End of financial year is just around the corner. Albeit hard to believe. (Where has this year gone?) In everyday life, I get to have conversations with lots of different people in business, in different types of businesses. In these conversations, I noted a common theme, people are busy, increasingly so.
I’m not sure if busy fatigue is a thing, or a thing in how I’m about to define it, yet it’s what I see. And that’s this, often we can be so busy trying to work on everything, that in our busyness trying to achieve our goals we can often lose track of things that are most important. Our goals become less meaningful as we move the posts every few months, chasing the next big thing.
We’re doing this, doing that. Constantly jumping from one thing to the next. Potentially even unaware of our moving targets.
As the 2019 financial year comes to an end, I wanted to take time to ask myself a few questions.
Did I reach my goals for this year? And if I didn’t do they still matter? Are they still goals worthy of my time and commitment?
If not, why did I make those goals? Why at that time did I chose those goals, over objectives that may have been more appropriate? Were they the best possible goals for the business? Or were they just goals someone else said I should have?
1. Start With Why
This may be the obvious question yet so often we can override a ‘why’ full of purpose and meaning, and settle for a surface and shallow why.
“I need to keep up with my competitors.”
“Everyone else is doing it.”
This is not to say understanding the market isn’t important, it is, it’s just asking you why you’re choosing to invest time in the things you are. I’m a big proponent of the idea that your actions show what you really believe, more so than what you say.
If you say this goal is really important, and you don’t do anything to reach it, your not doing anything about it, actually shows you that it’s not important as you might say it is.
We realise that goal setting is important, I’d argue that goal achieving is significantly better. Which is self evident right? And we want to achieve goals that are meaningful, and align with our core why. Setting goals for the sake of it is honestly a waste of time, as you’re not going to achieve them anyway, and it might even give you a false sense of confidence.
As we all know, writing things on paper, a word doc, doesn’t mean they’ll spontaneously happen. Which is a bit of a bummer because how great would that be? We need to write these things down, understanding why we’re doing them, and why they’re important for us, for our team and for the business. And then we need to be able to communicate that to our teams, so that they understand the why behind where we’re leading, and not just growth for growth.
2. What is Really Important?
We live in an opportunity wonderland. Because of that, it’s so easy to get distracted from what really matters. Before you know it, you’re spread so thin, and it feels like nothing is happening. Psychologically this is detrimental too, because all of a sudden you have so much on, but you’re not making any notable progress on anything. The reward centre of your brain, those dopamine hits, never fire. Meaning, you don’t get any feedback around actually making positive steps forward. This allows you stay and feel really busy, while not actually doing anything you consider to be meaningful. In the words of Admiral Ackbar, “it’s a trap.”
As we enter into the 2020 financial year, let’s ask ourselves why. Why really? Do we want 2020 to be another year of business doing its thing, yet missing all the things we see it could be? We’ve got the opportunity to ask some tough questions, do we want another busy year, or a year where we knock things out of the park.