by Cathey Stamps, Best Year Yet® Partner

One question I get asked a lot is how to set the right goals. People worry that they aren’t being realistic when they let themselves dream or that they might be setting goals that are way too big to achieve – all of which begs the question, “What dreams are too big to be realistic?”

As with most things, the answer to this question comes down to how important your dream is to you. The bigger the dream, the more dedication it may take. Does that keep you from setting big goals or inspire you to find a way to get the results you want?

An often-made observation to teams and individuals, who protest that they haven’t got the time, is that ‘we can all make space for the things that are important’. But is what we actually do truly important? Is it really more valuable to spend time sending that last e-mail rather than getting home to do my share with the kids? Is going to the mall (again) a more significant contributor to my life than going to the gym (at last). Do I really want to continue this endless, meaningless phone call with such a mean-spirited gossip when I’m already late for my mother/child/date/lesson/ book club/supper/etc.?

There have been a handful of times in my life when I made a commitment that produced miraculous results – as if by magic! I recall the first one occurred about 23 years ago when, in front of a workshop full of participants, I declared I was going to complete my Master’s Degree in six months. After I left the workshop, I couldn’t believe what a foolish promise I had made. “No way,” I thought. “What was I thinking?” I had a full time job, was a single parent, and was not at all confident that I could pull off what I had declared as my intention.
It was then July.

Gold Time is the space in your schedule devoted to activities, tasks, projects and projects that are important but not urgent — at least not yet urgent. It’s what happens when you stop saying to yourself,

I’ll get fit, fix my finances, book the family holiday, study for the MBA, do the staff appraisals, attend to my Best Year Yet plan, have a staff meeting etc. when I’ve got the time. Just now I’m busy looking at my e-mails.