So, we’re at the start of a new year. A very different year but nonetheless that time when a lot of think about our goals for the year; when we think about changing our habits.
We would like a “new body” by the end of the year (or month!!). We are fed-up in our current job and would like to change. We set the alarm for 6.00 a.m. to go out into the dark cold morning and run 5km not having run with months or even years.
With this admirable enthusiasm for change we, sometimes, set lofty, unrealistic goals and, at a time of the year, when our energies are at their lowest.
What can we do to set achievable goals and, most importantly, look for easy “wins” to build confidence in our adaptability?
Goal setting is mostly about identifying what you want to achieve and how. A well-defined goal motivates and energises. It inspires you, challenges you and pushes you to grow.
Goal setting or habit changing is one of the first steps in the coaching process, in personal development and is also a crucial part in business planning and development.
And, for those of you reading this and thinking….”I have absolutely no idea what goal(s) I would like to set for myself”, I have you covered further on in the article. See “Clarity of Vision” below.
So, let’s start with a pen and paper in hand and write, write, write.
Where are you now? After all, we always set off on a journey from a starting point and when the destination (not necessarily, the journey) is identified, we have a purpose when setting out. Write a detailed list of where you are in your career/life. For example, do you start your day looking forward to what’s ahead? Or, do you feel demotivated and maybe, stuck?
Next, do you have a vision for how the end of the year looks like for you? What do you really, really, really, really want?
Be SMART about your vision. For example, if you would like to have a better job or change career, what specifically does that mean for you? Is it defined by an increase in salary, benefits, responsibility, working conditions, job content, working location, job title, training etc. The possibilities are endless.
What circumstances currently relate to that goal, for example, money problems, frustrations with current employer, contractual obligations?
List your reasons (motivators) for wanting the goal, for example, financial security/freedom, lifestyle, personal profile, respect.
What might stop, or form a barrier to you achieving this goal, for example fear of change/risk, academic qualifications/work experience, peer pressure?
There’s a lot of writing here, isn’t there? However, when we take our thoughts out from our mind and write them down, we put shape on them. They become more real for us. We can then own them.
Do you identify with the following?
Speaking up to increase visibility
“I can’t get people to hear my voice at meetings. I don’t have the confidence to speak up to make a comment”.
Are you the one who finds it difficult to speak up at meetings? How do you engage at the now omnipresent online meetings? Are you finding it challenging to find your voice and be heard at these meetings?
Plan ahead. Consider the agenda. Prepare to make meaningful contributions.
Improve your Time Management Skills
“I find it difficult to manage my time both at and outside work”. Start with keeping a daily/weekly/monthly spreadsheet outlining in detail how you manage every minute of your time. I know, who on earth would want to do such an exercise? Putting together a record of daily activities does pay dividends, though.
Improve Presentation/Public Speaking Skills
“I freeze when it comes to making presentations to management and colleagues”. This is now such an integral part of every day work and also interviews, that
Set the Goal to: Research. Research. Prepare. Prepare. Rehearse. Rehearse.
Clarity of Vision
“I don’t know what I want”. “I don’t know what to do next”. “I do know that I absolutely hate what I am doing now”. I hear these statements from many of my clients when they start the coaching process. Clients are looking for clarity and direction. Listening and powerful questions to encourage broader perspective and new discoveries will support the client to gain new awareness.
Most of us direct our lives towards achieving life/career goals.
From the time we wake until the time we end our day to go to sleep again, we have, unintentionally or otherwise, put goals in place. To tick those “goals’ boxes”, we need to look at what habits we have in place that will require reinforcement or, perhaps, change. We have, over our lives, established habits. Some that serve us well. Some that don’t. We need to identify those that, perhaps, don’t serve us well, and begin the process of changing what we’ve become used to having in our lives.
“Improvement is a battle that must be fought anew each day
Your next workout doesn’t care how strong your last one was,
Your next essay doesn’t care how popular your last one was,
Your next investment doesn’t care how smart your last one was,
Your best effort, again.”
What will it take to realise your BIG DREAM? How big is the gap between now and where you would like to be? Of course, dreams are important. However, until ACTION is taken, that DREAM will stay, just that, a DREAM.
So, whatever your dream for 2021 is, what steps could you put in place now to move towards making that dream a reality?
Write a list and be as specific as possible for each change.
What do YOU want? Is this YOUR goal?
- Create an ACTION plan
- Create a TIMELINE
- Take ACTION
- Re-evaluate and assess your progress.
We cannot eat the elephant sandwich in one bite. Take it one small bite at a time.
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible”………….Audrey Hepburn
Turn your Dreams into reality. Achieve your Goals.
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