Having Trouble With Goal Setting?
Making decisions about what we want can often be one of the most challenging exercises of all. The reality is, most of us don't really think about it all that often. After all, it is a BIG question, right? Sometimes it may even feel like a very loaded question as well, because there can be so much stuff attached to it.
One of the reasons why I think it seems to hold so much weight for us is because we know that if we make a decision about what we want, it means that we are going to have to take responsibility for making it happen. It isn't always easy to step up to our lives in this way. Besides, life is busy, right? There are so many things to do all the time; who really has the time to be day dreaming?
Most of us were not brought up in a culture that was really about going after your dreams. We had chores to do, friends to hang out with and school to worry about - and on top of all that, we had to figure out what we were going to have to do to make sure that we were able to earn a decent living. My own parent's generation considered themselves fortunate enough if they were able to finish High School for heaven's sake!
So the idea of setting goals, at least for some, may seem to be a bit of a daunting task. But the truth is that it doesn't have to be that way. The process of setting goals and then creating a plan to achieve them is a process that can be learned, and it really doesn't need to be all that complicated. The main thing to remember is that your goals are your own. It's not about what you believe someone else thinks you should do or even about what you think you should do. It's more about what it is that you actually want for yourself and your life, and designing your life in such a way that it enables you to meet your own needs as well as the needs of others.
When we question ourselves deeply enough to discover what is most important to us and what we really value most, and we incorporate those values into our goal setting, we begin to realize that it is in our nature to want to give and to serve other people. This is why I teach my clients how to focus on the ultimate outcomes and results they are after. If you have already designed your goals and you have not yet reached the point where you can clearly see how they relate to serving other people, then your process of goal-setting is not really complete!
For those who are struggling with the process, I'd like to offer the following suggestions:
When it comes to choosing your goals, begin by thinking about where you would really like to be this time next year. What would you like to have accomplished by the end of this year? If you could have anything in your life be different from what it is now, what would that be? It isn't about what you think someone else thinks it should be, but what it is that you would like to achieve over the coming year.
For instance, you may have thought about having a business of your own some day. If that could happen for you, what goal would you like to set for this year that would take you in that direction?
You may decide that you would like to have taken the first steps to creating your own business, and this may mean that you want to have a solid business plan created.
Another way to think about it is this: Happiness is about feeling like we are making progress. So in order for you to feel like you made some major progress this year, what would have to happen or where would you need to be by the end of this year? What would your ultimate outcome be?
It could be that your major goal to accomplish this year would be to have established a new routine that includes all of the elements that are most important to you in terms of your health, fitness and overall wellness and have that actually working in your life. You may also decide that you want to achieve a certain level of balance in your life, but be very clear about how that would look in terms of outcomes. Would it mean that you would have scheduled quality time with your family every week? Would it mean regular trips to the gym or the park? Be specific about it!
Whatever goals you choose, you want it to be something that in one year from now, will make you feel that you have taken a major step in the direction you want to go. But remember, it can just be one piece of a bigger pie - it doesn't have to be the whole shebang! The point is not to make it overwhelming, but to make it attainable, realistic and engaging enough for you to follow through.
The most important factors are that you focus on the outcome or the result that you are after, and that it is something that YOU want and feel passionate about achieving. Make your goals something that matter to you, something that fuels you and makes you want to commit to accomplishing them. And please remember, if your ultimate outcome does not in any way contribute to improving the lives of yourself or other people, keep drilling down on it until it does. True fulfillment can only ever be achieved by finding ourselves in the service of others!
If you would like to have some help with crafting your goals, please contact me to find out how you can take advantage of my complimentary, one-on-one, 2 hour Coaching Consultation. This free session can help you get to the core of your deepest desires and give you the opportunity to create a powerful and impactful purpose driven plan for 2017!
About the author
Tamara Dodgson is a Certified Strategic Intervention Coach and Life Strategist, trained by Robbins Madanes. She has spent the better part of a half century studying, researching and learning about personal growth and development, self-help, spirituality, leadership, success, achievement and philosophy. She is a writer, philosopher, life coach, mother, fitness enthusiast, nature lover, book fanatic and divine being of infinite possibilities. She is also the proud author of "Designing Your Life - A Guide to Help You Consciously Create Your Future" and has recently released a new educational program called "2017 - Your Year of Transformation." You can connect with her on Facebook at Forward Coaching & Consulting Services, on her website at http://tamara052368.wixsite.com/forwardcoaching, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.