Okay this blog needs a caveat. This blog is longer than normal. I try to limit myself to about 800 words, but well, the words just kept flowing out of me – they needed to be written. So if you’re up for a little longer read, go get yourself a cuppa then come back and read my latest blog. (In all honesty it’s only about 1600 words, I haven’t written war and Peace –yet).
How often do you write out your goals? How often do you review your goals? You do celebrate your achievements? How do you feel if you haven’t achieved them? Do you just beat yourself up, or take a good long look at why you didn’t achieve them?
Nosey aren’t I? But hey, that’s my job.
I have to be brutally honest with you, in my past I have been rather lacklustre in writing out my goals, or really even thinking of them. I was a ‘float along” kinda girl. You know, the type of person who hires a lilo at the waterpark, hops on it and just lays there letting it take her wherever. Sometimes going with the current, oftentimes hitting the walls along the way.
I distinctly remember lying in bed one night with my new hubby – hang on that doesn’t sound right – he was only new because we hadn’t long been married, not because I’d upgraded to a new model. Anyway, we were lying in bed and I said (and I distinctly remember this to this day), I said “I wonder where we’ll be in five years”.
I wonder where we’ll be??
If I didn’t know when I asked that question, I would never know. And you know what? Five years later we were still in the same place as we had been when I’d laid there and asked it. How on earth was I supposed to be anywhere different if I hadn’t set a plan in motion to be somewhere?
It took a few good years, and a long hard look at myself when I realised I was living out Einstein’s quote (okay I paraphrased it). If you keep doing the same thing over and over how do you expect different results? Insane!
So that’s when I decided enough is enough. Stop coasting along, start planning, and head in the direction you want to go. Not where everyone/everything/life is taking you.
And that’s when things started to change.
I set my eye on a promotion, set the plan in motion, worked at it, and Voila! I was the youngest appointed bank manager to have been appointed by my employer at the time.
When I’d had enough of that, I put another large goal in front of me. And voila! I was working part-time and spending more time with my children, and we weren’t suffering financially. We planned.
I set a huge goal for myself of changing the world, even if was only one person at a time. Voila! I am a certified Inspired Spirit Coach and am helping transform people’s lives, one at a time. I’m on my to world change!
I could go on and on, but that would bore you. And I’m not here to brag, merely tell you that setting goals will get you where you want to be.
Well not just setting them – you do have to take action as well.
But a goal is the first place to start.
Now there is some school of thought that advises to write your goals out every day. This works for some, it keeps them focused and motivated. But for others it’s not so good. Writing your goals should be fun and exciting, not a chore – and you know how we all hate chores and avoid them like the plague. So maybe for you, try once a week for writing them. But review them as often as you can.
Start with a long range goal – a big one, which is a stretch for you. You want to look at it and think “how am I going to pull this one off”? You do not want to look at it and say “I’m never gonna bloody do that”. It’s off putting and demotivating.
What’s that saying by Norman Vincent Peale? “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”. The stars aren’t a bad place to be.
So set yourself a great goal that seems ALMOST unattainable, but not impossible. I’m sorry, you’re a way off walking on the moon, but hey you could be in Richard Branson’s rocket and fly in the orbit – in the stars!
So anyway, set yourself a goal, look at the time frame – have you set it for three months, six or twelve months? Then break it down into more manageable pieces.
Okay so you’ve decided Christmas next year, stuff the relatives I’m going to see snow for Christmas (or for those of you that have to normally endure snow – you’re going to the warmer climate and eating seafood on the beach Christmas day).
Now for some of you that could be easy peasy, whip out the check book and off we go. But for a lot of us we have to have meticulous planning involved. So this is where goal setting comes into its own.
As I said, set your big whopper of a goal. Now look at it, and break it into smaller goals. One big goal – twelve months. The next goal is set for nine months. The next one six months. The next one three months. The next one two months. The next one, one month. The next one is for next week. Get my drift?
Set yourself smaller, bite sized goals that will get you right on the doorstop of your big ol’ whopper.
Keep reviewing those goals, and when you achieve each one, tick it off your list and reward yourself. It might just be a happy dance, it could be a night off from cooking, or it could be a piece of chocolate and a glass of wine. Something, to let you know you’ve done well, and should be proud of yourself. Because if you just go “Oh that was good” and let it pass, you haven’t given it the honour it, and you, deserve!! And it really helps you start working on the next goal.
Something that really helps, is to share your goals with someone. Someone you trust. You don’t want to pour out your greatest desire to someone who’ll go “that’s nice dear’ or “what do you want to that for?” You want someone who will support you, and help drag you on your way if you really need it. It could be a loved one, it could be a friend (ok, they’re still loved ones, or they should be) or it could be a coach. You need someone to help keep you accountable. Because, be honest with yourself – over the years, if you’ve set yourself a big task and only had yourself to rely on, how many have you completed. Possibly many, but all of them? Honestly? (If you have, you’ve probably stopped reading by now).
I have a coach, and probably always will – coaches are worth their weight in gold. (Yes, coaches do have coaches – we know the value of them). Coaches hold you accountable, and will always question – firmly, but nicely and supportively of course.
I would like to share with you something that I do in my household. We sit and all eat together at least three times a week – hey, stop the judgement. My ‘children’ are grown adults (yeah, yeah, they still live at home, but I love it and that’s a whole other story) and we are not all in the same place at the same time every night of the week – there’s sport, Uni, and of course socialising. But anyway, we have set one night each week to sit and discuss our goals.
There’s me in my official mode – book and pen in hand, and the rest of the family ready with their success (or rehearsing their explanations). We’ve all set a big six month goal, and weekly goals as well. So we talk about the goal, was it achieved, and why not if it wasn’t. There’s no beat up session, but a concerted effort to make sure it’s achieved by the following week. We all congratulate each other on our achievements and raise our glasses (of water) and then set a new goal for the following week. Then we all sit around the dinner table discussing stuff (not just our goals) for a good couple of hours. It is great. We look forward to it, and it brings us closer together. (On the other nights that we all eat together, even though it’s not the set time to discuss and review our goals, they often come up and we all help each other with ideas. It’s a great ‘bonding’ experience)
So set some goals and grab someone to be on your side and keep you accountable (even if you dine alone).
Go grab those brochures.
Then go open that savings account.
Then go visit that travel agent.
Tick off all those goals, and get yourself to the snow next year (or the surf)!
Goal setting is how you get what you want, when you want it.
A very wise man, Lao Tzu (a Chinese Philosopher), once said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
That first step is setting your goals in place.
Start Kicking Up Your Heels,