achieve, advice, article, association, attorney, best, blog, chat room, chere estrin, goal, group, how to, inspiration, inspire, law firm, make, motivate, office, paralegal, pointers, reach, realistic, set, setting, social forum, The Estrin Report, the paralegal society, tips, top, why
By: Chere Estrin
Reprinted with permission from The Estrin Report: www.estrinlegaled.typepad.com
I admit it – the title of this post on The Estrin Report caught my eye. I saw it, wondered “What in the heck is she talking about?” began reading, and internally swore I was going to disagree with Chere’s advice on this one. The curb? Come on. I’m shooting higher! But then I kept reading. The words started to make perfect sense. I found myself mentally setting my sights upon (of all places) the curb. Read today’s post to see what you think!
How many times have you set goals only not to achieve them?
Come on. You already know in your gut when you set the goal that you probably won’t reach it. Despite clichés such as “Shoot for the moon” and other psychobabble, you will most likely say to yourself, “Are you kidding? I’ll commit to xxx but I know it’s a stretch.”
On the other hand, goals are ingrained and give us targets, benchmarks and a sense of accomplishment. The difference between just setting a goal and accomplishing it is to have a strong “why” in place.
Let’s parallel this to a brick building that looks massive and powerful. Now let’s imagine that the building was built by a group of amateur builders in one day, had a poor foundation and the bricks were not cemented together. It looked very nice but wasn’t solid. One day, a kid tosses a spit ball smack into the middle of the building. What happens? The building crumbles. The little kid with the fastball knocked down the building that looked amazingly strong and powerful.
Why? The foundation was pathetic. No one paid the price so that the building could hold its own in the real world despite how it looked to the average person.
Let’s tie that into your goals. Your “why” is your foundation and roots. Your “why” must be stronger and bigger than you. Internalizing your “why” and knowing exactly “why” you do what you do helps you reach your goals. The most common goals in the history of the human race are to lose weight or make a lot of money. Then you are disappointed when you fall significantly short. Are you relating to that? How about setting the goal of changing jobs within a month and at the end of the month you haven’t even had a decent interview?
Here’s the reason: you must know “why”. Let’s take the job change. It’s not really the money that drives you…it’s your “why”. What are you going to do with the additional money? Get a new car, buy a house, upgrade your standard of living, save for your kids’ college tution, move your career upward or outward? “Why” have you set that goal to uproot your career? Where is the foundation of your goal? No one paid the price for that massive brick building and it fell. Be willing to pay the price and earn your way to your goal.
Let’s go over this again. Goals can be damaging to your future. If you don’t have your “why” in order, then you have no foundation to support you as you as head down your success path to completion. Without that foundation, you will give up and be discouraged from ever setting goals again.
It doesn’t matter what type of goal – physical, financial, social. Needing to know “why” you are setting your goals means paying the price to achieve it. If not, your goal could damage your career instead of assisting you in ultimately achieving the success you’ve always dreamed about. Commit to developing your “why” before setting any more goals.
Let’s look at two questions to find your “why”:
1. If you didn’t have to worry about money, location, working hours, billable hours, specialty, education, stress, co-workers, bosses and could design your own job, what would it look like? Why?
2. Do you enjoy your career? If so, why? If not, why not? Your past does not control you! Your future should drive you because you see yourself successful.
There’s no doubt you will encounter obstacles and challenges. That’s just life. If your “why” is strong enough, then unlike that building, you will stand strong against whatever tries to stop you. It’s going to be very hard to knock you down.
Goals are damaging if you don’t have a foundation in place. My challenge to you today is to ask yourself the two questions, develop your “why” and set your goals. In the meantime, don’t take any brick buildings.
Check out the Paralegal Knowledge Institute’s all new Litigation Support Project Management Program. For beginners and veterans seeking to increase your skill level. It’s online, interactive and live. www.paralegalknowledge.com.
A special thanks to Chere Estrin for stopping by TPS to share this post. Remember to ask yourself why (oh why) it is you want what you want, and more importantly, what you’re going to keep in mind in order to get there.
