Preferred Futuring is a powerful way to create the future you desire instead of getting stuck with the one you “end up with.”
Step 1 in any Preferred Futuring activity is a “Look Back,” a review of what you’ve accomplished in the preceding period. There are three categories I use to assess accomplishments. These come from my mentor’s mentor, Ron Lippitt and answer the questions:
- What am I glad about?
- What am I sad about?
- What am I mad about?
- Be honest with yourself. “Looking good” by not completely filling in the table with “Sads” and “Mads” isn’t helpful.
- Be as specific as possible. “Felt glad about growing the business” is not as helpful as “Felt glad about growing the business through using my new contact management system every day.”
- You can create separate preferred futures for your personal and professional lives. It worked best for me to combine them.
So how to you get to goals in the planning? First identify the different “hats” or roles you play in your life. Here are mine for this quarter
- Life Partner
- Business Manager
- Thought Leader
- Family Member
You’ll also need to choose the length of time for your goal setting. Most goal setting is set for one year. Sometimes that’s the right amount of time. Sometimes not. See what feels right for you. After you’ve identified the critical “hats” or roles, brainstorm what you see, hear and feel that will tell you you’ve been successful in each role. Be as specific as possible. “Made progress” is much too vague. “Earn 10% increase in revenues compared to the same timeframe a year ago.” Good item. Now create a goal or statement of your preferred future that captures both the spirit and the tangible items from your lists. The statement should be written as a result that you’ve achieved, not an activity in which you’re engaged. Bad = Setting time aside each week to call prospective customers. Good = Establish myself as one of the top 5 people in the company in landing new customers.
So that’s it. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. It’s smart to gather feedback from valued stakeholders on the preferred future you are creating. It’s also helpful to check your actions and accomplishments against your goals every now and then. I read over mine nearly every day. Do it once a week at a minimum. Make it a habit to do this checking and you’ll move further, faster toward achieving your preferred future. Develop your preferred future. Live it. Achieve it. Now!
Life Partner: Continue growing into the best kind of partner I can be – honest, fun, and caring
- Making dinner together
- Sitting and reading in front of fire
- Comforted and comforting through life’s ups and downs
- Warm and caring welcome home at the end of the day
- Having and hanging in through difficult conversations; Being noticed and acknowledged
Self – To be healthy, fit and comfortable in my clothes and social life.
- Read three books – any type
- Take good advantage of the time I have available that is free time
- Really good in my space in the home; culled clothes after weight loss
- Good in my clothes
- Fun times with friends – 6 ventures forth
Business Manager: To be doing business in ways that reflect the kind of consultant I want to be
- Weekly plan filled in on Sunday using planning template; continual tracking of prospects
- $X on the books June 30
- $Y in first six months
- On top of pipeline with at least 50 names/leads on it in various stages of development using new software
- Making good use of new Virtual Assistant to support me in doing higher value work
- My being able to clearly articulate my evolving focus based on my ten-year vision
Thought Leader: Leverage my enhanced visibility professionally in ways that lead to increased business
- 3 newsletters sent
- Requested to write for two publications
- Smart and sought after for my contributions
- Proud of the quality of the writing I have produced
- Feedback from reviewers and publishers about high quality of writing
- Emails back from 20 people per newsletter with whom I can reconnect
Family Member: Be a pro-active creator of goodness in our family
- Out to dinner at least 2x/month with Mom and Dad
- Text/talk to Julie 1x/week
- Find 3 significant ways to help Mark and Collette