Why navigating through fog needs company

January tends to be a month where a lot of time is spent on setting goals and objectives. A new year is opening up and is, for many, a blank canvas on which to paint a new picture. Most of us feel a rush of enthusiasm and a sense of possibility at the start of a new year.

So why have I found it so hard to come up with goals and objectives for 2012? Why haven’t I kicked off my planned evaluation of different systems, philosophies and techniques around goal setting and long-term objectives?

Because I’m not yet clear on what I want to do.

And here’s the thing. I’m probably not that different from most people in that regard. We often say we’re clear or act as if we know where we’re going. But it seems that we rarely, actually, really, do.

This comes back to the two sides of the effectiveness coin: understanding what we need to be doing and then getting it done. There’s no point perfecting my getting-it-done technique if I’m unclear on what I need to be doing.

What am I doing to address this? I’ve been working hard on some of the tough, and exciting, questions behind my business. What’s the next phase of its development? Should I/we be adding new offerings? What’s the long-term ideal?

Fun questions. Scary questions, especially if you’re obsessing and working through these on your own. And that’s where I’m fortunate. I have a support team that are helping me through this.

I’ve been banging on about the need for a support structure for a while. I’ve given talks on the topic and have nudged and cajoled many into taking action on this. Bottom line: every ambitious, progressive individual in the world of work needs a personal support system. Think of it as a personal board of advisors, there to challenge and support you, to hold you to account, and to assist you on the road to doing your best work.

I’m blessed. I have access to a network of really good people, knowledgable about business and how to support individuals. But it’s important to note that they didn’t just drop down from the sky. They didn’t magically appear as a result of my making a call to the Government Department for Support (not that it exists). I’ve built this support over the past couple of years and, interestingly, most of the people who are now supporting me I hadn’t even met four years ago. Some I didn’t know just one year ago.

So, the goals are coming. They’ll be clarified, scoped and broken down. Targets will be set and various techniques will be employed. But not until I’m clear on where we’re going.

Back to work!

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