She’s a Brisbane-based author, presenter, coach and the founder of executive coaching company Momentum First and She’s Organised – another business that supports busy people to make the most of their lives and careers. With 2018 on the horizon, and all the excitement around making New Year’s resolutions, Brigitte Johnson shares her secrets for goal-setting and goal-smashing, collected over her 24-year career in business and marketing.
With extraordinary demands on our time and energy, and then a million (and one) things clamoring for our attention, our commitment to our goals – personal, career, family, you name it – can become seriously overwhelmed.
Brigitte Johnson works with people searching for smart solutions to achieve their goals, whether that’s career success or a rewarding life – or, in most cases, both. The answers lie in some bite-sized strategies for success, not in a shiny silver bullet. Spoiler alert: no ‘life hacks’ to follow. Just seven, golden tried-and-tested ideas…that work.
- Develop a compelling vision of success on your terms. Evidence tells us that creating a vision (in pictures and words) of what success looks like for you strengthen your commitment and, therefore, your chances of success. In the workforce, organisations with a compelling vision have more motivated employees – this is why creating vision or mission statements is an essential and proven practice. Creating a personal vision is based on that same theory, and this approach can apply to family, health, career, or personal development. Coaches will encourage you to turn your vision into clear goals that you can focus on. The key here is not to strive for perfection, but for momentum – which means doing a little bit better than yesterday.
- Figure out what’s holding you back and remove the interferences. In his classic ‘Inner Game’ series, W. Timothy Gallwey developed a simple golden equation for performing to your true potential. His formula p = P-I (or Performance equals Potential minus Interferences) creates an awareness of the niggling ‘gremlin talk’ that creeps in and strategies to overcome it. It’s about the realisation that most of the interferences are in our mind, so stop and think – what obstacles have stopped you reaching your goals so far, and how can I remove them? Inner obstacles are thoughts of doubt and fear, and that ‘head chatter’ telling you to play it safe rather than really going for it. Outer obstacles or interferences are things like an overloaded in-tray, possessions you no longer want or use, loose ends, mindless media and other distractions. List them and ditch them!
- Tap into the power of leverage. Leverage is when you get a positive return from your action, and can be applied in three areas: time, energy and money. An example of time leverage is delegating your task list to a Virtual Assistant while you focus on pursuing a business idea, serving important clients or spending precious time with your loved ones. An example of energy leverage is consistent exercise, hydration, sleep and nutrition that all give you more energy so you’re operating at your peak. Money leverage is wherever you get a return on your investment, which a successful business gives you. When you look for opportunities to apply leverage in your life and business, a compound interest effect kicks in and things constantly improve.
- What’s your narrative? What are the stories you’re telling yourself and others that define who you are in business and as a family? How often do you hear stories from people about excuses and defeat or about others’ successes or misfortune? You want to create stories that are redefining your future, and what you say to yourself and your family is really important. This links back to Number 2 – focus on your potential, not your setbacks.
- Apply systems for success. Instead of seeing your workload as a series of disparate activities, look at creating systematic success – rituals and routines that you follow at home and work. In business, this might be a lead generating system or a client retention program, and on the home front, it might be a meal planning system or email and paper management system. By implementing these ‘systems’, you’re consistently improving a few key areas – not responding to the chain reaction of events that inevitably come at you when you haven’t got a system in place.
- Reward your progress. This is really important – and fun. Research shows that you are more likely to repeat habits that you are rewarded for. Think of it as the Pavlov’s dog approach to achieving your goals. Intrinsic rewards lead to strengthening the habits that underpin your goals – more momentum coming your way!
- Hire a coach! Assuming you’re already committed and are working towards your goals, then hiring an accountability coach shifts your chances of success from around 70% to 95%. Studies in the area of adult learning and development evidence a performance boost that comes from having an objective expert focusing on your success.
Words // Anastasia White