At the center of human existence is a craving for freedom. Wars have been fought to preserve freedom. Men and women have shed blood to the point of death. Our desire is to live to our fullest potential. We will go to great lengths to become prosperous. Freedom is sweet and highly valued.

Why, then, does it become so difficult for us to define our goals? The same goals that will usher us into that freedom we so jealously crave? It is because this process will be incomplete without you taking full responsibility for those goals. I have experienced many instances where a mystic fog of terminology and semantics shrouds goal-setting. Decoding the terms and definitions is daunting.

This discouraged me from setting my personal goals. If an organization would spend copious amounts of time, funds and personnel to design their goals, how would I even dream of getting mine done?

Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple.” ~Richard Branson

As I mulled on Branson’s words, it occurred to me that we have over-complicated our lives. We are free to dream, set goals and thrive. But fear of failure obscures our vision. For example, I thought that I did not have enough time to set my goals, act on them and evaluate my progress at the same time.

I wanted a sense of assurance that I would not fail. However, freedom doesn’t guarantee a desired result or outcome all the time. Two practical thoughts resonated in my mind on how to keep it simple and make this my best year ever.

1. Execute – Freedom to breed ideas is good. Giving yourself the freedom to execute them is even greater. Robin Sharma says this, “Ideation without execution is delusion.” The adrenaline rush from bungee jumping is only heightened if the jumping platform and the bungee cord have integrity. Otherwise, the trepidation of the sudden ‘stop’ at the bottom of the jump will overwhelm you.

I therefore chose to develop my goals around four main themes… Business, Personal, Family and Community. Under each, I outlined three main action areas that I must execute for my year to have meaning. After that, I put everything in a timeline. This has yielded more action (doing) and less procrastination (excuses).

2. Connect – You cannot win alone. Connectedness is a necessity for freedom. Even a star athlete needs a coach, that one person who will call out the weaknesses as much as the strengths. Connectedness will provide encouragement, inspiration and new learning. It is real and transformational. Because it is based on a need to serve.

In just one month of making meaningful connections, I can already see very positive results. I had some lingering doubts that serving others will take away from the time I have to earn a living. This is far from the truth. I can already see one part of my personal manifesto coming to life: “My existence will not be driven by money, but in serving my family first, then my community. Riches will follow service and not the other way around.”

Generating ideas is not a problem. Incubation is. Acceleration is.” ~Rita Gunther McGrath

Are you struggling to ‘keep-it-simple’ in your goal-setting? Click here and share what is taking you forward to or holding you from the freedom you need.

photo credit: aokettun via photopin cc

Source: Why To Be Simple Is To Be Free

About Kimunya Mugo

I have worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 15 years. Trained as a scientist (horticulture), I have always loved leadership and communication. However, it was not a direct transition. I was kind of ‘pushed’ into it when my first boss put me in charge of developing my first website back in 1999 (by the way, I had no clue how to do it!). In a month, it was up and running.

My last day job was as Regional Director for Communication & Branding of WWF in eastern and southern Africa. This was by far the toughest position I had ever held. But through it, I learned the most valuable lessons in leadership, working with teams spread over six countries. Before that, I worked in a variety of roles for three other organizations (see full profile).

I have also been a coach of some very critical leaders in society, parents! Since 2007, my wife and I have coached hundreds to become better leaders at home.

I am married to my best friend Harriette since 2004. We have three children and make our home in Nairobi, Kenya.

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