I thought that I would begin to do a blog this year. I plan to do one weekly and will cover topics that are on my mind or that I think may be helpful.
I am happy to hear from anyone with questions or areas that they would like discussed here.
So, lets kick this off with Goals…
Why bother setting goals?
As we begin a new year, and please let it be less dramatic and frightening than 2020, we are in the time when our new years resolutions are under threat, even within the first ten days! As each year passes, we set fewer goals and often with diminishing conviction.
Sometimes the goals can feel limiting or restrictive. We can be afraid, or worse, resigned to their failure before we have even committed to them. Free thinkers can feel like it is more their style to ‘just go with it’. Ultimately blaming circumstances or even their luck when there is no sense of progress or success in their lives.
Goals are an easy and amazing way to have a destination, either physical, emotional, psychological, or aspirational (or a bit of all the above and some others too!) Knowing what you WANT (destination) gives you the direction, how to navigate there, is the plan. Deciding what you want ‘More of’ or ‘Less of’, in your life is the initial step, then working out how you are going to achieve it. When you ask yourself, ‘What do I want from this year?’, what is the first answer that comes to you? Write it down, evaluate it later and decide if it is a goal you want to set for yourself.
What are the advantages to setting yourself goals?
By setting yourself a goal, you ‘take the wheel’. Rather than being taken with the wind and currents of life you navigate to the destination of your choice.
Having a goal enables you to keep on course, to understand your progress, successes, and challenges and, most importantly, make course corrections at the right time.
Achieving a goal, you set for yourself is a great way to build your confidence and self-esteem.
When carefully chosen and reviewed, your goals become achievable and your success is assured. Even those rash new years resolutions are based on a want, though these are rarely thought out enough or are simply unachievable (I want to be 6’2” (currently 5’7”) I could reframe the goal to ‘I want to be happy with my current height and body shape).
Practice by setting short term goals first and build confidence and success with each winning outcome and learn from challenges how to do it differently and better next time.
If you do not steer you own ship, you become a passenger with someone else’s course and agenda. Is that what you want, are you really OK with this?
What is stopping you setting goals for yourself?
It is interesting that we often feel resistance around setting goals. There can be many reasons for this, based in past experiences, negative self-talk or missing important steps:
WHY is the goal important to you?
Scale it from 1 (being unimportant) to 10 (most important). Where is your threshold that ensures that it is enough to get you to your goal, even when the going gets tough? Is it 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10?
What is your motivation for this goal?
How important is it to you?
Why do you want this, what will you gain, what will it mean to you?
Put your Goal and Plan in writing!!! This is so important as it makes it real, you commit your goal to paper (or whatever format you can look at regularly) and you commit yourself to YOUR goal.
Depending on the goal, how often you look at it deepens your conviction to the goal and of course, to yourself. But Look at it Regularly (daily or weekly).
Previous goals set were not followed through, Failure, regret, lack of understanding or knowledge, not Owning the Goal.
Let this go, you have more information now and greater understanding. Do Not let your past prevent your progress from Today.
Setting Unrealistic goals or goal parameters (time, resources, achievability etc)
This is the navigation part that comes from the planning stage.
Review regularly where you are on your ‘road to success’. Do you need to adapt, amend, or reroute, to stay on course? This is how you will succeed and is to be expected.
You need to change your behaviours and beliefs around yourself to make changes in your life, this is what goals are all about. To quote Henry Ford, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.’
Challenging your limits and understanding that this is sometimes difficult is worth the effort and you will reap the rewards.
Celebrate your successes as they happen. This motivates you and allows you to feel your achievements. This takes you to the next step of that particular goal.
Make a note of the achievement on your goal, write ‘SUCCESS’ on your goal plan.
Use a Model for setting your goal. There are plenty of examples and you will likely have encountered more than one already. You may have been told to use them at work and possibly dismissed them. For your own goal setting give them another try, they really help make it achievable (or at least give you a sense of what it will take to succeed).
SMART;- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed
GROW;- Goal, Reality, Options, Way
Just as ‘Hope is not a strategy’, ‘shoulds’ or ‘oughts’, are not viable elements to goals.
If your goal contains ‘shoulds or oughts’, are you committed to the goal, are you clear what your goal is (are you being specific enough)?
Is it something you want for you, or for someone else (partner, boss, family, friend)?
Will the goals restrict you, feel rigid or limiting?
As previously discussed, the answer to this is no! You always have the power to change your goal or adapt it or even abandon it. Whatever you do, you are at the wheel, you are making the decisions and you are responsible.
Nothing is set in stone. As you develop yourself, your needs and wants may change too. If a course change is required, take it. Just have a new destination set as soon as you are able. Drifting for too long is not an option.
Goals are a destination, a direction, an aspiration or whatever you set for yourself. They do not have to be too big or momentous, nor physically or geographically based. They can be about self-awareness, ideals, truths, relationships, discovery, release, love, ideology… well, you get the picture.
Goals can be about personal life or career or family. Separating the areas of your life and setting specific goals in these areas can enable you to see if you have any imbalances. Become aware of your value to yourself and to others.
Your goals are YOUR goals. This is not an appraisal, or review from others. You can run your thoughts by someone you trust if you choose, but whatever they say, good or not, they need to be YOUR goals. You need to ‘own’ them, want them and to ‘invest’ in them. Remain at the wheel!
Plan, Do, Review, Adapt, Repeat
Begin to implement the plan, just do it. The best plans in the world are only effective when they are carried out! I know that this seems obvious, but this is a critical stage to transition into the action stage of the goal.
You may have added review as part of your plan, if not, do it now. Set a regular interval to check your progress against your plan. What you do know now that you need to incorporate into your plans and actions going forward?
Keep repeating this pattern until you have achieved your goal. You can only accept the achievement of your goal as an outcome. This is a promise that you are making to yourself and this is your commitment to you.
Why not set yourself goals that are fun, enabling, and motivational? You can have health goals around weight, fitness, activity or whatever, add fun and add rewards. You can have career goals, pay, promotion, training or a complete change of role or employer!
If there is something that is stopping you, get support from family, loved ones, friends or a professional coach / counsellor.
Let THIS year be YOUR year, take hold of the wheel and steer a course that YOU choose.
Individual and Group coaching courses are available from February 1st via Zoom. All details and Costs are on the booking page at www.chorleytherapy.com/book-online Places on the group course are limited.