Goal Setting For The Future
In this blog post Brendan Chaplin aims to simplify the process of goal setting by exploring a few key principles of Goal setting that he has picked up on the way. Brendan also asks the question ‘what will you do this year to make sure you are setting positive goals that are right for you?’
Now, I’m not going to try to mystify goal setting into a magical art form – its easy to do. It is however also easy to do badly and to get it very wrong, leaving yourself with little chance of achieving your vision, being left with the disappointment of lots of hard work for little, or worse, no fruition.
My plan is to help simplify this process, to give you a few key Goal setting principles that I’ve picked up on the way which I used last year to achieve beyond my initial goals, something that I’ll strive to do again for the next year.
What Do I Want?
This is the key that you really have to answer first – obvious really, but I’ve rarely ever met anyone that really identifies exactly where they want to be going forward. It’s very hard to have the smoothest possible journey if you only know roughly where you might want to go, you’ll need the specifics!
Why do many of us list a few goals and wonder why things don’t work out?
It’s proven that you’ll be more likely to be successful in achieving goals when they are positively stated, so try to re-phrase these; an example would be to change ‘Drink less alcohol’ for someone who drinks every day, you could change this to ‘I will have at least 5 alcohol free days a week, all year during the next year’ – this goal is positive and specific and gives clear direction of what it will take to meet the goal or break it.
Make sure your goals have substance
Part of this is today’s lazy western culture of the ‘instant generation’, who want things now, without wanting to put much effort in!
As people have become more aware of goal setting and making things specific and measurable, this is often lost by setting goals which are too simple, which won’t do much to improve your lives and will certainly give very little satisfaction once achieved. The journey to achieving your goals is where you will learn and grow the most as a person, including the mistakes and the wrong turns.
I really like to have a crystal clear vision of my future, then try to identify the components of this and what I can commit to do, to move towards this vision.
It’s important to understand this whole vision, like you are glimpsing into the future, having traveled forward with your De Lorean time machine (I’m an 80’s baby). This involves more than just fitness and career goals – you need to consider all the things in this ideal future life, so that you don’t neglect and leave out things that are important to you.
Once you have this vision, check that you have balance, as this is important when trying to move towards your goals in a sustainable way both physically and mentally.
The 4 areas to consider are:
The ‘Pray’ part doesn’t have to mean in the religious worship sense, if this isn’t your thing, it can mean anything that is reflective time for you to review things and your direction, as you’ll often go off track ,and your goals will move and change and plans will need interventions from time to time. Therefore, ‘Pray’ can be relaxation, meditation, general time to contemplate. The others should be fairly obvious!
Sharing your goals with individuals is a fantastic way to bind you into seeing them through – its human nature to be more likely to stay loyal to your plans if you are accountable to others.
It’s not that scary – there is no ultimatum, just a choice – to either do something, or not. A, or B.
It may be that you check in with your Goal Auditor in Feb and you didn’t quite hit an agreed action, you to promise to complete this by the next month and make up for it with starting another action.
Make things easy to measure and monitor
Final thing I’d like to speak about is making it easy to meet your goals.
A quick and usable example of this is for one of my small sub-goals for my own training. I do not drink enough water – I know I should – I’ve had time where I did drink more, and felt better for it, so it should be a no-brainer and simple to adopt, but it still isn’t!
One thing that helped a friend was to make it simple to track it.
They take their drinking/gym bottle with them whether at work or wherever.
The goal is to drink 5 bottles or water per day. They have 5 elastic bands wrapped around the bottle – after each empty bottle and refill they remove a band! Simple way to monitor intake and ensure targets are met, without having to think too hard or over complicate things!
What will you do to make sure you are setting positive goals that are right for you?
Struggling to set goals and kick start your future? We can help you map out your goals, build an action plan and improve your business mindset. For a free coaching call, click here