Minisode: Setting SMART Goals for the New Year with Jenn DeWall

Happy New Year From The Leadership Habit!

Full Transcript Below: 

Jenn DeWall:

Happy new year! Happy 2021! I know that myself, and I’m sure many of you listening are so happy to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. And for this minisode today, we’re going to be talking about how we want to show up in the new year. Now, many of you might be anticipating is Jenn going to share with us some type of motivation new year, new you? Nope. That’s not it because I think that as a result of the pandemic or just the many sufferings that people have had over 2020, we may not be feeling in that place. We may not be jumping for joy at 2021 because we’ve had maybe a loss of a job or a loved one, or we’ve had a complete upending of how we live our lives and that those up-endings, those circumstances if you will, what is happening in life?

What this episode or minisode is about is really thinking about how do we want to show up in 2021. I’m not going to tell you to set all these goals. But I want you to be more intentional. So you are stopping that place that we’ve many of us have been in for the pandemic reacting, just feeling like we have no control over what’s going on. We just feel like we’re at the mercy of the pandemic or any other restrictions that are placed on us. But really what we need to do is take ourselves and shift from that passenger seat, back into the driver’s seat and to stop reacting to the way that we live our life.

And now, no matter what circumstance you’re sitting in right now, you might be someone that has lost a job. You might be someone that even got a really bad health diagnosis, and you’re not feeling confident. I know that I just spoke with someone that was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. And that’s something that I have. But if that was a new diagnosis, that’s a tough way to start off the new year.

Setting Smart Goals – Play the Hand You Are Dealt

So what I’m going to talk to you about today on this minisode is learning how to play the hand that you are dealt. Now, one of the biggest pieces of advice that developed my resiliency from a young age is that someone once said, God, doesn’t give you a hand that you can’t play, or God doesn’t give you doesn’t deal you a hand that’s outside of your control. And now this isn’t about, you know, looking at it from a religious perspective, but it is understanding that we have control over how we want to respond to the environments, situations, circumstances, rejections, feelings, everything that happens in our life.And if we want to make the best out of our short, beautiful time here, be the best leaders. Be the best spouses, be the best friends, whatever that may be for yourself. Then we need to start to play the hand that we’re dealt. We need to start to say, okay, well, this rejection happened and I’ve got this. I’m not going to sit here and pitch a tent and wallow. I am going to figure out what can I do to actually strategically intentionally move myself to a place where I feel better now to start that I’m going to recommend five things for you. So here’s how you can play the hand that you’re dealt.

#1 – Start with Acknowledging Where You Are

And it all starts with number one, your mindset. It starts with acknowledging it. Now, when we think about acknowledging, what does that mean? Well, it’s actually giving a voice instead of just leaving that in our head, leaving it to something that maybe is outside of ourselves. It’s saying, you know what? I may not have been showing up in the way that I want to. Acknowledging it. We have to take responsibility. If you want to take the power back to yourself, you have to own it. If you don’t own it, you can’t control it. Excuse me. You can’t control it. So it starts with acknowledging. Own it to control it, identify what the situation is, what your challenge is, how you’re feeling, what is the thing that is weighing you down, or maybe that you’ve been just reacting to, instead of having an intentional response to.

#2 – Identify the Cost of Not Setting Goals

Now, number two is to identify the costs of continuing on as is what are the costs to you? If you continue to postpone a job search or to not communicate with your team in the way that you want to, what are those costs? Is it causing you increased stress, lack of happiness, increased conflict, lack of income. What are the costs of you continue to go on this way. Is there a cost if I continue to tell myself, I am not good enough? How is that going to cost me? How is that going to help or hurt my willingness, my motivation to be able to apply for a job or be vulnerable or to speak up in a meeting? We need to identify the cost of continuing on. If you’re not clear on what the costs are, then you may not necessarily recognize that there’s actually a reason that you need to change number. So number one, acknowledge the situation. Number two, identify the cost of continuing on as is.

