Walking up the stairs of my apartment, I checked my phone. Finally, they were going to take the deal! I’d hit my business income goal for the year! Wow, I was finally successful.
I looked down at the date: Dec. 29, 1997. I had made it!
Feeling successful felt weird. I thought at first I would see fireworks or be so excited that someone would be compelled to throw me a party. Then I realized I had only three more days to feel like this before the pressure would start all over again. On Jan. 1, everything would start right back at zero. I felt so deflated.
I put some steaks on the grill. As I watched the flames, I pondered what success really meant to me and whether I was truly successful. I realized that while I was successful in my business, the same wasn’t true in other areas of my life. I was out of shape, my marriage was not as great as I hoped it could be, I felt distanced from God, and I still did not have any really good friends in Orlando. A sinking feeling came over me as I realized while I might be successful in this one area, truthfully, I was failing in so many others.
I became frustrated. Why was I equating success solely with my business and my income? What was going on inside of me that I was pulled so strongly to one area but not the others? Had I fallen prey to our culture’s definition of success? Or was this my definition by default?
Redefine your success
I realized I had to define success for myself and not by what society sometimes views as success — what car I’m driving, what house I live in or what parties I’m attending.
I examined my life and determined I had six roles. I was a:
- Follower of Christ,
- Soon-to-be father,
- and business leader.
I took out a notepad and started writing down what each of these roles meant to me — and what needed to happen in these areas of my life to feel successful. I wanted to protect myself from just succeeding in one and failing in five others.
I was excited because my intentional life was starting right there.
When the steak was done, my excitement quickly started wearing off. Six areas of life! Six balls in the air at the same time. Man, it certainly was much easier to just focus on one area and let the rest go. But I was committed.
Commit to your goals
The first six months felt overwhelming. At times I felt stuck in the mud. I set three goals in each of the six areas, so now I had 18 goals to focus on. Going from one to six and then to 18! I felt like a robot, moving mechanically from one goal to another.
It takes time to accomplish a single goal. How would I tackle 18? Would it all happen in one year? I really wrestled with this concept. I searched for answers by reading books on the topic, and finally, by God’s grace, I was introduced to strategic thinkers and consultants who worked with executives and business leaders on personal life and organizational focus. I met my mentor, Bobb Biehl, and others on my journey, and I started understanding much more about this process.
Today, I approach goal-setting very differently. I believe in this process because I have seen tremendous growth in myself, my wife and clients who are implementing an intentional life.
Plan for an intentional life
Here is what we do now:
My wife and I start the year by writing out our one-year life plan. We include our six roles and what we want to accomplish during the year.
We keep in mind this principle: Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in one year but underestimate what they can accomplish in three years. We think about the next three years, but we focus on what we are doing this year.
The critical question each of us asks is: What three things do I need to focus on in the next 90 days that would make a 50% difference in the way I end this year?
Narrow your focus to three goals in the next quarter, and work very hard at those. It might be a weight loss goal, a goal regarding your faith, or a goal for your marriage and family. You decide. You can focus hard on three items for 90 days! The momentum you build when you accomplish those three will give you the encouragement to pick the next three areas of focus for the next quarter.
I apply this principle to my life and to my business. In business, we call them WIGS (Wildly Important Goals), and in my personal life, I call these areas Focused Life Goals.
When the quarter is over, if one or two of these goals are not completed, do not give up. Dig in your heels and remember you might simply have underestimated the time it takes to complete the goal. Or maybe you got caught up in worrying about what others think of your goals.
Your goals are for you; don’t worry about whether you are impressing or disappointing anyone else. Be kind to yourself, make small improvements in this process and you will achieve those new year’s resolutions and experience more internal health and well-being.
Nothing motivates like results in our own lives, losing 15 pounds, spending the extra time with family, improving your marriage, or, heck, even accomplishing an income goal.
It really is the journey that matters the most and leads to a feeling of success in living an intentional life, realizing that you are not a victim and you are not failing. Don’t allow lies or past failures to tell you that you cannot be free or you cannot accomplish something. No, not anymore. You can do this. 2022 is your year!
Here’s to freedom, embracing your journey and enjoying great health and well-being in 2022, my friends!
Hilgardt Lamprecht (CFP, CKA, CExP) is President and CEO of The LifeWealth Group, an independent financial services firm that utilizes a variety of investment and insurance products (@TheLifeWealthGroup | TheLifeWealthGroup.com | 407-299-4129). Securities offered only by duly registered individualists through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC (MAS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM), a Registered Investment Adviser. MAS and The LifeWealth Group are not affiliated companies. AEWM and The LifeWealth Group are not affiliated companies. 1120838 11/21