A couple of the core messages of the book “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” (McChesney, Covey and Huling, Simon and Schuster, 2012) is that first of all, people and organisations who want to achieve success should focus on what they call Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) and secondly, that they should not have more than three of those goals.
For most organisations the idea of achieving ‘just’ three goals would appear to be counter-intuitive, I know, but it’s really in the drafting of what the organisational goals should be, that would allow multiple directions to be taken towards achieving the same three ends: by multiple departments and by a multitude of teams and individuals. The idea is that once the organisation has set its three carefully drafted goals, the organisation/departments/teams/people direct their activities towards executing their part in achieving them. Got it?
The concept works for individuals, too. At the start of the year, as I have done for the past ten or so, I used the Best Year Yet® process set myself about ten goals. Then, every year, reality kicked in and once ‘a’ goal was achieved I’d replace it with another. Or, more often, I’d change my mind about an expensive or difficult goal and delete it. 2021 was a cracking year – I did a lot of the things I wanted to do. So the idea works.
However, there were still some goals which I set every year – and manifestly fail to achieve. Yes, you’ve guessed them correctly – weight loss and physical fitness goals. As usual, these were part of the ten I set in anticipation of the start of the New Year. And, as usual, by the middle of January I realised that I wasn’t doing anything about them.
Cue WIG thinking.
I deleted many of the goals and set just three. Lose the poundage (again), get Cycle Fit, and write another book. Just three WIGs.
Every day, I plan so that those three goals will get the focus that their hoped-for and worked-for achievement demands. Everything else – and I mean everything, including this blog – gets fitted in around the activities that address those goals. I’m doing this blog during the pre-exercise session; I’ll do some training at the planned time, then settle down while I consider exactly what the next book will be. And then, and only then, will I do any reading, chillin’, administerial tasks, etc.
(To be honest, this blog relates to my writing goals, too, so is technically counted within the WIG, as will be the continued practice of public speaking.)
One side benefit of this approach is this – I no longer feel guilty about the things I don’t do that aren’t related to the Big Three.
At the end of my day I think to myself, “So I didn’t wash the car. So I watched two episodes of something. So I didn’t go shopping. Big Deal.
I trained hard. I ate wisely. And I gave due consideration to my writing.
Doing that, I know I’ll be lighter, fitter, wiser and, most importantly, happier than I have been since my last blog.”