Are you a goal setter? Always looking towards something new? Or do you prefer to just enjoy things as they come? Personally, I am always working towards more than a few goals. I get so excited about new projects and big ideas. That’s the good. New things keep me fresh, but they can also occasionally make me completely overwhelmed. That’s what happened recently. That’s the bad.
One of my longer-term goals is to be a great keynote speaker. A REALLY great speaker. A fill the room and leave them on their feet shouting for more speaker. For the moment, I am a good speaker. I am a healthy round of applause and happy audience speaker. But I am not yet great.
Last month I attended the National Speakers’ Association (NSA) winter conference in Baltimore. It’s the fifth year I have attended, and I must confess that I have a total love/hate relationship with this conference. I love being surrounded by such amazing talent. It totally inspires me, and I always leave with a million new ideas. That’s where the hate part comes in; I hate that I come back with a super long list of things I feel like I should be doing yesterday. That’s the ugly.
But that’s the thing about goals, isn’t it? If they are worth working for, odds are they won’t be easy to achieve. With my clients, I am always trying to help them identify one step, even if it is a teeny tiny baby step, towards their goal. Because with each step you’ll see yourself getting closer, which makes it a little bit easier to take the next step, big or small.
I am often my own worst enemy on this one; I feel like I want all the steps done yesterday. I came home from NSA feeling like I am so far behind, and so far away from being the speaker that I want to be that I started to get really down on myself. So I try to remember that all I have to do is make a couple of small improvements to my next keynote, and go from there. I don’t need to be Tony Robbins right now.
Here’s a few things I am doing to help build on what I learned, without drowning myself in a pile of should:
- Pausing. Instead of jumping straight in, I took a couple of days to recover and get clear on what was most important to me now.
- Focusing. There might be 100 great ideas, but I’ll narrow it down to my top 3. Okay maybe top 5. 🙂
- Patience. Good things take time. Big goals aren’t achieved overnight. I’m in this for the long haul.
- Practicing. Even if it doesn’t make perfect, it almost always makes better. I am going to start right where I am and keep practicing. And practicing.
Get your priorities straight
It is worth mentioning that in order to achieve any goal, you have to prioritize it. Sometimes it will compete with other things that are really important, like spending the weekend at home with my daughters instead of on the road at a conference. But if I want to be great, sometimes I have to prioritize that over all other things (and to be honest, the girls loved spending the weekend with their grandparents!). You have to give your goals time and attention, or else nothing will change.
So, that’s what I’m doing. Giving this goal of being a great keynoter a ton of my time and attention. It’s one of my top two priorities for 2018, and so I am going to treat it with the highest priority. It means spending multiple days at trainings and workshops, hiring a speaking coach, attending monthly mastermind sessions with other keynote speakers, and attending NSA Speaker Labs as often as I can. All in service of accomplishing one of my big goals.