If 2020 taught us anything- it’s that plans change and there’s a whole lot that lies outside of our control.
But the truth is as human beings we need a sense of purpose and direction- it’s not in our nature to just drift.
If we don’t set goals we’ll end up SOMEWHERE but it may not be where we want to be!
We’re living through bleak times and we need hope that things will get better.
15th January is the date at which most people have ditched their new year’s resolutions. We then beat ourselves up for our lack of will power but actually this isn’t fair because we’re trying to make changes at a difficult time of year, often without setting ourselves up for success.
When I work with clients on goal setting there are a number of areas we look at to ensure that they are set up for success. These include:
Creating a compelling vision. It’s true that what the mind can conceive, it can achieve. By mentally rehearsing what we want to happen we are much more likely to achieve it as when we visualise we create new neural pathways in the brain.
Check this aligns with your values. So often we follow a trajectory according to what other people expect of us. It’s rare that we stop and consider what we really want. And the exciting part is when we get clear on our values and align our goals to them we will take action!
Get serious about motivation. We are all motivated in different ways. In some contexts we move away from pain and in others we may move towards pleasure. Some of us will be motivated by praise, recognition or money and others more internally driven. When we understand what motivates us and how to get motivated, it becomes much easier to commit to action.
Structure. In coaching we get granular on the whats, the whens, the timings. This helps to eliminate any wriggle room- as I say to my clients- Discipline trumps willpower every time.
Accountability. We will do for others things we won’t always do for ourselves. When we have accountability we have a reason to show up and someone to answer to. We might be tempted to make excuses to ourselves but we will take action when we have committed to our coach or accountability buddy!
So you want things to be different but you’re not sure where to start?
> Instead of setting goals this year consider choosing a focus for each quarter of the year. I have set goals for my business but in my personal life I have chosen an area of focus which might otherwise be neglected: finance; family; marriage and faith. This feels less daunting and more do-able. There are no concrete expectations but I know that when I give these aspects my focus, they will improve.
> Choose a word. Find a word that will encapsulate your intentions for the year. How do you want to feel? Having just one word makes it easy to remember and allows you flexibility. Words I have chosen in the past include: love, calm, transformation, focus and intentional. Just keeping my focus on this key word has helped me choose where to direct my time and energy.
> Create a vision. There are different ways to do this. One is to create a mental picture in your head: taking yourself forward in time six months or a year, imagine everything is exactly as you would like it to be- what do you see? What are your hearing? How does that feel?
> Break it down- maybe now isn’t the right time for a detailed 10 year plan? If you are struggling to see what lies ahead, perhaps just look ahead to the first quarter- where do you want to be and how do you want to feel by the end of March?
Sarah Bramall is a qualified Transformation Coach, Accredited DISC Practitioner and NLP practitioner. She has a free FB community, The Transformation Hub and a private membership The Transformation Academy in which she offers coaching and teaching to professional women and business owners.