In this episode, I talk about my Personal Goal Playbook. A friend of mine recently commented that he reads his personal vision statement every day, and then he reads his goals. And then, he writes down the 3 things he needs to do today to progress toward achieving those goals, some of which were 2-year goals.
I realized I didn’t have a personal vision statement per se I do have goals, quarterly and longer-term goals, which reminded me of a leadership program in which I participated in 2008. I spoke to the group about the way in which I want to run my life – it wasn’t structured like a vision statement, but I thought I would share the dozen items I committed in 2008 – and I believe have served us well.
I hope you get some value from my list. Enjoy!
Full transcript below.
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goals, life, playbook, jeff, bigger, waste, vision statement, learn, thought, pursuing, friends, future, meeting, today, vision, mentee, struck, growth, seasoned entrepreneurs, younger
Mike Malatesta 00:06
Hey, everybody, welcome back to another Friday solo episode with me. Glad to have you here today. And today, I’m going to talk to you about my Personal Goal Playbook. My personal goal playbook.
So first, I want to start by telling you that I was in a meeting yesterday, in fact, and it was a mentor meeting. And myself and two other, let’s call them seasoned entrepreneurs, were mentoring a younger entrepreneur a couple of years out of college, who has a nice idea for a business that he came up with while he was in school and has been pursuing full time since he got out. And we’re very proud of him. But one of the things that we noticed is that there’s really no playbook, this young man does not have a playbook. So he doesn’t really know what his goals are, he doesn’t really know yet where he wants to end up. So, it’s a sort of a hamster wheel for him, which is probably common for a lot of us. We’re sort of on a hamster-wheel of life, doing the best we can every day. And some days, we feel like we make progress. And other days, we feel like we took a couple of steps back. But most days, we feel like we are not quite in control. And that’s probably normal. And at least some of that is okay, and probably something that we all have.
But when we were wrapping up, my friend Jeff, who’s one of my fellow mentors, told our mentee something that really struck me. And he said, every day when I get up, I read my personal vision statement. Every day when I get up, I read my personal vision statement. And then I read my goals. Now in this case, Jeff’s goals were took him out until 2024. So this is 2022 now, so two years out, 2024. And he said, every day I read those goals, and I write down the three things that I need to do today to make progress toward achieving those 2024 goals. And as I listened to him, I thought to myself, wow. Because not only was our mentee the benefactor of that conversation, but I benefited from that conversation too. Because one, I don’t have a personal vision statement. And I thought why don’t I have a personal vision statement? And I couldn’t answer the question. I feel like I should have a personal vision statement. But I don’t. And I never have, but I’m gonna work on that. I’ve got goals, that’s a different thing, so I have goals, I set goals. Every quarter I set annual goals, I set longer-term goals. But this isn’t about sharing my goals with you, but what really struck me listening to Jeff was, especially with his, you know, the three things I need to do to get make progress today towards these goals that I’m going to achieve by 2024, made me think about something I wrote and presented back in 2008 with my friend, Chuck Zamora. So Chuck Zamora had a Think Leadership Program that I was a sort of a guest professor in, I suppose. And in 2008, I wrote these things down and shared them with the people in the group, and when I when I heard Jeff say this, I hadn’t pulled these out in a while — they were in my “important” drawer. But not something that I looked at all the time. But when I heard Jeff say this in our meeting to our mentee, it made me want to pull it back out and read it and then share it with you because this is kind of my vision, I guess, but I don’t have it structured as a vision. I have it more structured as how I want to run my life. So what I will do. So here it is, this is from 2008. I hope you like it.
The first one is, I will be what I want. You hear me talk about my future is my property all the time. Now, that wasn’t something I was thinking as much about in 2008 when I wrote that, but I will be what I want. In other words, I will be what I want to be. That’s number one, that’s number one part of my vision, which means I’m going to (1) need to know what I want to be. And then (2) design a system around myself, my thinking and the people that are around me and everything else. That helps me be what I want to be.
Number two, I will be free. Now I call that “options, not obligations™.” At the time, I didn’t have that. I didn’t have that much freedom. And I didn’t have that phrase. But I will be free meant that no one is going to keep me somewhere where I do not want to be. So wherever I am, I have had the choice to choose. And I have chosen to be there. Now if I don’t like it, you know, shame on me. If I do like it, then Okay, nice choice. But yeah, anyway, number two, I will be free.
Number three, I will grow. I’ve always been about growth, but I have to say that reading this again has really helped me think about am I really every day doing something to grow? I’m not. And I should be, because that’s part of my mission. That’s part of my playbook. So it helped get me straight. Hey Mike, you’ve got to do something every day as evidence that you are committed to growth.
Obstacles will happen, but no one will stop me. So that’s a big one, obstacles will happen, you have to acknowledge that because it’s life, right? And you deal with people, and you deal with things. And there’s a lot of things outside of your control. And that’s what I call the obstacles. Obstacles are things that I cannot control, but I acknowledge that they are there. And I also acknowledge that they may interrupt me on my way to what I want to accomplish, but they will not stop me. Only I can let an obstacle stop me. And I choose not to do that.
Next one, my goals will empower me. So without regular goals, I’m going to lose track of what progress actually means. Like, with the growth thing, I could say, well, sure, yeah, I’m making progress towards growth every day, a 1% improvement some people might call that. But the reality is, if I’m not chasing a goal, or pursuing a goal would be a better way to say it, I’m not empowering myself to manifest that growth. So my goals will empower me.
