In coaching, goals are our measure of the success you want, and when you achieve it. They are used to manifest the change you desire. They are tangible outcomes. Goals need to be clear in order to set you on the path to going after what it is you want to change. They need to be written down and placed up somewhere that you can regularly view.
So often our goals aren’t clear, ‘I want to be famous’, ‘I want to be skinnier’, ‘I want a job I enjoy doing’, ‘I want to feel passionate about something.’
Goals should not be based on other people or societies expectations, they should be bespoke to you and inspire you to take action.
They are different to a dream or wish, take the above example, ‘wanting to be famous’. This is a popular desire for many people, but what exactly do you want to be famous for? Making a positive difference on the world, getting caught drink driving, having publicity and trolls like a Kim Kardashian receives. So using this example you can likely draw a clear difference between a goal and a dream – and understanding my point about articulating it well.
So exactly why are goals important?
– They determine your (individual) success
– The identify what is important to you
– They allow you to express your values
– They allow you to take responsibility for the type of life you want to create, and action towards it
– They make you accountable to yourself
– They are relevant to all areas of your life: career, personal, wellbeing, financial, spiritual.
– If you learn how or see success in one area, you can use that method in other areas
– They give you purpose and fulfilment.
Like circumstances, goals also change through out life – from being single to being in a relationship, when you change jobs, when you have children, when you want to create something new. We have the power to set, review and change them.
A simple sense-check for goal setting is a formula called SMART
The acronym works as such:
S = specific, be clear about what you want to achieve.
M = measurable, what does success look like to you?
A = attainable, write the goal in present tense and take ownership of what you want to achieve.
R = realistic, it shouldn’t scare you off, it should be motivating.
T = time specific, you need a deadline.
When you have written the goal, review these 5 principles and refine your goal so it meets the criteria.
Experiment a little…
Have a go at writing a goal for yourself, using my example below as a guide response to each question.
1. Select the area of your life you’d like to make a change in e.g. Career, Personal development, Health, Fitness, Relationships, Friendships, Family, Home environment, Finances.
Health – I want to sleep 7 hours every night to ensure I have adequate rest.
2. Why is the shift important to you?
Because I am feeling run down and prioritise a lot of things over sleep, and then get tired through out the day. I know it’s going to come back later in life. I don’t like looking tired and sleepy. Sometimes I get grumpy at people just because I snap when I’m tired, and it’s not their fault. I’ve never been a good sleeper and I want to change that attitude/ belief.
3. What would be different about that area of your life when the shift happens?
– What would life look like? I would have more bounce, a healthy glow and be able to do more.
– What would life feel like? Alive, energised and motivated, not tired and grumpy.
– Who would you be? Content and at peace, more calm. Able to take on any challenge.
4. What is something you could do to make that shift start to happen? Even if it’s just the smallest step towards it.
Switch my computer off 2 hours before I sleep, not read/ play my phone in bed, not watch TV before bed, only one coffee a day.
5. When do you need to achieve it by?
I know I can’t do it straight away, but I would like to be able to do it within 6 months. June 1st.
6. Can someone assist you along the way?
I need to ask my flatmate and partner to help me, and pull me away from devices before bed! Also, my friends need to support me when I want to leave social things earlier.
Last, in one sentence, list out what the goal is you want to set:
By June 1st I will sleep 7 hours through the night every night, the effects make me feel amazing and energised.
Over to you…