Updated: Sep 8, 2021
We all do it, set goals and then we fall off the band wagon. Why is it that we haven't learnt how to set sustainable goals that will actually allow us to achieve them or at least change the way that we look at goals so that we don't beat ourselves up when they are not achieved? As a life coach I see this all the time and love supporting my clients through major changes in their lives where setting sustainable goals is vital to their growth. Let's take a deeper look into the thinking behind goal setting to give us a greater understanding about why we may not be achieving our goals so that we can change our strategies accordingly. For this we have to take a step back to identify our environment. I am not talking about trees and landscapes. I am talking about our own personal environment. What are the beliefs that we have around a particular issue? What are the beliefs we have about ourselves that will allow us to achieve it? We also need to look at the standards we have for ourselves. For example there is no point in saying you will go to the gym every day if you don't feed yourself well.. It is also vital to dive into what kind of outcome you want so that you have a solid picture in your mind. A great vision and gives clarity to any situation. This is also the time to ask yourself what attitude or mindset you need to have to achieve your goal and is it inline with your values?....... And lastly, the major questions to ask yourself here are " For what purpose do I want to achieve this goal? " and "What will this give me?" Once these fundamental questions have been answered then you have a more realistic helicopter view over your goal.
"This is stage 2 of setting a sustainable goal. Many people jump strait to implementation and don't do any work to set themselves up for success. This is where the fun part starts. You need to get creative with your brain storming. Write down multiple ways of achieving the goal and start looking at what categories need to be considered. How will this goal effect other parts of your life? Are there time adjustments that need to be made? Structure is also where you set up the documents that you need, i.e. check lists or star charts. Print yourself a list of steps that must be completed in order to achieve your goal. This is also a great time to reflect on the goal itself to see if there is any secondary gain from staying the way that you currently are. For example if you are trying to quit smoking but the secondary gain is that it is social, you need to become aware of that to make sure this isn't your downfall and find other ways to be social.
Some people are so caught up in their own tangled mess that they forget they have a whole network off supportive people around them that are willing to help. You just have to ask... If your mind is telling you that you don't deserve it or that no one will ever help you then STOP. Remember your thoughts are not who you are and logically you KNOW that whatever you reach for you will find. Take a look at your goal and see who in your circle or even greater network of people could assist you. Who could give you feedback a long the way that might help you stay on track better? Is there anyone that is already getting the results that you desire and you can model them or even better get them to mentor you? If you need a strategy partner then a coach or trained professional can help keep you accountable. This stage should also be used to set benchmarks. How do you know when you have achieved your goal? What are the intermediate points that you can be proud of? Equally important is assessing if there is some learning that you need to do in order to achieve the goal. You want to set yourself up for total success so write a list of possible things that will get in your way and stop you from achieving it, i.e. the kids get sick or you break a leg. All of this fore thinking will stop you being so hard on yourself if it doesn't work out.
Now we have set ourselves up with the thinking we can get stuck into attacking the goal itself. We can start making real decisions around how this goal is going to play out. We can start making habits in our routine that will allow us to chip away at the goal slowly. Start ticking off those tasks that you have set for yourself and remember to celebrate them along the way! Review your progress regularly to asses if you are keeping on track. Doing all of these steps will set you up for success so that the next goal you set will be the one that is actually planned out in a 4 dimensional way and will get you achieving the results you want to create in your life. Once that finish line is in sight you will start to build self esteem and confidence and even if you don't achieve the goal, remember, it was never about the goal in the first place but about who you became in the process!
Dani is offering a free sustainable goal setting PDF so you can start rocking today!