One of the things that weekly personal coaching does for you is provide a weekly encouragement to re-focus on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Without that regular framework, you can still use my free goal system to define powerful goals and to get reminders of them at regular intervals.
The most effective goals are “SMART goals”. SMART is an acronym, and exactly what it stands for, depends on who you ask – but here’s my version:
SPECIFIC – instead of saying “earn more money” say “increase my salary by 15%”. Wherever possible, include NAMES, NUMBERS – ways to measure if you’re getting closer to your goal or not.
MEASUREABLE – try to express your goal in ways that can be verified beyond opinion. So, rather than saying “be happier” you might decide to record your happiness levels in a diary each day as a score out of 10, then – when you know what it averages at – you goal can be “increase my average happiness score from 6 to 8”.
ACTION ORIENTED – set goals which you can map into actions. Look at the happiness goal example above. Before setting such a goal it’s best to have some idea of what you will do to maker that goal happen. It’s OK to try the goal on with no clue – and then have at it with your creativity – and find some actions. bUt don’t have a long-standing goal which you have no idea how to achieve.
REALISTIC – now coaches will tell you you can have anything you like and it’s probably true. But a goal is at its most useful when it’s not too far ahead. When you get there, you can set another one, and in this way, the goal plausibility will keep you working for it. So don’t say “become a millionaire in six minutes” say “increase my disposable income by Â£400 a month within 12 months”.
TIME ORIENTED – Deadlines focus the mind, and time frames are a good way to gauge how realistic something is. Set times which are a little bit… tingly – but not laughable or terrifying. With our happiness goal example, you might add a deadline to it.
Polish your Goals
One of the things I do with clients is to help them polish their goals. Your goals should inspire you. They should remind you of the fantastic new future you have waiting for you. You’ll be waving goodbye to the things you hate and saying hello to the things you love. Paint vivid pictures of how it will be. Put yourself in the scene. See, hear, taste, smell and feel it. Look out of the window. Sit in the comfy chair. Look out the window at the view. When you can see it and you believe you can grasp it – you’ll have the energy to make it real.
Grinning and Groaning
For many, our goals make us groan rather than grin. That’s usually because we recall the imagery and reflect on our total inability to make it a reality. We feel pathetic “What were you thinking, dude?? You can’t have that stuff! Wake up and smell the sewage!”. It’s precisely this outlook which condemns us – and much of the personal development industry along the way. We’re grown-ups. We’ve tried a few things, and we know the infinite variety of failures which creation has reigned down up on us. That’s reality. Let’s not get happy-clappy.
Keeping The Faith
Well, the fact is – it’s much harder to make positive change than we expect or prefer it to be. But it’s possible. What’s needed is persistent focus and effort and some smarts around the strategy. Personal Coaching is ideally suited to that task, but if you’re not ready to invest, why not try my free goals system? It’s easy and effective!
Have fun with your goals!