#3 – Create a Vision

And number three, now that you know, Hey, this is the cost. I don’t want that. Then we have to create the vision for what you want to be, who is this leader, this individual, this spouse, this husband, this wife, this daughter, whatever that may be for you, who do you want to be? Who are you? Again, 2020 has given us a lot of, Oh my gosh. We feel like we have no control. Your vision is your opportunity to take back control. Do you want to create a very successful business? Do you want to get a promotion, create that vision and be very clear and very specific one minor exercise that you could do, which is very, very helpful, which I found with many coaching clients is just a basic vision statement. Write down a vision statement. And the key is you were going to write it down as if it is one year from the day that you are writing it and you are going to write it in present tense as if it’s already happened. So it might sound like this, you know, one year from today, I am the happiest that I’ve ever been. I made very conscious and intentional choices to get my health to where I need it to be. I decided to pursue a healthier dietary lifestyle because I knew that it would help my overall health in my business. I’m working hard to get promoted and, or I have gotten promoted because we’re writing it in present tense. I got promoted. I did that because I took additional classes. I had conversations with my boss. I demonstrated my own aptitude and desire to get to that role. I want you to think about this, write down a vision statement in present tense and write it as if it’s already happened. And then use that to motivate you, to inspire you, that when those voices come in and say, you can’t do anything about this, or yeah. Well, you know, you tried might as well give up now that you remind yourself that, Nope, I am going to continue to persevere, build my own resilience and work towards that vision of who I deserve to be.

#4 – Choose Your Power Word

Number four is to choose your power word. Now that you understand your vision. This is what I want to be. What is the word that you can use almost as a foundational compass point that can guide you? It’s your North star that can guide you in your decision-making. Maybe that word for 2021, maybe it’s “choice” recognizing that each and every single one of us has multiple choices every day. And those choices can either bring us closer to where we want to be—that vision that we have or further away. Choose the word that’s going to inspire you to take action to align with that vision.

#5 – Set SMART Goals

And now five it’s taking action. This is all about setting goals. Now, I don’t want you to have that goal in your head to say, Hey, I guess I’m going to do this. I’m going to do that, put it on paper, hold yourself accountable. And one other way you can do this is by doing a basic SMART goal. Many of you know what that is. SMART goals start with a goal that needs to be specific. What are you trying to accomplish? It needs to be measurable. How are you going to determine your success? Uh, we need to think about whether it’s attainable, whether it’s reasonable, and of course, what’s the time constraint. When are we going to finish it? How are we going to determine that we’ve actually achieved it, so on and so forth? But a way to add to that is to give yourself constraints. We often set a goal, and it happens to be the perfect goal. It would be the goal that if we were a perfect person, if no life events happen, that we would get there. The challenge is that life happens. So we’ve got to build constraints.

So if you have a basic goal of, let’s say, even trying to be more fit and more health-conscious this year, then it’s really thinking, okay. If my goal, let’s say, is to be more active, I am going to create MMM SMART Goals. MMM SMART goals. And when I say, MMM, it’s like, they feel so good because no matter what one you’re hitting, whatever you’re getting, you’re accomplishing your goals. So they’re MMM SMART. Goals. And that is three M’s that stands for Minimum, Middle, and Maximum. So when you’re setting a goal that says, I really want to work out more to boost my own physical fitness, the maximum, the perfectionist way that we might send that is I’m going to work out seven days a week. And then, all of a sudden, a few weeks go by, and we find out that we did not work out seven days a week, which is why we need to have other metrics.

So instead of just planning on the max, think about the minimum. What is the minimum amount that you could do that would still help you move closer to that goal of being more physically active? Well, it might be working out two times a week. And then when we think, well, what’s the middle, what would I still be happy with? And where would I shoot for what’s manageable given, you know, the life that I live, that my children, my job, all the responsibilities that I have? Maybe the middle could be four. So again, I’ll say that again. You want to create MMM SMART goals. You want to give yourself constraints. You do not give up. If you do not hit the maximum. So you want to create a minimum, a middle, and a max of what that goal looks like. Give yourself some grace, understand that life is going to happen. You may not always be able to do things perfectly, but know that even if you’re taking one small action to align with that vision, that is still successful.

Make 2021 an Awesome Year!

Thank you so much for listening today. I really hope it’s a value to you because I hope that in this new year that you really look at it instead of reacting to what is going on, you start to look at it as I own the hand that I’m dealt, I have full choice in this, and I want to choose to do what? What do you want to do in this new year? It’s a new year. And if you are six feet above the ground, that is the right place to be. That means that you have an opportunity. And yes, you might be looking at things a little bit, you know, just with a lack of confidence or just doubt. But in this new year, really challenge yourself. Our doubt, all of that self-talk is something that we can control. We just have to go back to the acknowledgment piece of it. So play the hand that you are dealt, embrace it, and make this year a great one.