I will eliminate waste. You’ve heard me talk about waste before, of course, I’ve been in the waste industry most of my life, and I hate waste. But it’s everywhere. Waste is everywhere around us in every facet of what we do. And in order for me to make my playbook and my vision come alive, I need to eliminate waste from my life whenever and wherever I see it and as quickly as I can. And waste is tricky. It can sneak up on you, it kind of comforts you. It makes you think it’s not waste, it wants you to turn a blind eye to it. So you really have to be diligent about what you’re wasting in life, because everything you’re wasting is keeping you from moving forward at a rate that you’re able to move forward.
I will lead and others will want to follow. Maybe that sounds a little egotistical. It did when I read it. But that’s my job. My job is to lead. I need to lead myself and I need to lead the people who can help me achieve what I want. And if I’m not able to do either one of those things, I’m not going to be successful. And I certainly am not going to be, you know, the kind of person who thinks I can do it all on my own because I’ve lived that life. And that was a one-way ticket into the Valley of Uncertainty that I talked about in my book, so I will lead and others will want to follow.
Next one is I will become increasingly valuable to myself and others. See, life is not static. The world is not static, I am not static, opportunities are not static. And if I am not becoming increasingly valuable to people around me, to situations, to myself, to my family, then I am becoming less valuable. If I’m not becoming increasingly valuable, then I’m becoming less valuable, and the world likes to pass by people who are less valuable. And I don’t want to be somebody who gets passed up, I don’t want to be somebody who people walk past. So, it’s my job to make sure that I am learning, I am experiencing, I am meeting, I am challenging myself, and I am growing my capabilities and my capacity all the time.
Next one is, I will learn what I need to know. I will learn what I need to know. So I need to know a lot every day. Things get in my way, because I don’t know about them, I don’t know how to get around them. Fortunately, learning how to get around things and knowing new things is so easy these days, so easy. But still, there are a lot of people who are waiting. And I do this myself, sometimes I wait for somebody to tell me something I don’t know, or I wait for, or I stop because I don’t know something and I’m too lazy. Or I’m too, I don’t know what, set in my ways to figure it out. And you know, proceed between what’s available, you know, on the internet, of course, and what’s available from people you know, from your network. That should never be an impediment, should never be an impediment. So I will learn what I need to know.
I will teach what needs to be taught. That’s a big one. I don’t learn anything that I’m not then willing to share with someone else. The more people who know the more things, the better off it is for me, that’s how I like to approach my life. I know that’s not how everybody likes to approach their life. But that’s how I like to approach my life, then I think you can meet not only learning new stuff, but it keeps me in the company of people who want to continue to learn new stuff. And it’s also a two-way street. So I will teach what needs to be taught and I will learn what needs to be learned from other people.
My life belongs to me. That’s, I don’t know, it seems obvious, right? But does your life belong to you? Think about it. It’s very, very easy to get into a situation where your life does not belong to you. Or at least it doesn’t feel like it belongs to you. And of course, when you feel that way, in most cases, not all, but in most cases, it’s because you’ve invited that into your life, you’ve provided that permission, you’ve given that permission. And to the extent that it’s possible for me, I am not going to do that because my life belongs to me, meaning everything that happens in it, good, bad, indifferent, is something I invited in and I’m responsible for and have a responsibility to learn from, move past, overcome, or figure out a way around. And that is a big responsibility. But I like it. I like it because when I start blaming someone else, it just really ticks me off. And I’m not immune to it. But I just don’t like it. And I also don’t like when I’m not able to fix something. But yeah, my life belongs to me. It is my property. It’s my property, my life.
Two last things. One, my future will be bigger than my past. Sometimes it gets hard or think about it because if you’ve had some success, particularly business success, and you get to, you know, I’m 56 at the moment, which is young, but it’s not 26 And it’s not 36 And it’s not 46. And you look at it and you go, how am I going to keep continuing to create a future for me that’s bigger than my past. And, of course, it doesn’t have to be, you know, a business-related pursuit and it shouldn’t be just a business-related pursuit. And in fact, when you get to be more seasoned, there are a lot of other things that you could do to make your future bigger than your past that have nothing to do with business because you’re fortunate you have resources, you have friends, you have networks that you might not have had when you were younger. But you know, deciding, choosing that my future will always be bigger than my past is an amazing freedom. Because I don’t have to be stuck where I am, I not only can but I am committed to pursuing those things, whatever they might be, that make my future bigger than my past.
And the last one, I have only just begun. And it doesn’t matter when I said I was 56. It doesn’t matter if you’re 56, 46, 86, 96 or six. You have only just begun; today is the beginning of the rest of your life, as they say. So you have just as big of an opportunity to do something today that you had at any point in your life to continue to move forward and make your future bigger than your past. And you know what? That’s what the world wants. I think that’s what your family wants. That’s what your friends want, if you have the right friends, that’s what your business partners and your colleagues and your co-workers. That’s what they all want. They want their futures to be bigger than their paths, and they want to know that they have only just begun.
So Jeff, I thank you for bringing up your vision and your goals yesterday in the mentor meeting, because it really struck a chord with me. And it’s inspired me to not only get introspective with myself, but also pull out these things from my important drawer and share them today with everybody on the podcast.
So thank you for listening. I hope you got some value from today. And until next time, please maximize your greatness.