Last week, I reached my goal with this blog. I wanted to see what connections I could draw between the work I do as a professional organizer, and the work I pursue through recovery and transformational work. The result I declared was to create 90 posts in 90 days, and to have at least 300 views in that time. I accomplished 90 posts a week ago Friday on day 86, with over 600 views, and gained, unexpectedly, 20+ followers.
Having little experience blogging, the 90 days was an adventure. Committed to posting, even when I wasn’t sure what to post, the posts took interesting twists and turns. They turned out to be a bit of “everything but the kitchen sink“, and probably revealed more about my messy mind than I usually like the world to see, but I also gained the satisfaction many bloggers must experience in having a public, traceable record of the inner workings, impulses and musings. To see people choose to “follow” these machinations is fascinating and ego-tweaking.
So, to recap, my goal was to engage in a creative process contained by a structure that defined it’s scope and gave it discipline. I was free to explore and create whatever I wanted within the framework I gave myself, and it was the framework and my commitment to it, that gave me the accountability to get it done.
For the past two years, I’ve been working with a tool I received during a 90-day transformational leadership program I took. Ninety days is commonly considered the amount of time it takes to break a habit or learn a new one, so this course uses the 90-day framework to help participants do just that.
At the beginning of the program, I wrote a document in which I created an overall vision for my world, and a vision statement for each of the realms of Friends & Family, Career & Education, Community, Finance, and Health & Well-being. I then created about three declarations of results I’d be creating in each of those realms within the 90 days. Note the emphasis here is on the results I’d be creating – not what I want to see, what I hope to see, what I’ll be in process of achieving, but what will actually BE created in the world because I said so, regardless of circumstances or self-doubts.
The program was intended to stretch me beyond what I’ve already accomplished, and beyond what I may have already been on track for, and to show me what I’m capable of when I have a clear vision fueled by urgency, committed action, and operating from ways of being that will bring about the results I’ve declared. Pretty neat stuff.
I’ve chosen to continue using this tool and write a new document about every three months. I’ve done it in collaborations with partners or small groups of others who have gone through the program. We give each other accountability and support to complete all we’ve declare each cycle.
Some highlights of declarations I’ve completed have been: creating a 70th surprise birthday party for a good friend, collecting 2,224 pairs of shoes to donate to Haiti for Soles 4 Souls, getting my Dad’s sculpture website up and running, planning a secret weekend of home repair for my parents while they were away, going to Haiti and becoming a sponsor and raising money for a school there, becoming a volunteer for NY Cares, serving over 500 meals for Hurricane Sandy victims, doubling my income, declaring and receiving additional clients for my business, learning to belly dance, educating myself & others about the US election process, singing in public, getting my driver’s license and becoming vegetarian.
I’ve found 90 days to be a great amount of time to declare results and achieve them. It’s an amazing integrity booster to complete what I’ve declared to complete, and if there’s something I’ve declared that I find out is not as valuable to me or others as I expected it to be, I can choose differently for my next cycle.
Someone said “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re sure to get there.”
I think creating your own road-map is crucial to authoring the life you want rather than have circumstances dictate what you’ll get in life.
Here are the aspects of the goal-setting that make any road-map vital:
- Have a clear vision that inspires you to create beyond your circumstances.
- Make the results you declare specific, tangible, and measurable.
- Make the results be about more than what you’ll get out of them. In other words, ask, “With this declaration, how am I contributing to the world?“, “How am I”, as Gandhi said, “being the change I wish to see in the world?”
- Be accountable. It’s much easier to let go when the going gets tough when we’re doing it alone. Accountability partners can keep you on track.
- Refer to your map often. Be clear about where you stand in the time-frame you’ve declared.
- Know it’s more about who you’re being than what you’re doing that has your vision turn out. Choosing to be powerful, loving, joyful, open, connected, courageous, passionate, authentic and outrageous, when needed, are the keys to success.
Dare to declare your vision and have it turn out! xxoo
P.S. – I declare to continue this blog, posting weekly for the next 90 days.