To set a powerful direction moving into 2016 you must understand what your "Why" is. In yogic language a persons "Why" is their "dharma". Dharma is becoming who you were mean't to be. It is your deepest heart's desire. It takes real commitment, a real focus on excavation of your being to uncover what your soul's intention is. As Mark Divine wrote "Bottom line: If you lack an underlying commitment to self-mastery and growth, even the best theory won't help you lead yourself or a team to success." In other words rock solid practice precedes the bubbling up of your Why.
I think it is prudent to mention that the future will find favor for those prepared in mind, body and spirit. It's simply harder to knock someone out when they train toward a future state. This is really important because it turns out we humans have evolved for an internal negative state for survivals sake. The onslaught of negative news and stressors of modern day reenforce that which is natural creating a bias resulting in imbalance. We counter this by practicing positivity.
In order to peel back your layers discovering your Why or figuring out how to fulfIll your Dharma you must learn about the practice of sankalpa. Sankalpa can be translated into resolve. The "practice starts from the premise that you already are who you need to be to fulfill your life's dharma" (Mcgonigal). The yogic tradition provides this sankalpa method to help peel back the yogic onion to drill right into your heart center to figure out what your true heart's desire is. Sankalpa is a call to action, it is motivation and a bias for action. Your sankalpa could be a mantra stating your motivation or resolve. To discover your Why you won't be surprised to hear the process requires you to sit in sacred silence. You need to tune out to tune into your internal state. The Zen tradition calls this practice "polishing the mirror." Think of the mind as a mirror, the tendency to think negative thoughts clouds up the mirror obscuring your Why. You polish the mirror by tamping down our animalistic bias for negativity in sacred silence by witnessing our thoughts and redirecting them toward a more positive outlook. The mirror starts to clear and over time our Dharma begins to appear. Then you connect your sankalpa to your Why to advance forward. When you sit long enough it will start to become clearer which goals will need to be stated and worked on.
This shouldn't be a news flash. When goals are written down, stated clearly and connected to your Why, connected to your resolve (sankalpa) they become a truly powerful force. In my own experience I come up with so many goals that it becomes stressful and I lose my front-sight focus or drishti. Discipline must be part of the mix in terms of goal selecting. Learning to chunk down goals is a function of understanding your Why. Alway's tether your goals to your Why and be able to explain why you're taking a specific course of action. As you become more advanced in self-mastery you naturally become systematic in approaching goal setting.
The more challenging the issue the smaller your goals should become. Your goals must make sense for your life circumstances or business vision/mission and connected to your Why or Dharma. I subscribe to the SMART goals school.
Timebound or Timely.
Once you settle on your SMART goals you can begin to sift through and figure out what your high-value targets are and whether an adequate mission plan can be built out.
The following are some tools developed by the military to help figure out optimum courses of action. Please note the following flow AFTER you've determined your SMART goals.
1. The FITS Process:
Fit-Does the goal/task seem to be in congruence? Is it a good fit for your family or team? Is it worth the effort? Good ROI?
Importance-Where is this in relation to your broader strategic direction? If you carry this goal/task out and are successful what impact will it have on you?
Timing-Are you ready? If in business, how will your competitors react? Are you to late or to early to the party?
Simplicity- Does this align with the KISS principle? How will this impact your team or family?
For larger scale goal planning use the following strategic planning tool.
SMEAC works essentially like the FITS process. However FITS is designed for much more rapid execution. SMEAC is more geared toward an 12-18 month time horizon.
"Countless studies have revealed that the human brain is instinctively a goal-seeking organism. It is beyond debate that establishing goals and embedding them in the subconscious mind results in a more focused, determined and persistent individual" (Tucker).
Love the above statement. To make 2016 an awesome year I urge you all to take plenty of yoga or any other form of integrated training, sit in a calm state a couple of times daily, mentally centering on what you're supposed to accomplish. The above tools used consistently will lead to a more disciplined life and this means a happier life.
NOTE: Most of this information came from Mark Divine the author of The Way of the SEAL. The guy inspires me.
I found this terrific article on the Asana Blog. Don't know what Asana Task Management software is? You are missing out. It's the best productivity tool I've ever come across....and it is free! Anyway the team at Asana wrote this piece that speaks to me as it is geared toward taking action. Goals are great and I get really enthusiastic about them, but action....action is what brings the goals to light. Click here for the blog piece.