Achieve your career goals

Achieve your career goals

Clay Christensen is a Harvard Business School professor specializing in the future of work and how to set smart work goals. 
If you are have trouble finding your business niche perhaps his suggestions will help you on your way.

Before you set a goal

Dr Christensen suggests taking a step back. Most people start planning by setting goals. Dr. Christensen suggest that you cannot set realistic goals until you know your purpose in life. What is you calling?
I’m a conservationist. I want to help people live a productive, sustainable life. Hawaiians call it being pono and it means living in harmony with each other and with our earth.
Here are some of Dr. Christensen’s thoughts on how to live a productive life.
Understand your values. Values can usually be expressed in a word or two. If you value honesty, loyalty and caring for others those values will guide your purpose in life. 
Your calling must be consistent with your values.
When you understand your purpose, picking your niche is relatively easy, but for me it has not been that easy. I spent 30 years working for various federal and state conservation organizations. When I retired, I lost my way for 10 years while I tried to make enough income to survive in retirement in one of the highest cost of living states in the union.
During that time I had a variety of sales, computer and conservation gigs, but I lacked focus. Gradually, I realized that most people work to survive. The are drifting without purpose. Their only goal is to provide for their family and sometimes it isn’t even that.
This article is about setting goals, but goals without purpose are meaningless. 
How we spend our time determines what we do in life. Usually, we work for our bosses goals and our life goals overwhelmed by outside forces.

So what are the qualities of a well crafted goal?

My wife says I have to many interests. I’m sure she is right. When I try to do to many things, I get a little bit done on each thing and accomplish nothing. 
Try to focus your goals on those things that are most important to you and do not work on more than three goals at a time. 
Break you goals down into small measurable steps and put a deadline on each step. That way you will see progress toward your goal. Being able to mark off your progress helps motivate you to keep going. 

What matters is how you spend your time

You can talk about your goals all you like, but what matters is how you spend your time. Block out the time on your calendar when you will work on the most important thing in your life. Consider that time an appointment you cannot break.  I use block journaling to plan and record my life. It lets me see what I have accomplished and what I plan to do. It is old-fashioned pen and paper, but it works for me. I’m a computer guy, so I also use Evernote, Trello and Planyway. They integrate beautifully and providing all the planning capability most people need. I track my time using Toggl. Explaining how I use those tools will take another article, but you can Google them. 
Watch how you use your time and your money. If you are not working on your goals you are wasting your life. When the way you live your life is inconsistent with your calling, you are headed in the wrong direction. When you focus on your life purpose all your decisions will be much easier. Your purpose will guide your goals and your goals will determine how you live your life. On the river of life, if your boat looses its rudder you may get swamped in the rapids of life.
How do you know if your life is on track? Make a lot of little failures. People often develop a strategy for accomplishing their goals but fail to test whether the strategy is working. The result is by the time the figure out things are not working they are already facing catastrophic failure.
In summary: 
Know your calling.
Be sure what you are doing is consistent with your values.
Identify what you must do to accomplish your calling.
Break those goals down into measurable objectives that have realistic deadlines.
Watch how you use your time and your money.
Check often to be sure the strategies you are using are working.

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Live with purpose. Know what you want to accomplish in you life.

What life do you want?

What life do you want?

The National Geographic made a study of communities around the world where people live exceptionally long lives. They found nine common elements among those communities. They were things like an active lifestyle, a low-fat diet, a supportive ohana and living with purpose. 

For me, living with purpose is most important. One of the things I want to do is to help people be more resilient personally and financially. Futurists and project managers define a future scenario they want to accomplish. Then they work backward to break the project down into measurable steps.  When you check off an accomplishment, you know you are moving towards your goal and it motivates you to continue.

Living with purpose will lead to a happier, longer, and more productive life. I talked with people from the Blue Zone Project. We discussed living with purpose and some of the other things you can do to live longer, better and achieve those things that are important to you. Check out our conversation by clicking here.


Time – It is your life

Time – It is your life


No one knows how much time they will have on this earth. It is up to us to make good use of the time we have. If someone wants you to do something and you cannot say, “Hell YES, I want to do this” give them a polite “NO.”

I am a strong believer in living my life with purpose and with resilience. Knowing your reason for being is important because your purpose should guide everything you do. If a goal you have set is not consistent with your reason for living, you are on the wrong track. If your purpose and your values are not in alignment with what you have to do at work, you have the wrong job.

Being resilient is important for two reasons:

  1. Being resilient prepares you to respond to opportunities.
  2. Being resilient means you can spring back from adversity quickly.

There are three aspects to resilient living:

  1. Opportunity When you see an opportunity you want to pursue, become an expert on the subject. Study everything you can about the opportunity. Then share your new ability with others. You must create a team of fans who want to know what you know and some of whom will want to work with you.
  2. Preparedness You must prepare to deal with whatever life throws your way. Think about the risks you face. What will you do when a natural disaster strikes? Can you deal with an accident? How will you deal with a serious illness? The answer boils down to having the supplies financial resources you need to respond and recover.
  3. Income Taking advantage of an opportunity and preparing for emergencies depends on having an adequate income. If you are living paycheck to paycheck your choices are limited.

Plan to carry out your purpose

Successful people know what they want to do in their lives and, They have a written plan to guide the steps they must take to succeed. When you define your purpose, you priorities will change.

Make sure you keep balance in your life. People’s lives are complex. Understand what is important in you life.

You have many demands on your life:

  • Your faith
  • Your family
  • a job
  • Personal time
  • Community Service
  • and more

I try to assign a day of the week when I will devote a couple of hours a day to one of the things that is important to me.

  • Sunday for faith.
  • Saturday Home and family.
  • Monday and Wed my business.
  • Tuesday, Community Service.

You get the idea. It is only a guide. I usually have to shift things around, but it helps me be sure important things are not neglected.


When you first start implementing your plan you may have to do everything yourself. I guarantee that will not be the most efficient use of your time.

Is yard work something you enjoy or something you must do. How about washing your windows? Do you do it because you cannot afford to hire someone to do it for you? How are you going to do what is important to you, if you constantly have to do things that are not important? If you want to do more, you are either going to have to delegate cutting the lawn to your kids or hire a yard service. If you cannot do either you will have to set priorities. Cut the lawn once a month instead of once a week and devote the other 6 hours to more important things.

Time is the one resource in your life that you cannot store. You can spend your time watching TV, playing with your kids or building your business. How you spend your time determines what you do with your life.


Why do I procrastinate?

Why do you procrastinate? There are those who think you procrastinate because you are lazy. They lay a guilt trip on you. Not so… There are usually good reasons for your procrastination.

A growing body of scientific studies show procrastination is not caused by a character flaw. You procrastinate because:

  • a project is boring,
  • a project conflicts with your personal values
  • the project is just too hard and you can see no way of ever completing it.
  • sometimes it is a matter of priorities. You have other more important things to do.
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