Passion: What the Heck is Mine?
May 31, 2013
Are You Really Listening?
June 19, 2013

Are You Losing Sight of Your Vision?

A Mentor Can Help You Stay Focused on Your Goals

Losing sight of your vision? A mentor can help.Have you ever defined goals, or developed strategies for reaching your goals, but for some reason did not quite achieve them? You may even have followed the simple SMART goal rule — yet you feel something is still missing. Perhaps motivation is lacking due to fatigue from the regular routine of life. Or maybe you are feeling a fear of failure — or even a fear of success. Whatever the reason, why not consider a different strategy — a collaborative one — for achieving those dreams of yours? One that will give you what you really need to get motivated and give you the extra surge of confidence to accomplish each step of your vision?

Perhaps the key to staying focused on your vision and to keeping your goals clearly defined is accountability — to a partner who shares the vision you have for yourself. Why not enlist an accountability partner as part of your overall strategy? This person would be a mentor, a vision keeper to hold you accountable for taking appropriate steps to achieving your goals. The right person or persons can be extremely valuable to your efforts. Depending on the scope of your vision, you may need more than one accountability partner; one who has the insights needed to support your personal goals and another who may be a better fit in supporting your professional goals.

What are the benefits of enlisting an accountability partner/mentor?

  1. Of course, she or he will hold you accountable. For some reason, we feel more responsible to others than we do ourselves. For example, I am more motivated to go to the gym if I agree to meet a friend. Meeting goals is easier when we know someone is going to follow up with us. We are more likely to do what we say we are going to do when we don’t want to disappoint others or waste their time.
  2. She or he can share valuable insights, provide resources for you, share strategies that have worked for her, help you network, make new contacts, etc.
  3. She or he can help you identify why you have previously fallen short of some of your goals. She can make suggestions and help you “course correct” as you proceed. Your mentor can help you recognize when a deadline needs to be moved back or an objective needs to be re-prioritized. This person can give you the extra push you need by offering a few words of encouragement at a critical time. Just talking to someone you feel is actively listening and who understands your challenges will allow you to express your thoughts and feelings more clearly, which will lead to a better defined plan of action.
  4. Your mentor should have the courage to have the difficult conversations with you when required, and shouldn’t be afraid to ask deeper questions or get real with you about your situation. Knowing she or he is doing this out of genuine concern and respect for your vision will help you to acknowledge — and face – certain realities you may have been unwilling or unable to see for yourself. The end result will be that you can alter your direction as necessary and continue to move forward. No more denial and half-hearted efforts!
  5. Your mentor will help you build confidence and trust in yourself because their guidance, and constructive criticism, comes from someone you respect and admire. She or he will coach you along the way, giving you effective feedback and an objective perspective on your unique talents, skills and abilities.
  6. Celebrate! When you have accomplished your goals (short-term and long-term), you have someone to celebrate with you, which makes it all the more rewarding!

Who to ask?

You want to find a reliable person who you aspire to be like…a positive role model. Think of someone who may have accomplished what you are looking to accomplish. This could be a friend, work colleague, counselor, pastor, family member or anyone you feel you can trust to follow up with you. Keep in mind though that sometimes working with a family member can be complicated. Be sure that this person can be objective with you.

Describe what you need

Once you decide on a mentor, describe what you would like from them. Share with them your goal(s) and strategies. Let them know specifically what you want from them. Ask if they would be willing to commit to specific dates for following up with you. If they agree to mentor you, set mutually agreeable dates and stick to it. Always respect your mentor’s time and efforts. Also, keep in mind that this relationship, like any other, will take time to fully develop. Open and honest communication between you and your mentor is critical at all times and is paramount to your mutual success.

Good luck with your search for the mentor who will help you keep your vision alive!!