Thank you for reading this week’s Operation Melt update.
Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives.
I am trying to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.
My amuse bouche for you today is a light “dad joke” to entertain your mind before we get down to business.
Charles Dickens walks into a bar and sits down. The bartender notices that he looks a little down and says to him “Chuck, is everything ok?”
Charles tells him that he is struggling to come up with his next story, he has total writer’s block. Then the bartender says “maybe a drink will take your mind off of it, what’ll ya have?”
Charles says “thanks, I’ll have a martini.”
The bartender asks “olive or twist?”
The rest is history…
Like any other amuse bouche, you may have hated it, but it was worth every penny that you paid for it, right?
Goal Success by Choice
We can choose to be successful with our goals if we make the right daily choices, build the right habits and behaviors and adopt the right mindsets. Goal Success by Choice shares lessons about the choices we can make that can either move us closer to our goals or hold us back. I hope this post helps you get a little closer to crushing your goals.
Over the past five years, I have taken some pretty big leaps into things I didn’t know how to do.
- Losing 100 pounds after a lifetime of obesity
- Starting a blog to share my weight loss story
- Hiring a personal trainer to help me start building serious muscle
- Running my first half marathon
- Writing and publishing a book
- Being interviewed to tell my story to lots of people on a podcast
- Working as a consultant and managing projects in healthcare
- Becoming a coach
The list of firsts and new things goes on and on. I approached each one of these things with a little anxiety because I didn’t know how to do them. I had no experience and didn’t even know where to start.
Or did I?
Never Start Fresh
While it is true that there is a first time for everything, you are never starting fresh. One important secret to success with accomplishing “first-time” goals is that all skills are transferrable skills. It is very unlikely that you will decide to pursue a goal and have zero experience to draw from to get started. Leveraging the related knowledge, skills and experiences that you have had is a great starting point for success.
Here are some examples of the transferrable skills that I was able to draw from for some of my big successes.
Had I ever lost 100 pounds before? Of course not (and I never want to do it again). But I have managed projects and leveraged data to achieve goals before and those were transferrable skills and experiences that could help me be successful. I had self-taught myself many technical concepts, so I could learn the basics of weight loss. I used apps and spreadsheets to manage other things in my life and these came in handy in weight loss.
I had also never written and published a book though I had secretly kind of wanted to do so. I didn’t even know that self-publishing was a thing. What I had done before was written articles and published them on websites and on LinkedIn. I had created a weekly leadership email for my team when I was leading a PMO. I was writing a weekly blog that had captured many of the events along the way. Plus I have been journaling daily for over five years. Each of these experiences has proven that I can create content. I had the story since I had just lived through my transformation. I had also been storytelling in my job for years. I just needed to learn some of the technical aspects and do the work.
Finally, and most recently, I started coaching people. When I started, there was that inner voice, the critic who was telling me that I don’t know what I am doing and I am not good enough. But then I looked at the facts and found my transferrable skills. I had actually been coaching for years but just from a different angle. As a leader and manager, I have provided coaching to fifty or more people over my career and I had been a mentor to at least twenty people, this was definitely coaching. I had also been trained in many different applicable methodologies like StrengthsFinder, the R Factor (E+R=O), Influencer, GE CAP Change Management, Situational Leadership and many other processes that I could draw from to be successful at coaching. Again, I needed some additional technical and foundational knowledge, but I could do this through coach training and certification.
These are three examples of times where I started something completely new to me but was able to be successful by drawing on the transferrable skills that I had. We all have those skills, we just need to tap into them if we want to be successful at doing something for the first time… there is no such thing as starting fresh.
Transfer Those Skills
I am sure that you are convinced that transferrable skills exist and that you have them, but you may be asking yourself how do you get started. I have a four-step approach that I will share with you below.
Step 1: Mindset
This first step is the most important step to getting started with something new. You have to get yourself into the right mindset or you will never get started.
Tell yourself that you’ve got this and that you are going to be successful.
Think back over some of your proudest accomplishments in life and remember how you didn’t know how to get started back then, but you did and were successful. Reflect on how many things you have done over your life and that there have to be some skills that you can draw from to be successful this time. Plus, remind yourself that other people have likely accomplished what you are trying to do, so if they can do it, you can definitely do it.
Step 2: Pause & Plan
Now think about your goal and dig a little deeper. To be successful with this goal, what will be required? What technical knowledge will you need? What does the work of the work look like?
If you pause to break down your goal into its pieces and then identify what is required to accomplish each step you will have a good blueprint for success.
Step 3: Take Stock
Time to look for your transferrable skills. Review the blueprint that you created in step two. For each of the pieces, think about what skills, knowledge or experience you have that might help you get started. Getting started is the most important step.
Do you have project management skills that you can apply? Do you leave leadership skills that might apply?
The list of skills that can be refocused on your goal is probably limitless once you stop and take stock. Figure out what they are and get this show on the road!
Step 4: Do Your Homework
As I described above, while I had transferrable skills that I could use to get started with each of my big goals, I still had some gaps. There was additional knowledge that I needed and new skills that I needed to build. You will likely be in the same position.
Review the blueprint that you created in step two and figure out where you have gaps. Then think about how you have approached knowledge gaps in the past and transfer those skills. Do you like to read books to build knowledge? Are you an internet researcher when you need to learn something? Do you work best in a classroom setting?
Based on how you have been successful in the past, it is time to do your homework and close those skill gaps. But don’t wait to get started until you have all of the pieces you will need. Sometimes perfect will get in the way of good enough and you will never get started.
It is natural to be a little nervous when you are doing something for the first time. Mark Twain said that “the secret to getting ahead is getting started” but the secret to getting started is to remember that you aren’t starting fresh. You have many skills and experiences that are transferrable and can help you succeed in this new space.
Good luck and let’s crush some goals together!
Here are some other resources related to today’s post that you might want to read:
- Blog: Don’t Follow in My Footsteps (10/25/2020)
- Blog: It Can Work If You Do (10/18/2020)
- Blog: Get Into the Game (9/13/2020)
- Blog: Good Enough, Not an Imposter (8/30/2020)
- Blog: Week 99: Telling My Story (5/12/2019)
- Blog: Let’s do this my way (with some help from Lord Kelvin) (6/19/2017)
Did You Like What You Read?
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