You Have Planned Your Goals, Now What?

You have a bunch of goals and planned out how you might go about achieving them. 

It’s time to give them a quick litmus test to see if they are resilient enough to withstand change and intrinsic enough to keep you passionate about them. 

If you can articulate a strong WHY behind each of your goals you will remain more committed to them because they have a true purpose that aligns with your values and how you want to uphold them. 

“I want to achieve —————, so that —————”. 

To move forward: 

Look for infinity, because that means your goals are renewable and able to evolve with you and you won’t need to keep reinventing the wheel each time a goal review comes around. 

You might need to tweak if a goal becomes obsolete or you might have achieved it – so look to refill the gap.  

5R’s – Regularly Review, Renew, Recycle and Repeat. 

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Personal Progress: It Is Time To Begin

Once you start looking at all your ideas and goals, there’s little point in letting them gather digital dust.

It’s time to act.

Zig Ziglar was an American author, salesman and motivational speaker unlike any we have today.  

He is legendary in his field owning to his generous and empathetic posture when it came to giving people what they want.

His goal-setting canvas is pretty nifty too.

The sections of the canvas to get really clear on what you might do, how you might do it, who’s help you need and what success looks and feels like. 

It’s more of a project management tool than anything.

And if that’s looking like a lot of work, that’s because it is – unapologetically.

Frustration will surface and if you’re feeling resistance – I’d say that’s a good sign. 

Discomfort shows us we are in the messy awkward moment of learning and you probably felt the same the first time someone showed you a SMART goal sheet. 

But you’ve grown now and so have your goals – they need a more grown-up approach. 

If you want to take minutes few to throw together a bunch of goals using SMART – feel free to do so. 

So long as you consider whether this is really how you want to keep doing things. 

How might now be a good time to try doing goal planning differently? 

Change that status quo, because this time – it might just work! 

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Success Is Down To You, Your Actions And Reactions

It’s up to you to create success and see what that looks like for you.

Once that is clear, begin to work back. 

This doesn’t have to be super detailed, simply some of the key things you might need to achieve to get to where you want to be. 

As many military folks know, “no plan survives contact with the enemy”. 

But that’s not to say we need to skip the planning altogether.

Planning helps us to deviate if we need to and get back on track. 

Find all your passions then narrow them down.

You won’t be able to do everything right now.

You need to focus and begin collecting the dots.

Then work to connect them.

Managing your feelings towards setbacks and unforeseen challenges along the way.

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New Discovery! SMART Ain’t That Clever

Goal setting – magical process or outdated nonsense?

I’ve had many conversations about goals and the default process we all plump for is SMART. 

You know the one?

SMART goals were rammed down my military throat for 15 years and didn’t mean a thing to me.  

In fact, we were advised (because our line managers hadn’t prepped us properly) in the run up to our 

annual appraisals to set our SMART goals for the year just gone. So that our reports aligned. 

We did them retrospectively so that everyone looked amazing!!!  

Not the most favourable approach in my honest opinion.

So let’s break it down and see what can be useful from this process.

SPECIFIC – Ok I am down with that, but would like some flexibility. 

MEASURABLE – Ok, sometimes.

I’m a bit on the fence on that one, time and place for me. It can be tricky to clearly define a qualitative outcome. And sometimes it’s ok when it just feels right – when the impact is quality. 

ACHIEVABLE – Ummm, well if I know it was achievable I’d have probably done it already. 

Or, if I know I can do it, what’s the point in doing it again? Surely this is simply BAU.

AGREED gets bounced around and is used more for team goals.


Until we strive for possibility, we’ll remain in the land of same and dull. 

Your goals don’t have to be all about the role or the company. Fulfilling personal goals can be an indirect benefit to your work. 

TIME bound – Really? 

I don’t think Possibility keeps a schedule either. So it’s worth having a good blend of short / medium / long term and infinite goals to keep things interesting and dates to work towards. And do give yourself some slack. 

SMART is ok, but I believe it’s important to acknowledge it has its limits. 

It can only be applied to one thing at a time and might be more appropriate in teams or big organisational settings where you are working on a finite project.  

And it’s a good initial viability test but it doesn’t actually help you describe HOW you are going to do it.

If someone is asking or even insisting you create SMART goals, it might be worth asking them why.  

Are they trying to steer their own agenda? 

Keep you thinking small, because when you do hit a SMART goal – is it validating you, or them?  

And how might they fear changing the status quo? 

I’d always assert there is a possibility of a better way – in anything. 

It’s important to keep re-assessing and rethinking if the process still has its uses or is in need of a refresh. 

There are plenty of goal planning tactics out there that allow you to properly break it all down and then join it all back together.

