I've been a keen believer in goal setting since I first learned about it at university. Behind every major goal I've accomplished there has been a plan that includes seven main strategies.
Another word for motivation is perseverance. The more you practice it, the better you get at sticking with something even when it gets uncomfortable and life gets unpredictable.
Do you create goals for yourself? If you don't, you're not alone.
Why People Don't Create Goals
There is a natural tendency to avoid setting goals. As humans we FEAR failure so much that we don’t go after what we most want in life. Yet as humans we are programmed to change and grow. This can leave us stuck in limbo, wanting change yet fearing it at the same time.
Research suggests that less than 3% of people write their goals down even though it is through goal setting that people stop re-creating the past and move toward a more fulfilled future.
If you're tired of re-creating the past and have dreams that you would love to turn into reality, then effective goal setting is your golden ticket.
If you knew you could not fail, what would you dream for yourself?
Imagine if you could believe in yourself enough to know that you could achieve your goal, whatever it is (lose 30 pounds for good, or have a loving relationship, get off medication, or own a second home in your paradise) would you go for it?
It’s exhausting when we spend our life fighting our natural tendency to improve because we fear what that change may bring.
Imagine what you could accomplish if you had enough belief in yourself to move forward despite your fear?
Goal setting helps you create belief in yourself and momentum in your life.
The Power of Goals
Goals are powerful because they provide direction and supervision for your brain. If you don’t give your brain directives it will continue to filter information based on your past and not on where you want to go. The brain likes to maintain the status quo. It’s job is to keep you safe and it interprets change as danger.
Helping people create and implement goal plans is an important part of my coaching. Time and time again I’ve witnessed the power of goal setting in helping people make changes that they never believed could be possible.
HERE'S MY PROCESS
Step 1 - Think Long-term
Look into the far future and ask yourself where you would like to be at that point in your life. Your vision can focus on relationships, health, finances, activities, hobbies - in other words everything and anything you want.
It’s easier for people to think far in the future. A longer time frame feels less threatening because the commitment is not in the immediate future. Go ahead and dream about where you want to be, say 25 or 10 or 5 years from now.
Step 2 - Start With One Goal
You may have a list of goals you would like to achieve, which is great. But the best advice I can give you is to pick one goal to start. Research shows that your success rate is much lower with too many goals at once.
Step 3: Make It Measurable
How much weight do you want to lose and by when?
What size of clothes will you be wearing?
How much money will you make? By when?
Where will you live? When?
Step 4: Write it down
Use a cue card, or anything else you fancy.
Write it in the present, as if it already exists.
This next step is critical. I’m sharing a strategy with you that I call the secret sauce. Very few people know about this and it is a game changer.
Step 5: Jot down all the reasons why it will be hard
Brainstorm what you think your obstacles will be.
What skill set are you missing? What do you need to learn to reach that goal?
Get it all down on paper and don’t omit any idea that comes to your mind.
Keep working through your reasons and eventually you’ll get to the deep stuff, like:
people will laugh at me if I fail
people will judge me
I’m going to have so much anxiety
I’m too busy to take on more
I may lose my friends if I change
WHAT STANDS between you and your goal are your obstacles. People tell you to ignore your obstacles but that is the WRONG advice. Overcome your obstacles.
The purpose of this exercise is to show you that it is your thoughts about the goal and not the actual goal that are limiting you.
Each obstacle then becomes a strategy in your plan.
If one of your obstacles is that you are too busy, then a possible sub goal may be how to organize your life to create more time. Or, another possibility may be what can you remove from your life to create more time?
If one of your obstacles for weight loss is that you don't know what to eat, then a possible sub-goal becomes how to create a food protocol that works for you.
Next, you want to prioritize all your sub-goals and focus on one sub-goal at a time. STEP 6: Get It Done
This is a process that helps you break the long range goal down from 25 years to the current week and day.
The little things you do everyday will bring you to the big goal.
You do it at your pace. If you need to, then extend the time frame of your goal, rather than changing your goal.
STEP 7: Accountability Quitting doesn't get you there faster. Quitting is temporary relief. Instead, think of the lasting, permanent relief you will feel when you accomplish your goal. Accountability is super powerful. Get an accountability partner, like a friend or spouse. It doesn't matter who, as long as that person is truly rooting for your success.
Do you need an accountability partner? Contact me! I'm happy to root for you.