I want you to think of a goal you have, or that your boss has given you, or that you think you should do, which you are stuck on. Just pick one. Are you thinking “this is impossible”, “I don’t know how to get started”, “I’ve never done this before”, “I already have so many other things to do”, “I don’t know if I want to do this”, “I’ll get it started tomorrow”? Lets get you un-stuck. Do you have a goal in mind? Great!

First: I want you to close your eyes and imagine yourself in the future. Think of who you are when you have completely succeeded in achieving the goal. What will it be like? How you will feel? What does that successful result look like? Go there in your mind and let it sink in.

Go ahead and enjoy that moment for a minute.

An IT goal, might look something like this. Success!  You and the team implemented a new product.  It’s in production.  Employees know how to use it.  It aligns with the company standards.  It is a good design.  The quality is good.  The people who use it are happy.   Employees are happy.  Developers are happy.  It’s easy to maintain.  GO YOU!

Next, have a conversation with your future self.  Ask her, “When you were in my shoes, what did you do first?”  Your future self will give your current self some great advice.

Then keep asking good questions.  Here are some you can borrow if you want.

  • How did you decide what you wanted to do?
  • How  did you make  it a good design?
  • How do you know it’s good?
  • How did you make sure the team understood the goal?
  • How did you ensure good quality?
  • Did you make sure it meets the customers needs? How?
  • How did you find out about the customers needs?
  • What got in your way? What else got in your way?
  • How did you solve it?
  • What do you wish you had known when you were in my shoes?

Through this exercise you will identify many obstacles that might come up, and you will also come up with the strategies you can apply to get past the obstacles in your way. Definitely write them down.

Every strategy will be associated with a key outcome you want to achieve.

Every barrier you think of (and you will think of them) – will be a problem to solve – will turn into a strategy to solve it – becomes an action on a plan – results in an outcome you achieve.

Next identify the one thing you know you can do as a next step that will move you towards the goal. Plan out the actions and put them in the order that you will do them. Then schedule each activity on your calendar at a specific day and time. Then when that time comes, go ahead and do it.

If you do this, then it will move you past stuck. Your successful future self knows you can do this and will gently guide you past “this is impossible”, “I don’t know how to get started”, “I’ve never done this before”, “I already have so many other things to do”, “I don’t know if I want to do this”, “I’ll get it started tomorrow”.

Let me know how it goes.

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