Goals. We hear about them all the time but how often do we think about what they are? How do you set one? How do you bridge the gap between where you currently are and where you want to be? How are you sure they're not too big? How are you sure they're not too small? And how do you ensure you stay committed to achieving them?
We are in a generation of exemplars, constant exposure to things we want, lifestyles we want and constant 'motivation' to achieve said things. But frankly, being motivated to 'strive for your goals' just isn't enough to actually achieve them. A lot of people have no problem being motivated, but become stuck when it comes to doing something with that motivation... so, I hope this blog post proves practical as it does informative.
So 'Goals'. A goal is something you desire for yourself, an end result/product. You'll usually hear about short-term and long term goals. Short term goals being the things you desire for yourself over the next year and long term goals being those you desire for yourself the next 3-5 years.
People set fantastic goals for themselves. We visualise ourselves in a certain place, doing a certain thing and begin the process of making it happen. In fact, when we are younger, we do this without thinking simply because nothing is more important than our wants. But then we grow older and that time your family member told you you 'we're dreaming too big' always rings in your mind when you want to do something great. Subconsciously, we start to place less value on our wants and more value on how we fit into the wants of other people.
Goal setting and goal achievement begins and ends with meeting/surpassing your ideal, and we tend to have forgotten that it's really that simple.
- Just going for what you want.
The unfortunate truth is that we tend to dress the opinions of those we value most as fact. The same people who tell us our goals are 'too big', don't dream big enough themselves (sometimes for reasons beyond their control). Those adverse phrases you hear are the projections of fear around how big you can think past your current self with confidence since they can't, or are too scared, do the same.
So before we go into the goal setting process, I want you to really take some time to realise that your life is your own. You are the only you that exists and through action or inaction, the only person liable to dictate your achievements, is yourself. You are allowed, encouraged even, to dream as big as you want to, and then some. In fact, many studies around goal setting show that you are more likely to achieve challenging goals since you are less susceptible to boredom and more likely to stay motivated.
The 'Smart Grow' Model
I'm sure you've heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals, and if not, I've explained them below. And the G.R.O.W. model is one used a lot in the corporate coaching world, but I'll explain that below too. The 'Smart Grow' Model is essentially a hybrid of both.
S.M.A.R.T Goals focus on goal setting. It is an acronym to help you set your goals in a manner which makes them well thought out and easier to digest. SMART stands for:
Specific - Are your goals refined?
Your overall goal might be 'To save more'. But this could be anything. How about 'To save £12,000 this year'? See the difference? Same goal, but now it has life.
Measurable - What measure have you put on your goal?
A time? An amount? You want to save £12,000 this year, how about saving £1,000 every month? See how breaking your goals down helps make them clearer and somewhat more achieveable?
Achievable - How can you accomplish this goal?
So you want to save £12,000 this year, does your salary permit this after you've met your monthly outgoings?
Realistic - How does your current position in life contribute to this goal?
Are you currently working? If not, maybe your goal needs to be around finding a salaried job before you think of saving.
Timed - When do you plan on achieving this goal?
Give yourself a deadline to work towards, this gives yourself a timeframe to work within as well as a set time to reflect on your progress thus far.
The G.R.O.W. Model focuses on goal achievement. So now that you've set the goal, how are you going to start the journey to achievement? GROW stands for:
Goal - The SMART goal setting process helps alot here. Have your ideal, and use the SMART method to refine it into a more achievable and tangible state.
Realistic - Now that you've set your goal, consider your reality. At the end of the day, where you currently are is your starting point. What steps have you currently taken to achieve your goal? Are there any obstacles in your way?
Options - Now that you've honestly considered your reality, what options do you have? Are there any obstacles in your way? This stage is all about brainstorming and exploring.
Way Forward - Having considered all of the above, what is the best way to move forward? What are you going to do now and how are you going to stay motivated?
And when we put the two together, we get the following:
Staying on track with your goals can be difficult, obstacles arise and motivation levels can decrease. But a really good way to battle all of this is to remember your goal purpose. Often unmentioned in literature, it's one of the most important facets of staying committed to your goal. Why is your ideal your ideal? What will achieving this goal mean to you? Why is this goal important? What difference does it make to your life?
A lot of successful people don't do extraordinary things, they do ordinary things extraordinarily well. They're consistent... progressive. They show up even when they don't feel like it because their goals serve a purpose much bigger than their current selves.
If you require more help with the goal setting process, or need someone to facilitate you along as you get there, please feel free to have a look at our Consoaching service or talk to us through our live chat.
We're here to help you be the best you.