Insights from practitioners in Information Management

Issue 17 – Goal setting

Welcome to the first edition of the New Year, it’s great to have you registered with us.  Have you found the time to sit down and plan out what it is you want to achieve throughout the New Year? Or are you happy doing what you have always done? If you find yourself at the end of January wondering where the month went, chances are you are a “drifter” and content to go with the flow.   Or are you one of the few who have decided that you are going to chart out new waters and try and find bigger and better things to occupy your mind for the months to come.  If you have, congratulations, it’s not an easy decision to make to radically change habits of a lifetime, that’s why most New Year’s Resolutions fail within the first couple of months if not weeks of a new year.  Given the first item of this newsletter, this edition has even more urgency than ever before.  I think it was Rudyard Kipling who said “Life is too short to be little” so I hope that the start of 2004 will inspire you to do great things, meet new and interesting people, people you will learn from, and people who will learn from you.  Visit those places you’ve been putting off going to and doing those things that you are saving for a rainy day – remember we live in Australia, there aren’t many rainy days.

This month’s edition we will look at the importance of goal setting as a way of getting the job that you’ve always wanted.  We hope you enjoy reading.  Have a great week.

In this Issue we will be looking at:
• Sad News
• Just for Today
• Goal Setting
• A Thought to Ponder

Sad News
Steve Tulip, contract Librarian with IEA passed away on Sunday after he lost his battle with Leukaemia, his family were by his side. 

For those of you who knew Steve, he was a consummate professional and he will be sorely missed by everyone here at Information Enterprises.

Steve’s funeral will be held at Pinaroo on Friday at 3pm.  The family have requested donations to the Leukaemia Foundation in lieu of flowers

Just for Today
I have a question for you – how many of you made new year’s resolutions? Now comes the hard part – how many of you are still working on them? I thought as much – not many of you.  Have you ever stopped to wonder why you always revert back to your old ways of doing things? Shall I tell you – because it’s easy that’s why. 

Habits – are those things that you don’t think you have, until you try and change whatever it is you were doing.  You make a decision, step outside of your comfort zone, decide it’s far too scary and retreat back into your self-imposed limited habitual practices, and vow never to go there again.  For those of you who have ever tried to stop smoking, give up coffee, stop drinking you will know what I mean.  The habits that you have are your way of life and only a complete life change will ever alter the way you deal with anything.

Dieters are another classic example.  How many “diets” have you been on?  There are lots to choose from these days – The Zone, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Easy Slim, Slim Fast, Egg, Mars Bar you name there is a diet out there with your name on it – and people sign up for these miracle cures in droves. Unfortunately for most of us – the diet industry is a part of our lives, it is big business, they don’t care if you succeed or fail (most of the time) because they know that the money that they get from repeat dieters is enormous – they also know that if everyone succeeded in losing the weight that they needed to lose and kept it off – they would be out of business. 

You can succeed with your weight loss program – as you can succeed with everything that you do, if you say to yourself – just for today I am going to be happy.  Just for today I am not going to eat cake or biscuits (or whatever is your downfall), just for today I am going to go for a walk at lunchtime.  Just for today.  If you wait until tomorrow, then you will never reach your potential, because tomorrow is some distant place in the future that you never reach. 

So every morning when you wake up, tell yourself that just for today I am going to:

Get a piece of paper and list all the things that you would like to do – just for today –
And here’s the great thing about this – it can be anything. 

Of course you can use this as a negative tool if you want to – it’s entirely up to you.  Write down your most negative thoughts, just for today I will be miserable, I will shout abuse at the other car drivers, I will be uncommunicative with my partner, work colleagues, I will hate my job.  Once you have written out all your negative comments, screw up the paper and put it in the bin.  Feel better? Now let’s try again –write down all the positive things that you would like to get out of today:

Just for today I will enjoy my job – it may not be the best job in the whole world, but it’s a job and it’s mine.
Just for today – I will do whatever is necessary for me to find another job – but I will be happy with what I have, whilst I pursue all that I want.
Just for today I will put away the money that I was going to spend on a bar of chocolate. 

What have you got to lose?
If you do it just for today, and repeat the process each and every day, not only will you have created a whole new set of “habits” but you will also have changed your way of life, and the way that you view it.

Goal Setting:
Whilst having a practice of living “Just for Today” is a wonderful way to live your life, it does not seem to take into consideration those “goals” and long term plans that we all seem to have.

Goal setting is important because if you don’t know what you want to achieve in the long term, then just for today your day may lack direction.

If we take a look at the example that is very close to most people – finding the perfect job, then you will quickly see what I mean.

For most people defining the perfect job is easy, everyone will have a set of pre-determined ideas about what it is they are looking for, and then sit back and wait for it to knock on their door.  Well I hate to disillusion you, but you may be in for a long wait – especially if you are not doing anything about trying to find it. 

Here’s an exercise for you – I want you to write down what makes your “perfect job” is it the money, the hours, working with people you like.  You tell me – after all it’s your perfect job.  On the same piece of paper, list all the things relating to your current employment.

Now write down all the skills that you need to do the job that you are doing.  Before you start berating me for the fact that you work as a check out chick and this is a complete waste of time, consider these skills that I think a good check out chick needs:
• Customer Service Skills
• Dealing With Difficult Behaviour
• Verbal Communication Skills
• Handling large quantities of Money
• Time Management

I’m sure you get the idea.  Now repeat the exercise for the job that you want. If you are not sure what skills you should have it is a good idea to have a look at some of the position descriptions for jobs that are currently available.  

How many discrepancies do you have? And more importantly – What are you going to do about rectifying that situation?
• What courses do you need to go on?
• What groups do you need to join?
• What “network” events do you need to attend?
• Who can “mentor” you?

When you have worked it out – then try and affix a time line for completion of the new skills and abilities that you will need.  This is important – because without a timeline, you will drift aimlessly.  So Just for Today make yourself a promise that you will work out what you need to do to get the job that you want. 

Oh yes, and make sure that you write it down.  An unwritten goal is simply a dream.  When it is written down, you should make a habit of looking at your “To Do” list and work on one aspect of that list each and every day.

If you are still not convinced that you need to do something “today”, then you might be interested to know that the “Baby Boomers” will be retiring from the workforce in the next few years.  Will you have the skills and the necessary experience to take over should the opportunity arise?  Or will it go to the person who was ready, and had made the decision to go the extra mile with their career and study path?

To your success.

A Thought to Ponder:
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
Eleanor Roosevelt