Circling back to those goals

How are you progressing on those goals?

We are approaching the end of the first quarter of the year, and it seems like a perfect time to reflect on those New Year Resolutions and goals we all set at the beginning of the year. 

(Relief is in sight if you are ready to beat yourself up over the un-attained goals you set for yourself! Read on!)

In January, we shared wisdom from Adam Kreek, world-renowned motivational business leader and Canadian Olympian athlete. (Read January’s article here) Adam gave us some sweet relief in his revolutionary approach to failure.

Despite his evident success, Adam Kreek humbly admits he has experienced a lot of failure in his life. You don’t always win. You don’t always hit the goal. Yet Kreek implores that failure is a healthy way to steer your life in a successful new business direction.

Wait. What?

In his new book The Responsibility Ethic, Kreek highlights the beauty found in not attaining your goals. “We all want to achieve the goals we set, yet there is much to be learned and enjoyed in NOT achieving every single goal, every single time.”

There are valuable lessons to be learned from the non-attainment of goals. Kreek calls the practice of reflecting on your failures, not in an emotional “I am a failure” way but rather an evaluative look at why or what didn’t work helps us “fail forward”. If we can do that evaluation, it propels us forward toward success in a forward-thinking and intentional way. 

The reason? Because we take responsibility! 

Reflection helps us find meaning in what has happened. What did we learn in the successes AND the failures? 

Kreek offers a four-step strategy for taking responsibility for debilitating or drowning in the misery of failure. 

1) Reflect – Taking a step back to thoughtfully review what has occurred and explore the fact pathway to full understanding is so important! This includes the emotions that were heightened or perhaps even got in the way! Adam cautions that rushing through this step is understandable because it is uncomfortable, but being able to separate the facts from your feelings helps you move on to the next step.

2) Learn – Let’s face it… we are told from childhood that we can learn from our mistakes. Listing all the things that you learned from the non-attained goals or failure helps to get you to the other side of failure, and on to your next step. You can also achieve this by discussing it with trusted friends, mentors or colleagues. 

3) Grow – What from all of that reflecting and learning will make your next actions different? Maybe you will adopt new habits, set new boundaries, instill new expectations. Be clear and intentional about setting your sights on better outcomes for moving forward. When you start to look ahead, you are able to move on to the final step, the embracing acknowledgement that there is beauty in failure.

4) Let. It. Go. – Don’t look back unless it is a good view anymore. You are ready to move on confidently because your failure is in the past and you have used it to better your present. 

Every business owner and stakeholder can benefit from the process of setting goals and embracing the success and failure of them.

Want to learn more about wearing your failure like a badge of honour?

Check out Adam’s new book

Adam Kreek is one of North America’s top Management Consultants and Executive Coaches with degrees and certifications from Stanford University, UBC Sauder School of Business, and Queens Smith School of Business. He is a guest lecturer and teaches strategies and skills of self-leadership, leadership, high performance and perseverance to corporate and government teams globally.

A two-time Olympian, Adam holds 60 international medals, including Olympic Gold, and multiple hall of fame inductions. In 2013, Adam made the first ever attempt to row unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to America, the subject of the NBC Dateline Documentary, Capsized.

See his new book online, The Responsibility Ethic (with links to purchase).

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