Like Chere said, “There’s no doubt you will encounter obstacles and challenges. That’s just life. If your ‘why’ is strong enough, then unlike that building, you will stand strong against whatever tries to stop you. It’s going to be very hard to knock you down.”
We’ll see you on Friday! T-minus 2 days and counting…
(I’ll be sure to save you a seat on the curb!)
Our subconscious knows when our goals are not set in reality and therefore ignores them. Its okay to have a larger, over-reaching goal (an ‘umbrella’ goal) that encompasses a larger time span. But the best method I’ve found for goal achievement is by applying the S.M.A.R.T. principle. Being S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-oriented) about our goal-setting allows us to not only set them, but achieve them.
As an example: If I want to lose 100 lbs., that’s awesome as an umbrella goal. But my direct goal should be to lose 10-15 lbs. in the next 90 days and repeat that goal until I achieve the umbrella goal. WHY? Because 100 lbs. is just SO much that my mind says “OMG, no way! How will I ever do this?”. But by breaking it up into smaller ‘pieces’, my subconscious mind says, “I got this!”
Don’t just keep it in your head either. Write it down. Put reminders of your goal steps all over the place to keep you moving. You’ll be stepping up over curbs so much that they look like stairs!
You can apply the same principles to any area of life: career, finances, health, love, whatever your little heart desires ❤ .
Thanks, as always Jamie, for sharing and inspiring!
The Paralegal Society said:
I definitely agree with Chere that the “why” is incredibly important in order to get a person through the “how” (in the hell-oooo my paralegal friends) you’re going to reach the goal. However, in recent times, I’ve found myself really dreaming up what I think I can/should/could do next and striving for it. I had heard that famous quote about constancy of purpose and it never really meant much to me, but now — it does! I get it. If you don’t know what your aiming at and intently charging toward, it’s pretty darn hard to arrive there.
I like what you said about the S.M.A.R.T. principle, Charlene. Makes sense and I can see how it would help with goal setting/achievement.
Thanks for stopping by TPS and sharing a helpful and insightful comment with our readers.
Great start to my day!!
Hello, Paralegal Society
I have been enjoying this blog.
When I click on the topic “Social Security Disability” in the blog’s Archive section, it was blank. Does this mean that you don’t have any articles on Social Security Disability. If that is the case, perhaps I could submit something to you.
Legal Assistant to J. Michael Casey
The 1515 Building
1515 S. W. Fifth Avenue, Suite 808
Portland, Oregon 97201
Phone: (503) 219-0629
Toll free: (877) 508-0629
Fax: (503) 219-0630
PPlease consider the environment before printing this e-mail.
The information contained in this email transmission is confidential and is intended only for the use of the individual or entity intended to receive it. It may contain information protected by the attorney-client privilege. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email transmission in error, please immediately notify the sender by return email and delete this transmission.
The Paralegal Society said:
Hi June, Happy to hear you’re enjoying the blog!
As far as Social Security Disability articles go, we have one posted by a dear (departed) friend, Sami Hartsfield. We would definitely be interested in sharing additional articlse on that topic. If you’re interested in writing – we’re all for it! Please feel free to message me privately at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can discuss specific ideas and go over our simple writing criteria. Thanks for reaching out and offering to write for us!
Sharon Walsh said:
Great advice, all around. Charlene, we were taught the SMART principle in paralegal school and it makes perfect sense. And it works! Break things down into smaller, more measurable goals and your sense of achievement will propel you forward.
Mariana Fradman said:
Thank you for sharing, the article, Jamie! This is a great one read on Thursday morning 🙂
Charlene – thank you for a reminder. I attended one of the professional development courses years ago and the coach said: “Be smart, use SMART!”
Have a great day, Everyone!
Barbara A. said:
Thanks, Jamie for sharing Chere’s article. I can certainly identify with this article and the changes in my life that I have made over the last year. It explains why some appear to be working against my best intentions.
The Paralegal Society said:
You’re welcome, Barbara. I’m glad you found it helpful!