversation?” I would have said no. I would have confidently acknowledged I didn’t feel informed enough to speak on the topic given the time constraints and offered to suggest someone else. I sighed. In that moment I experienced the tension between who I was and who...
Create Lasting Change: How I Redesigned My Life

Create Lasting Change: How I Redesigned My Life

The mountain. When someone learns about my weight loss journey to shed 200lbs without surgery or pills, I always get asked “How did you know where to start or what to do to lose that much weight?” The answer is simpler than you might think. I realized that if I focused on the mountainous task of losing 200lbs that I would get completely intimidated by the big, hairy, aggressive goal I’d set for myself; I would be overwhelmed about where and how to start and sustain the changes necessary to overhaul my nutrition and lifestyle habits. So, instead of looking miles ahead at the distant, looming mountain, I chose to change my perspective. I looked straight down in front of me into the six inches of space that lay directly in front of my feet. I asked myself what kind of baby step or change I had to make FIRST. Then, I focused on that small, sustainable change or habit and integrated it (and only it) into my lifestyle. Once I felt I had that step down pat, I took the next logical, small and sustainable step towards the mountain. I kept my head down and feet moving, step by step. If I got distracted by the mountain casting its shadow onto my path, I reminded myself that the journey I opted to make would take me to the mountain and OVER it - all I had to do was keep putting one foot in front of the other. Is that the flashy, awe-inspiring answer people wanted to hear? Maybe not, but it’s what worked. [tweetthis]Simple isn’t always “sexy”...
Create Sustainable Change: How I Redesigned My Life

Create Sustainable Change: How I Redesigned My Life

The mountain. When someone learns about my weight loss journey to shed 200lbs without surgery or pills, I always get asked “How did you know where to start or what to do to lose that much weight?” The answer is simpler than you might think. I realized that if I focused on the mountainous task of losing 200lbs that I would get completely intimidated by the big, hairy, aggressive goal I’d set for myself; I would be overwhelmed about where and how to start and sustain the changes necessary to overhaul my nutrition and lifestyle habits. So, instead of looking miles ahead at the distant, looming mountain, I chose to change my perspective. I looked straight down in front of me into the six inches of space that lay directly in front of my feet. I asked myself what kind of baby step or change I had to make FIRST. Then, I focused on that small, sustainable change or habit and integrated it (and only it) into my lifestyle. Once I felt I had that step down pat, I took the next logical, small and sustainable step towards the mountain. I kept my head down and feet moving, step by step. If I got distracted by the mountain casting its shadow onto my path, I reminded myself that the journey I opted to make would take me to the mountain and OVER it - all I had to do was keep putting one foot in front of the other. Is that the flashy, awe-inspiring answer people wanted to hear? Maybe not, but it’s what worked. Simple isn’t always “sexy”...