There is a challenge that at some point all goal-oriented people will face, and that is living with intention. Stephen Covey is an early proponent in 7 Habits while, more recently, Daniel Harkavay hits the point home in his book Living Forward. Powered by the F5 framework, which helps me keep a balanced life, I developed my ideal F5 ordering to help me live more intentionally. Then I reflected on how I was living to create my actual F5 order. I was out of whack! And how to do you begin to realign yourself?
How I Made My Ideal and Actual F5 Lists
I was inspired to reflect on this and found myself in the perfect situation to do so: 1) I was on a long flight back from Japan and 2) Charlotte was with me. The flight gave me ample time to reflect and Charlotte, my wife, is the best person I could have with me for the exercise.
Ideally Faith is #1, in Actuality it was #5
I was upside down in my priorities! I was claiming faith was number 1 and operating as though finance was. I was choosing to wake up early and work instead of meditating, reflecting, running, going to mass, or anything else. It is too easy to live a life where you don't move the meter in the direction most aligned with your intentions.
How Goal Setting Works
We often overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can accomplish in five years. Understanding we are poor at estimating, I opt to keep my goal setting cycle shorter than a year. That is, I'll break down a yearly goal into 4 quarterly goals. For example, in F5 for fitness, a year long goal may be to do an Ironman. An Ironman is the perfect example because it is already hard to wrap your head around the magnitude of the entire event. Breaking it down into quarterly goals I would have the first quarter’s goal be to swim 1,000 yards in under 20 minutes. The second quarter’s goal is to bike 100 miles in under 6 hours. The third quarter’s goal is to bike 100 miles Saturday and run 20 miles Sunday. Then nine months later I am ready to race a full Ironman.
My 2017 Q1 Goals
I like to have a goal in play every quarter for each of my F5 categories. With one of the five F's as "primary" goal and another a secondary in each quarter. For example my first quarter goals of 2017 looked like:
Outcome of My Q1 Goals
I focused on my primary and secondary goals. I figured I would have too much to focus on if I did all five at once. I had no intention of completing all five in one quarter, I thought it was too much. Instead, I exceeded my primary goal, met my second goal and completed all the others by the end of the quarter. Wow!
I was lucky to have the time to reflect on my ideal vs actual F5s. Now you've gone through this article it is your turn to get started!