Your life will be no better than the plans you make and the action you take. You are the architect and builder of your own life, fortune, destiny. ~ Alfred Armand Montapert, 1967
I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. Too often they seem grandiose. Instead, I prefer the coaching practice of creating 90-day goals–what do I want to accomplish within the next 90 days? That said, this New Year’s Day coming up feels different to me somehow. Perhaps it is the fact that I will be reaching the half-century mark at the end of January and have been spending a lot of time reflecting upon the last 50 years of my life. And, perhaps it is because the past 90 days have felt chaotic and exhausting because I bit off not exactly more than I could chew but a whole lot chewier than expected. I am anxious to get my home and my life back in order.
When The Mister and I first returned to California in 2003, I stumbled across a book entitled Success Planning Manual: Executive Methods to Increase Your Worth. Written in 1967 by Alfred Armand Montapert, the book promises that it is
“a comprehensive manual designed primarily for personal achievement and to help keep your personal affairs in order…The essence of this Planning Manual covers the scope of your complete life, and contains profitable planning suggestions for your personal success and fortune.”
I used the goal setting technique Mr. Montapert describes in the book when I was still at UCLA and then discovered that they are similar to the steps coaches use with their clients when I went through coach training. You ask yourself the following questions or complete the statements:
- What do I really want to accomplish? What is the target date for completion of this accomplishment?
- What is the most effective and expedient way of reaching my goal? What is the target date?
- My knowledge, skills, and abilities to help me achieve this goal.
- Additional information, skill, and abilities needed.
- Places, people, sources I will use to gain new information.
- Here is the exact first step I will take this week. Target date.
- My next main step. Target date.
- My next main step. Target date.
What I love about this goal-setting process is that it requires me to create “actionables” (a term that I hate, by the way) and deadlines. For instance, in answer to the question about what I wanted to do, an actual answer was “to write the report regarding peer institutions and their faculty development programs.” Yeah, it was dry as it sounds. But by using Mr. Montapert’s strategy, I was able to break it down into more doable parts and get it done.
Set Goals for Homemaking, Too
Now, in homemaking, I am not going to have the same type of goals but if I’m running my home as a business, the same techniques will work. I also like the idea of a “target date” rather than a “due date.” When we look at a target, it has the bull’s eye that we want to hit but it also has rings around the bull’s eye that we still get credit for hitting. By going after a target, it removes the idea that we have to be perfect. Sometimes–not always, but sometimes– “close” is “good enough.” Even though we didn’t hit the bull’s eye, we are still closer than we would have been if we hadn’t even tried.
The 1950’s was a period of extreme optimism and prosperity. Even though I haven’t quite hit my own 50’s just yet, I have a feeling of that same optimism and prosperity. Between the John Roberts Powers books teaching me how to be poised and the Success Planning Manual, I have a feeling that I might just be able to succeed in my own version of putting a man on the moon!
To Your Fabulous Technicolor Life!
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