The Jungle Zip-Line: A Fresh Look At Goal Setting

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jan 24, 2013 in Executive Coaching |

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It’s that time of year again!

Are you ready to set goals for 2013? I have always looked forward to goal setting. It keeps me focused and moving forward in a positive manner on a definite path. This year, however, I have a new thought about my goal setting thanks to Janet Sernack, CEO of ImagineNation.

I found Janet in my end-of-year quest to catch up on CEU’s in order to renew my ICF credential. It was quite by chance, in fact. Janet was one of the only people offering a class with a good number of credits to help me catch up; so I registered. The last thing I could have thought as I pushed send on the form was how much of an impact Janet would have on how I viewed things.

Have you ever been to a large park or resort that offered zip-line rides? Have you ever taken advantage of the thrilling recreational activity? A zip-line, “also known as a death slide, flying fox, zip wire, aerial runway, or aerial ropeslide” is a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline. After you are strapped to the cable and pulley (with a helmet – safety first!), you step from the high platform to be propelled to the bottom of the inclined cable by gravity. It is often used as a form of entertainment, but it can also be a functional means of accessing remote areas, such as a rainforest canopy. The jungle, with its mountains and high trees, is a popular destination for zip line enthusiasts. The anticipation of the adrenaline rush as you climb to the top platform and connect to the line, the breath you hold in as you step from your solid perch to fly over tree tops with the loud whirring of the pulley in your ears, the only thing connecting you to the line keeping you from plummeting to the forest floor below, knowing all along you will arrive safely to the platform on other side.

Do you watch as other riders fly down the incline? Some people are holding tightly onto the line that dangles them from the cable with their eyes clenched shut, and others are laughing with joy. Many people put their arms up in the air to feel the full thrill of the ride. Which are you? Are you holding onto things because it’s the pattern you are accustomed to or will you throw your hands in the air and see if the safety harness really works?

This brings me to my goal setting. Many of us have learned the art of SMART goal setting and in fact I wrote about it earlier this year. I enrolled in Janet’s program because I needed CEU’s and was intrigued by the name she created, ImagineNation, which is telltale to Janet’s focus on creating innovative thinking. By letting go of ideas I hold on to as truths, I can open up space for new ideas that I never before imagined. Janet challenges me when I tell her why something is the way it is, “What if you let go of that?  What if you put your hands up instead of holding on?”

Instead of my goals being entirely about what I am going to accomplish this year, I am going to challenge myself to let go of something that I am holding onto. An idea, a predisposition that something is the way it is because that’s just reality, is really not true. It’s my reality because I believe it, but maybe there is a new even better reality out there that I haven’t discovered because I am so engrained in my truths.

My goals will still be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely), but for the first time, they will also be about something I am NOT going to do instead of a milestone to hit. Which is a milestone in itself, right?

Think about what you can let go of this year…and enjoy your goal setting!

You can connect with Janet via LinkedIn at http://il.linkedin.com/in/janetsernack

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