where© Gaye Wilson, 2009

This blog talks about ways to win your victory, but so far it hasn’t talked about what your victory is.

What is your victory?

It is your goal, your desire, your dream, your fantasy. It’s what you want in life. It’s what you want to do or accomplish. It’s your current project. It’s what motivates you to get up in the morning. It’s that thing you’ve always wanted since you were a child.

It’s your reason for being.

Everyone has goals. Everyone has dreams. And everyone has projects. All of them are different, but all have a desired end result.

That’s your victory. Your desired end result.

So what is your desired end result? Do you want to lose weight? Learn a language? Complete a doctorate? Or do you simply want to clean up your garage or start a garden?

In order to win your victory, you first need to know what that victory will look like. How will you recognise it when you achieve it? What exactly is it that you want? What specifically is your desired result?

Once you know that, you also need to know how you will accomplish it. This means thinking about the steps you need to take. Break it down into doable actions. Think the process through, walk through it in your mind, on paper, with others, or using a project management program. Try not to miss any vital steps.

With your list of actions in hand, you can then set about completing those actions.

One last thing. You probably need to put a timeframe on it. I say probably, because not all victories are timebound. You might want to be happy – how does one put a timeframe on that?

So then what? You do it! And when you’ve completed all the tasks on your list of actions, voila! There’s your victory.

tcsbookI discuss plans and action strategies further in my chapter of Top Coaches Share Their Personal Action Strategies. You might like to click on the link and check out the book.

So, what’s your victory, and how do you plan to achieve it?

© Gaye Wilson 2009

There are two dogs in our family, Meri and Gypsy. Both dogs are elderly, and they have totally different personalities. Watching and interacting with them is a joy, and very interesting in terms of not just animal behaviour, but human behaviour as well.

meriMeri is nearly 15 years old. She’s been an outside dog all her life. She has to sniff everything. Food offered by someone other than me must be thoroughly but politely sniffed before she will accept it. She starts to yell for dinner about an hour before it’s time. She sleeps a lot. But her most interesting behaviour is her procrastination.

Gypsy is about 11 years old. She, too, has been an outside dog all her life. She loves to run, and dig, and loves to cuddle. Her biggest achievement is to make everyone who meets her fall in love with her on the spot. She’s an action dog – once she knows what she wants, she does whatever is needed to accomplish it.

Both dogs live outside, but in wet or cold weather they are put into dog crates in the garage to keep them warm and dry. They are, after all, old ladies.

When I come to collect Meri to put her inside, she knows what’s coming and is waiting for me. But she insists that we are going for a walk, and invariably overshoots the doorway into the garage. It’s only with coaxing and pulling that I can get her inside (often when it’s freezing and raining, and I’m getting cold and wet too!). That’s not where her procrastination stops. She must sniff everything in the garage, to avoid going into the crate. When we finally arrive at the crate, she will go past it, or attempt to go backwards, or even, cunningly, ask for a cuddle in order to delay the inevitable. When I can finally get her to put her front paws in the crate, she procrastinates even further by sniffing every inch of the crate before she puts her entire body inside enough for me to close the door. The whole performance is classic procrastinatory avoidance behaviour.

gypsyGypsy, on the other hand, waits impatiently for me to come and get her, then hauls me towards the garage at full speed and makes a beeline for the door. Once the door is cracked open, her nose is immediately stuck in the gap to open the door faster, then she scurries inside, races for the crate, barrels inside, and turns around to grin at me. She’s where she wants to be. Mission accomplished, and in the shortest time possible.

Both dogs know what the end result will be. Both dogs are happy when they finally get there. But one dog will do anything to avoid the end result until it’s impossible to avoid it any longer, and the other goes straight for the goal.

Does this sound familiar?

Which dog are you? The one who will do anything to avoid action that will result in the end goal, or the one that goes for it in the fastest way possible? The first one provides endless frustration amongst everyone around her, but still ends up in the same place in the end. The other is a joy to work with, and accomplishes the goal with speed and focus.

So which one are you?

© Gaye Wilson 2009

Do you spend hours every day watching television?

Are you a fan of reality shows like The Biggest Loser or Hell’s Kitchen or The Great Race?

Do you wish you could be one of the contestants: lose weight, become a chef, travel the world following clues?

If so, you’re wasting time watching other people live their dreams. What about your own dreams? Are you living yours?

Take a look at how you spend your time. A good way to do this is to write down in 15 minute increments everything you do for a day. If you can do it for a week, that would be even better, as it would give you a really good idea of where your time is going.

Once you’ve done your time log, have a look at it. Notice the times when you are not actively doing something – watching television, watching sport, sleeping during the day, eating between meals. What are the activities that are not contributing to the achievement of your dreams? What activities are wasting your valuable time?

I’m not talking about the essential activities of daily life: sleeping, eating, exercise, paid work (you need to sleep, eat and exercise in order to function, and paid work hopefully gives you the financial means to live), quality family and social time. I’m talking about the activities that make you a couch potato, or a watcher – a gunna, not a doer.

Once you’ve analysed your time log, and know what times of day you slacken off, and what you do in those slack times, think about what you could be doing instead: writing a book? getting fit? learning a new language? reading a motivational or business book? Playing with your children? Helping a charitable organisation?

Of course, the biggest thing you should be looking at is: what do you want to do? What are your dreams? Or, more importantly, what are your goals?

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

Dreams are all very well and good. Dreams give you hope. But dreams will remain dreams unless you do something to achieve them. Once you start working towards your dreams, they become goals.

So what is your dream? Are you watching other people live their dreams, instead of working towards yours?

© Gaye Wilson 2009
I just finished reading one of the most appalling stories I have ever read: Carolyn Jessop’s tale of escape from a polygamous religious sect in the USA. It’s called Escape and it is a chilling account of rape, physical and mental abuse, child molestation and repression that is happening right now.

After seventeen years as a plural wife in horrible circumstances, Carolyn Jessop managed to escape the community with her eight children. She fought to gain custody of them against the considerable financial and other power of her husband and the cult in which he was a highstanding member.

How does this relate to All Paths To Victory? Heaps.

In order to escape from an intolerable situation, Carolyn Jessop did a number of things, all of which were essential to her success.

She made the decision to leave the cult.
When things became too intolerable to bear, and she was in constant fear for the safety of herself and her children, she made the monumental and scary decision to get out.

She prepared herself for action.
Although she owned nothing in her name, she managed to save medications for her handicapped son, and prepared herself as much as possible mentally for the action required.

She took action.
When the time came, when circumstances were the best they would ever be, she took action, and secretly bundled her eight children into a van and drove away, despite the protests of some of the children.

She enlisted help.
Her sister and brother had already left the community, and she asked them for help, which they gave. She also asked for help from politicians, once she was out of the community.

She fought for what she believed in.
She fought for the custody of her children. She fought her eldest daughter who was so brainwashed that she returned to the cult when she became a legal adult. She spoke out against the cult and its manipulative and abusive members, and was heard.

She followed through.
She’s now a member of an organisation that is dedicated to assisting members of religious cults who have been abused. In other words, she not only worked for and obtained her own victory, but is also helping others with theirs.

I salute you, Carolyn Jessop.

Go here to read the book.

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