3 Steps to Goal Setting and Achieving
By Jalene Case
Envisioning a magical scenario in which you’re doing everything you want to is exhilarating, in the beginning. However, adding a dose of realism can give you the best chance of accomplishing what matters most to you.
I see this in myself, my clients, and my friends. We want to do it all right now! We have the best of intentions and list of exciting to dos. Fanning the “do it all” flame is an internal voice that says something like, “When I do it all, I’ll be happy.” Ouch.
In the first month of working with a business coach, I sent a long email with all my precious plans. Secretly I thought he’d be impressed. Instead, his reply was precisely, “Rank the three most important items.” Another ouch! I truly believed that they were all important and thought there was no way I could choose only three.
Now, I’m in that messy space of growing my prioritizing skills and while it’s not a pleasant experience, the end results are bringing me a sense of grounded, purpose and calm. And yes, I managed to choose only three most important items.
“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Neil Peart
Before I dive into making tough choices, which I don’t enjoy doing, I like to take a deep breath and remind myself of why I want to what matters most. Think big picture. Why is it important for you to do the things on your list?
Keep your why in mind as you continue reading.
Start with a brain dump. Write everything that you want to do. Let yourself go wild! If it’s helpful, you can make lists by areas. Ex. work, home, physical, learning, fun, etc.
Next, choose the three things that you will do during each of the following time periods: 30 days, 90 days, and 12 months.
If you want to challenge yourself, list ten things you want to do in the next 10 years.
Warning: Beware of your internal voice. The process of choosing can activate your inner gremlins. Watch out for internal dialogue like this: You don’t need to choose! You’re smart, you really can do it all! No, I don’t want to choose! If I don’t do it all I’m a loser! Look at (insert name of a person you admire) he/she can do it all! Simply notice that mean inner voice but do not engage with it. (Note: The reason I used all exclamation points is because your saboteur voice is loud and insistent while your authentic voice is quiet and calm.)
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” Brené Brown
Now that you know what you want to focus on, how will you support yourself in sticking to it? For me, I know I can’t do it alone. I need what I call the “Weight Watchers” approach. On a regular basis, I need to “weigh-in” in front of another human being to keep me out of the denial zone and in the real zone.
You could hire a coach, partner-up with a friend, colleague, or family member, and/or join a group such as a mastermind that includes accountability. Another person might ask questions or share observations that spur your commitment or make you more aware of what does (and does not!) help you.
To prepare for meeting with your support tribe, you’ll need to track your progress. Developing a system that works for you is the key here. The basic elements for a goal system are writing what you will do, when you will do it, and why it’s important to you. While you’re working hard to keep it real, magic can happen.
“Where focus goes, energy flows.” Tony Robbins
Don’t skip this part! Neuroscience shows that celebrating teaches our brain to do more of whatever we’re celebrating. Find a way that feels good to you. Try putting your arms in the air and saying, “Yes!” or “Yay me!” Do a happy dance. Keep track of your little and big wins by writing them down. Oh, and have a wee bit of fun while you do it.
“The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey
You can do this! Choose, focus, celebrate and pay attention to what happens next. I’d love to hear the tips and tricks you use and the ones you learn as you work through this process. Send them to me at Jalene@JaleneCase.com.