Webinar presenter Amy Morgan answered a number of your questions after her presentation, There’s More to You than Your Career: Finding Balance and Personal Identity. Here are just a few of her responses.
Audience Question: What are some of the suggestions you have on how to meet our own short-term goals?
Amy Morgan: Definitely, the first part of how to meet short-term goals is to have them, and then to write them down. You have accountability to things when you write them down. I created a personal strategic planning guide workbook out of my own personal strategic planning experiences. The first thing is to write your goals down, and then put deadlines by each of them. If you Google SMART goals, you’ll find the different elements of making goals where you can actually achieve the goals. One of the elements is to make the goal measurable. So, don’t just say, “I want to lose weight,” because how will you know when you’ve reached that goal the way you wanted to? If you’ll say, instead, “I want you to lose a definite number of pounds by this specific deadline.” Then that tells you whether you reach the goal or not. So, if you just say, “I want to be happy,” what does that mean? Define that? So, you have to just define the short-term goals. Outline exactly what it looks like. What does it mean? “I want to have connection,” is a pretty vague goal, although, I’ve sat here and said, “You’ve got to have connection,” but okay, where? Where do you think you’re going to find it? What does that mean to you? What does it look like to you? And how will you know when you achieved that goal? That’s how you know whether it’s measurable and achievable or not. So, if you just say, “I want to be happy,” how are you going to know when you get there? What is it that’s going to define that you’ve reached this goal, and all of its little details? That little kind of checklist is going to tell you how to reach the goals, and then what do you need to get that? What tools do you need? Do you need to take a class to reach this goal? Do you need to join a group to reach this goal? What are that tools are you going to need, the tools and resources that you will need to actually reach the goal? Then, do you have those available to you? What will you need if you need to take a class? Do you have the time to take the class? Do you have the money to take the class? What kind of classes? That sort of thing. If you know how to do an outline, you just break it down into an outline. And your five goals are your main points in your outline. And then that’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and then A under one is, how am I going to get there? What does it look like? What is the measurability? All of those things. So that you know the little baby steps to reach those goals and what kind of things you’re going to need. What obstacles might you have in the way? How are you going to overcome those obstacles? When you feel like giving up on this goal, what’s going to make you keep going towards the goal? Once you achieve it, then, what’s your next goal? What’s your next step? How is it building? How do your goals build upon each other?
Audience Question: How do you go about creating a personal strategic plan? And how do people get a hold of you?
Amy Morgan: I’m happy to send the PDF of the Personal Strategic Planning Guide to anybody who wants it. AcademyHour.com is my website and we have our contact information on there. We do have a whole catalog of classes for responders. And one of them is this personal strategic planning guide. So, you can go to Academy Hour and look there. But, if you don’t know anything about strategic planning, you can do an internet search on how companies, businesses, do strategic planning, and that is basically setting the goals. What is our mission, which, to me is, what are your priorities and values? And then, aligned with our mission, what goals do I want in my life? You make big goals, and then you break them down into smaller goals. This year, I want “__blank__” to be my goal, and then you set the steps to the goal. Like I was just telling you, that’s a strategic plan. What it is, is a plan for your life. Where do you want to go? And then being strategic about it basically is what that means. So, it’s being purposeful. It’s thinking it through it ahead of time. So, you’re not just floundering through life and then you’re at the end saying, “Well, darn. I wish I had done something differently.” It’s going, “Hey, I made a plan and sometimes the plan went according to what I wanted, and sometimes it didn’t, and I knew how to adjust because I had a backup plan.” It’s making plans and re-assessing as you go so that you’re not stuck in it. You have to have a plan, but then, if something happens, which it always does, you know how to re-assess, and realign and adapt, and problem solve as you go.
Audience Question: What questions can we ask ourselves to discern our priorities and values?
Amy Morgan: The priorities and values worksheet is one method. So, as you’re looking through that worksheet, you’ll find some on there that just don’t interest you. Start crossing those off. It’s really hard to narrow that worksheet down, but I would give it a try. The things where you find yourself spending your time, the things where you find your thoughts going, the things where you want to spend your energy, those are typically your priorities and values. Someone told me a long time ago, look in your checkbook and see where it says that you spend all your money. And I’m like, “Okay, well, I can’t really go with that as my values and priorities are not Target.” But it is what do you spend most of your time on? What do you find yourself not doing, and what do you find yourself doing more? That’s probably what’s important to you. Just because you’re crossing something off doesn’t mean it’s not important. But you need to know what your top five actual, main important priorities are.
Audience Question: What techniques can you recommend to start enjoying the journey?
Amy Morgan: One, try to find enjoyment in everything no matter what the situation is. But two, just like I said ealier, eliminate the things that don’t fit. There’s a second page to that table, that I didn’t put on there, that’s part of a workbook for another class, but it basically looks at that priorities and values list, and then you start asking some questions, like, “What can I add into my life, so that it more closely meets my values and priorities. What do I need to eliminate completely because it’s not aligned? What can I add more of, that I am already doing? What can I decrease, even though I can’t eliminate it? And what do I never want to do again in my life, because it really does not align. And what do I always want a part of my life because it’s so closely aligns? Let’s see if you can kind of go through those questions and start looking at your life, and saying, “This activity, does this align with my goals, and values, and priorities? This next activity is where do I spend time, or energy, or whatever. Is this aligning with those five that I chose?” And you just keep kind of assessing, constant assessment. Self-assessment is really important. You can’t make changes in your life if you’re not assessing where you are. You’re not going to know what you need to change if you’re not assessing. So constant assessment, constant keep looking at what you can add, what you can take away, what you need to change.
Click Here to Watch a Recording of There’s More to You than Your Career: Finding Balance and Personal Identity.