Goal setting – create your best year yet
If you are like most adults, you will have sets targets, objectives or goals in one or more areas of life in your lifetime.
It’s clear that many people set a mental intention to do more for their business, career or personal life, and setting goals, especially when the New Year is around the corner, is one way they’ve discovered of how to go about things. They really do want to create magic for their lives – perhaps you do too.
Of those that set goals, however, did you know that only 8% of adults actually stick to them!
This is interesting, and there can be several reasons for it. If you’re more interested in how to stick to goals, skip this bit and go to how to stick to goals – your first 10 simple steps (plus more) below but, if it might help you, here are a few reasons why you may not have mastered reaching your goals in one or more areas:
- family commitments taking you away
- lack of structure or routine
- poor time management
- fear of failure
- lack of confidence/self-doubt
- poor resources
- loss of focus
- reliance on others
- ill health
- give up mentality
We are human and things do crop up and creep in. What we have to consider is whether we are allowing these in willingly – whether we distract purposely or whether they are genuine issues to take us away from our goals.
I would add that you must be mindful of your own values and priorities because what you want is not what another wants. Your own values will play a part in determining, for example, your time frame for achieving major goals. Someone may wish to lose 10kg within six months and another is happy to do it over two years because that is realistic for her.
As I mentioned, when we set any goal, we have the best of intention at that moment. Trouble may kick in however when we forget the intention. It seems to just slip away – just think of the thousands who have a new gym membership in January...
In my experience of working with clients, setting the goal mentally, by saying it out loud or writing it down, is the easy part. There’s every intention to stick to it, I know. I know because I too have been there. We are all human after all.
10 simple steps to stick to your goals
Every week I’m asked to help people with their 'stickability' towards goals. Here’s what you can ask yourselves: “If I stick to my goals, what else will it lead to in relation to the life or work I desire?”
If the stats are correct, it suggests that stickability is hard, but rather than focus on that, re-focus on what you can do. You have to start thinking, “I can achieve my goals”. That has to become the mantra. In time, it’ll be second nature.
So, here are 10 steps to get you going. When you first do this on your own, in order to get the most from it, I suggest you clear your mind and take an initial hour at least (to be very thorough, 30 minutes on each area of your life).
1. Set your goals in your mind for every area of your life including taking time to review on goals (you could use a wheel of life or work or just a list to initiate this).
2. Write the goals out in as much detail as you can muster.
3. Pause. Where is your mindset at in relation to each area? Honestly.
4. Consider: How important is each to you (why does it matter)? Honestly (out of 10).
5. Consider: How committed are you to each area? Honestly (out of 10).
6. Consider: What’s the reality, here and now, around you wanting to achieve the goal(s)?
7. Promise yourself to stop thinking about what hasn’t or what won’t work (catch the negativity) and to transition to acceptance and forward action nevertheless.
8. Consider: What will each goal achieve for you/what’s the benefit?
9. Consider: How will you feel when you have achieved it? Pause.
10. Consider: What’s your next action in relation to the goal(s)? Put a structure around it (i.e. how will I make this happen, e.g. a phone call, a visit, a podcast etc).
Initially, this may seem like more work, but it’s like a goal itself and, with practice, it will become second nature so you don’t necessarily have to take so long on each goal. Why not make 'goal review' a monthly goal?
I also recommend that you aim to align your daily and weekly small actions to the bigger goals, understand mindfully the importance of the small steps in the bigger game of life.
And, in order to help you to sustain your action, you could try:
a) A supportive group of people – family, friends, this group, other experienced professional groups, a mentor or a coach, a personal trainer etc.
b) Writing in a journal for self-accountability and gratitude or a 'to-do' list for the month on a wall chart that you can cross things off.
c) Ensuring there is a balance – don’t overdo it. Balance gives you perspective to make better decisions. Give yourself a reward.
Remember, things will creep in to take you away from your desired outcomes; allow yourself to accept this but with the knowledge that you can then move on from that to re-focus on what you want.
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About Anita Gohil-Thorp
I'm Anita and I have a passion for people - for their lives and work experiences to be the best possible. People come to me to make a difference in their lives. I show them how they can transform their mind-set, path and energy for immense growth and wellness through effective coaching and other tools. I'd love to work with you.… Read more
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