I’m sure I wasn’t alone when I say that I found myself with a paintbrush in my hand over the Christmas holidays. Whenever I’m doing a spot of painting I like to put on an audio book to wile the time away so I thought I’d throw an oldie but a goodie – Jim Rohn. If you’ve ever listened to or read any of Jim Rohn’s work you’ll know what I’m talking about; his thoughts are full of timeless wisdom and they are always presented in such an amenable way you can’t help but get sucked into his message. “Judas got the money” is a short tale that he tells and it’s about, you guessed it, Judas’s betrayal of Jesus Christ to the Romans and it reminded me about the real essence of what goal achievement is all about.
With the new year upon us and new opportunities opening up all around us I thought I’d share my thoughts on how to turn goal setting from an academic exercise to one of goal achievement. Let’s start off on a positive note…well kinda…
Why people fail to achieve their goals
The research suggests that the two most common unsuccessful choices people make in goal-setting are:
- Paying attention to what they don’t want all the time, instead of what they do want. In order for goals to be successful you have to focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. For example, “I want to lose 10Kg” isn’t as effective as, “I want to weigh 70Kg”…and remember to put a date on it!
- Fantasising about having achieved what they want, instead of planning and TAKING action! Can you believe that for some people simply fantasising about their goal is enough to give them their little feel good fix and so they never take action on that goal. In order to achieve anything you have to take the steps to achieving it…unfortunately there are no shortcuts.
“You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action. Without action upon an idea, there will be no manifestation, no results, and no reward.” ~ Miguel Ruiz
So how do we set effective goals?
Firstly we’ve got to make it real to ourselves. You’ve got to be able to see yourself in the final state of having achieved the goal and using all the body’s senses is simply the best way to this.
- What will you look like when you’ve achieved your goal? What will you be doing? Who will you be with? What will you be wearing? See all this and make it real!
- What will you be hearing when you’ve achieved your goal? What will people be saying to you? For example, your goal might be to go on a cruise, can you hear the lapping of the waves against the boat? Your goal might be to run a marathon, can you hear the crowds cheering as you cross the finish line? What will your friends and family be saying as words of congratulations?
- What about the things you’ll be saying to yourself? How will you be congratulating yourself?
- What about the tastes and smells you’ll experience? Will it be the taste of a gourmet meal as a way of congratulating your achievement or the smell of the sea all around you?
- Lastly, what will it feel like? Can you feel your skin cooling as the sweat evaporates from your body after completing your marathon? What about the justified fatigue in your legs as you feel the finishers medal being put around you neck?
Whatever your goal I’ll bet it feels pretty real already! Remember to put a date of accomplishment on your goal because I’m sure you’ve heard it said many times before, a goal without a deadline is simply a wish.
Going a little deeper…
What choices will achieving this goal open for you in any and every area of your life? Expand your thinking because everything we do opens up new opportunities for our future; how will achieving this goal change yours?
Next I’d like you to consider if this goal is something that you want and not someone else’s goal/desire for you. If it’s not yours then the likelihood of following through is poor; how is this goal important for you?
This next step is what Judas failed to take into account. You see, Judas got the money…which was his goal…so he should’ve been happy but the storyteller tells us that when Jesus was arrested Judas tried to give back the money but the Romans threw him out on the street saying, “You got what you wanted and we got what we wanted…scram!” Judas failed to consider all the aspects of his life that achieving his goal would touch. So here are a couple of questions to consider:
- What will I gain by achieving this goal?
- What will I lose if I have this outcome and, if regretful, how can I create new ways to get what is important to me AND reach this goal?
- What situations in my life do I want this outcome to affect?
- Are there any situations I do not want it to affect?
Don’t overlook this step! By studying the ecology of achieving your goals you can avoid the mistakes that Judas made.
It’s time to take action…MASSIVE ACTION!!!
Okay, so now we’ve thoroughly defined our goal and we’ve looked at the how achieving this goal will change our future so it’s time to make it a reality! Let’s get started…
- What are the steps you need to do, practically, to achieve your goal? Write these down! Don’t worry about ordering them, brainstorm like crazy. You can always tidy up your plan later.
- What is the first small step you can take in the next 24 hours (or if you’re really motivated, in the next hour!) to get the ball rolling? Is it signing up for that marathon or is it making a phone call? Perhaps it’s opening up an investment account for your retirement fund? Whatever it is, do it and do it now!
- How do you need to be behaving differently to achieve this goal? How do you have think about yourself? If you’re training for that marathon, thinking of yourself as an athlete (and everything an athlete does) will have a much bigger impact on achieving your goal than if you think of yourself as a couch potato!
Congratulations! You’re nearly there. Here are just a couple of more things to think about to make this year your year!
- What resources do you have to achieve this goal (time, money, people to support you, etc)? And lastly;
- Describe a time a when you faced a challenge that felt like this and succeeded?
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” ~ Tony Robbins
I’d like to leave you with this important point. In reality, it’s not the achievement of the goal that, in the end, is important. What is really important is who you become in the acquisition of that goal because…after all…Judas got the money.
If you’d like to know more about how to set a goals for your life and overcome the obstacles that may get in the way, or if you’d like to explore how coaching can help you become a better leader (of others or yourself!), or even if you’re just generally curious about what professional coaching can offer you, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.