This is Part 2, in a multi-part series. Read Part 1 here.
What do you want your family life to look like? Yesterday’s article introduced a four-step, practical recipe for gaining a laser-like focus, and honed in on the importance of memorializing a future picture for your family. As a reminder, the four steps are as follows:
1) Future Picture
2) Game-changer Goal
4) Focus Talks
Painting the detailed future picture will provide the irreplaceable vision for your family life, but the end product can often be overwhelming. This is why the next step is so important. Through the lens of the long-term plan, we can see the most important mid-term goal that will make the biggest impact now.
2) Game-changer Goal:
If we truly intend to see our future picture become reality, we must come to grips with a very real human constraint. Put simply, we don’t have the power to focus on more than one or two very important things at one time. From the quote at the beginning of this article, you might say that we can only be acting on one priority at a time with sustained focus.
So, the second step requires us to answer the following two questions: What are you doing right now to push you toward realizing your Future Picture? Then, to narrow your focus, ask if everything else in your family stayed the same, what is the one thing you could accomplish this year that would have the most drastic impact in the life of your family and drive you toward your future picture? This is your Game-changer Goal. This should be a mid-term goal – at least quarterly or seasonal and no farther out than a year. It should be written down and measurable. It must be written such that you know objectively whether you achieved it or not.
This is not all of the things that have to be done and which are vitally important. We want to differentiate longer-term priorities from necessities. Necessities are everything you must do to keep your household running. Working, changing diapers, fixing leaks, mowing the grass, cleaning the house, and a host of other things that if dropped would negatively impact your home. These have your attention and awareness, but not your focus. Your priority has your focus. I read an excerpt recently that states is well.
“They are the goals you must achieve with total excellence beyond the circling priorities of your day to day. To succeed, you must be willing to make the hard choices that separate what is wildly important from all the many other merely important goals on your radar.
That doesn’t mean you abandon all your other important goals. They’re still on our radar, but they don’t require your finest diligence and effort right now.”[i]
Your Game-changer goal will enable you to apply disproportionate energy towards an area that will have an equally disproportionate impact on achieving the Future Picture for your family. It is simply a lever that has the ability to move a mountain. But, this all-important goal is not to stand alone outside of a system that will ensure it is reached. Come back for step 3 tomorrow.
[i] Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling, The 4 Disciplines of Execution (New York, NY: Free Press, 2012), 27. This is an outstanding book that focuses on a similar method for achieving goals in a business or volunteer organization.