14 Jan

M.L.T. (not to be confused with B.L.T.)

Hello and how are you?!

It is January – AGAIN. 

I don’t know about you, but when my friends and I have the rare opportunity to sit and catch up on each other’s lives there is a 99.9% chance that one of us is going to say “My goodness time seems to go faster the older we get!”  The response is 99.99% of the time a resounding “Right?  This year is just flying by!”

Does that conversation look familiar to you?

The reality is that time is not flying any faster or slower than when we were children.  You’ve heard that saying Time stands still for no one?  It is true.  The main difference between when we were children and being an adult is that as children we seemed to always be waiting to grow up.  Growing up could not come fast enough and as adults we wish we could go back and tell ourselves as children to enjoy that time before the responsibilities start.  It is a funny conundrum.

The constant between us as a child and us as an adult is that we are always setting goals.  Admittedly, there is a difference in how we approach them, but we are always setting them.  Think about it.  It is true!  For example, my children will decide that they MUST get the next best toy out on the market.  They figure out what they have to do to get it and set out on a mission to get that toy until they have it.  Now, they tend to get the toy and play with the box it came in (argh!) but their mission to get what they want was clear and they tend to accomplish it right?!   Do you have a child or know a child that does this?  They make a decision to get something, then learn what they need to do to get it and finally take action to get it?  I am sure we all do.  The method that I just described is what I refer to as the MLT method.

I just want to say something about children though and their approach.  It reminds me of a verse in the bible from the book of Matthew where it basically talks about us adults having faith like a child.  I interpret this to mean that we need to believe wholeheartedly and enthusiastically in what we are doing.  If we approach a child, they have every belief that they will accomplish their goals.  It is us adults that have the doubt, distrust, and lack of faith.

Why is that?

Well, we come by it honestly.  Life can throw some curve balls at us and as humans, many of us have a tendency to revert back to our experiences when approaching a new goal, project, or relationship.  Am I right?

However, I am confident when I say that if we practice the M.L.T. method with the faith of a child, we will go much further in our lives.

Let’s delve a little deeper.

The “M” stands for – Make a decision

What do you want?  What is it that you really want?  Make a list.  Once this list is made, then attach a “why” to each want.  Next, ask yourself why do you want it?  What will change for you in your life if you get it/achieve it?  How will your life improve and the lives of those around you be impacted if you get/achieve what you want?

This list can be 20 items long if you want.  The goal here (no pun intended) is to make a list of everything you want in the short term and the long term with no prejudgment. 

Once you have made your list it is time to prioritize.  According to the authors of the 4 Disciplines of Execution, in order to accomplish your goals at a high level of excellence, they must be prioritized – or as they call them they must be Wildly Important Goals.

From the graphic you can see that if we try to accomplish more than 11 goals at one time, we won’t accomplish any of them with excellence.  If we aim for 4-10 at the same time we MAY accomplish 1-2 with excellence.  However, if we prioritize 2-3 goals that are extremely important to us we are more likely to accomplish those 2-3 goals.  So, I think it’s worth the time of prioritizing don’t you?

Once we have made the decision it’s time to go to the “L”.

L – Learn a new way

What resources do you need to accomplish your goal?  Do you need to go back to school?  Do you need a mentor?  Do you need a coach?  Books?  New mindset?  What is it that you need so that you can set yourself up for success?

One suggestion that I would give to you about success in achieving your goal is this:  If you are really serious about accomplishing your goal then you will need to be accountable to someone.

Here are some stats to think about:

The probability of completing a goal if:

  • You have an idea or a goal: 10%
  • You consciously decide you will do it: 25%
  • You decide when you will do it: 40%
  • You plan how you will do it: 50%
  • You commit to someone you will do it: 65%
  • You have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to: 95%

Accountability is a key component to success.  It can be a trusted friend or colleague but ideally a coach. 

Finally we come to the “T” – Take Action

You now know what you want.  You have figured out how to get the resources to accomplish your goal.  Now it is action time.  Move forward.  As Steve Harvey has popularized – JUMP.  Take a chance and just go for it!  Here’s the thing to keep in mind.  Without going for our goals, or working towards achieving our goals and taking the necessary risks, we will never know what could have been.  The ONLY time we truly fail is when we do not take action and make an effort.  It was one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan, who said that we miss 100% of the shots that we never take.  He also said:

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. Michael Jordan

If we want to succeed we have to take action.  This idea is worth repeating so I am going to ask you to recognize this – even if you do not achieve the outcome that you set out to get, you have not failed.  Take what you have learned and apply the lesson the next time around.  This is called progress.

Let me leave you with this:

Life is short but it is the longest thing you or I will ever do.  How do you choose to live?

You got this.

Slay the day. #Slay2019

Photo credit: London Life Portraits (Howard Adams)

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Jennifer Slay is an award winning speaker and best selling author. She is a registered social worker, therapist and one half of the Thrive Experts. For more information or to book Jennifer to speak at your event, email at info@jenslay.com or call 1-877-786-7190. 


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