To feel more connected and can be more appropriate for you and your aspirations.

Working with your company goals, not against them. 

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Is the way you are doing change the boldest way? 

You might find yourself in a new organisation, a new role or you’ve read a couple of books that have started to get you thinking, and more importantly – questioning. 

Is the way I am doing this the best way? 

And I’d assert that if you’re asking that question, you can feel it in your gut and it feels like there’s a mismatch or a gap. 

Let’s start where we are. 

Look more closely at what’s changed for you recently. 

How did you get here?

You made a decision and there will be things in and out of your control.

Time for brainstorming…

What went well and how? What didn’t go so well and why? What might you do differently from now on?

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Goal Setting: Is there another way?

We’ve all been there, sitting down with your line manager or boss on a dreary Wednesday afternoon and you’re being urged to come up with a set of new and exciting goals for the appraisal year.

Mainly with service / organisation need in the forefront of your mind.

So it’s no surprise that we don’t value goal setting.  

It’s just not worked for us in the past.

What do you think of when you think about goal setting?

I love goal setting and never plan anything without them

Goal setting is pointless, it never works out as planned

Urgh, not again. I hate it. I do them but never actually DO them

They are something for the annual appraisal and don’t really mean anything

Ok, if you love goals – great! 

But if you checked off any of the other statements, you are not alone. 

So let’s think again.

Because whether you love or hate goals, something compels you to make progress and that suggests you’re curious to see if there is another way. 

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Resettlement Reflections: A Veterans Perspective

When I was on the resettlement train, it was a rather foggy time and even foggier now looking back. 

Now, I realise it was because I didn’t understand or know the questions to ask. And because I wanted to be self-employed I was not really given much support beyond the workshop. 

As though I were overlooked because I didn’t fit a model they knew well. 

Equally, I didn’t accept much employment support because I was so determined to go freelance. 

When really, having that support to understand my worth and skills might have put me on a better footing for self-employment. And also, I might have given employment more of a chance.

Particularly to use it as a way of supporting my self-employment while I got started.

But I was so disillusioned with CVs, avoided LinkedIn and didn’t have a grip on networking.

I couldn’t face going through the endless “lather, rinse, repeat” to get a job. 

Then it all fell off a cliff anyway because of Covid. 

I gave my staff better counsel and support with their annual reports compared to what I felt I had received going through such a significant change in my career and life. 

It takes time to re-wire 15 years of Service and it’s really only two years after leaving that I now see the gaps and how I might have been better supported and prepared. 

Also great life lessons for future projects and endeavours.

Greater resilience and leading with curiosity.

Knowledge by experience.

Create and connect.

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10 Books Every Serviceperson In The Military Should Read

Books I’ve read since deciding to leave the military and never knew I needed while Serving.

And in no particular order:

Simon Sinek – Leaders Eat Last

Brene Brown – Daring Greatly

Seth Godin – This is Marketing

Stone & Heen – Thanks for the Feedback

Micheal Bungay Stanier – The Coaching Habit

Carol Dweck – Mindset

Steven Pressfield – The War of Art

Mary-Frances Winters – Inclusive Conversations

David Jason – My Life

Rosamund and Ben Zander – The Art of Possibility

And as a Brucie Bonus – and only because it was released after I left…

A.J Miller – Life After

Because who doesn’t deserve a spot of fiction from time to time? 😉

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A Significant Changing of the Guard

How is everyone doing? 

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II has left us all feeling rather discombobulated. With waves of profound sorrow, mixed with hope for a new Carolean era. 

It’s times such as this, where a deep compulsion to find a spiritual place begins to swell. Whether that be gathering in places of worship or community halls. 

And, as of Saturday 10th September, history in the making with the first televised Proclamation Ceremony. A blending of the traditional with the modern. 

She had been a constant for so long, and for so many. Displaying an overwhelming, almost ethereal, example of service and leadership. 

I feel deep gratitude for having been in her Service, while she was in ours.

Time has already begun to wrap the sorrow. Easing its burden with a cloak of nostalgia and gratitude for having witnessed such a significant changing of the guard. 

Take comfort in that at this time, as you and your families reflect and reconcile thoughts and feelings. 

“Grief is the price we pay for love”

God Save The King!


You reap what you sow

Often with varying degrees of success. 

Each will offer an insight into how you might do better next time. 

🎬 Start with quality foundations – this will pay dividends in the long run. 

💪 Be consistent – it’s tough especially when you’re running on empty. Find nourishing habits.  

👀 Monitor process – This might be slow at first and lack the big wins. So don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. 

🏁 Know when you’re done – Quitting is not for losers. Equally, failing to “ship” your ideas, services and products will guarantee you remain stuck and live in the land of the status quo. 

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