You know what feels good? Looking back at past goals and seeing that you reached them.
You know what doesn't feel so good? Looking back at goals you set and seeing that you've made no progress.
So here's a step by step guide for making sure next time you look back at the goals you've set for yourself, you're smiling proudly at your accomplishments:
1. Identify your goal.
Remember that a goal is not something you can do already right now; that's a practice. For example, "meditate more often" is not a goal, because there's nothing stopping you from meditating more right now. That's just a to-do list item. A goal is something that's currently out of reach, that requires taking steps to get there.
2. Identify the barriers.
Before you can take the first step, sometimes it's necessary to be honest with yourself about what's been stopping you in the past from reaching this goal.
Before moving past this step, it's worth sometimes asking, "why?" to dig deeper into the causes of this barrier.
Is it lack of self-discipline? If so, is it worth getting help from someone who can motivate you and push you?
Is it fear? What's the root of the fear?
Dig deep to really understand.
3. Identify what changes need to occur to remove that barrier.
So you know what's been stopping you up until now. What are you going to do about it? What's the first thing you can do to remove this barrier?
For example if you feel you don’t have the money to fund your goal, what can you do about it? Can you spend less on other things, prioritising your goal?
4. Make a plan
By now you’ve hopefully got a much clearer idea of what the first—perhaps tiny, but definitely not insignificant—steps are that you need to take.
Maybe now you know you need to spend less on frivolous things to save money for what’s really important. Maybe you know you need to cut back on the sugary treats, and that means simply choosing different snacks.
But knowing what you need to do is only effective if you put it into practice.
So, what’s the plan?
When will you start?
When do you want to accomplish your goal?
(I’ll give you a hint: you start RIGHT NOW.")
Step one to giving up your coffee addiction may be to cut down to one cup a day. So, when’s Day 1 of having just one coffee? IT’S TODAY.
Recognise that sometimes really big goals may have “sub-goals”, i.e. smaller accomplishments that get you towards that overall goal. Mark these sub-goals with deadlines to work towards.
If you want to quit your job in one year, then what does next month look like? Where will you be on your journey towards this goal in 6 months?
Finally, remember that it’s okay to ask for help.
Some people work really well on their own.
But a lot of us need someone else to hold us accountable.
If you feel like having someone to push you to do the work required to reach your goal is something that would be of value, email me and I can talk to you about my health coaching programme.