For better or for worse – we’ve all experienced a complete shift in direction in our work, our relationships, and our lives this year.
Let me ask you one question: Before the Pandemic hit, were you doing what you love?
Remember back to when you were a child;
- Who did you want to be?
- What did you want to do?
- What did you want to have… when you grew up?
Flash forward and here we are at adulthood. Welcome! Bills need paying, the rent is due, the kids need picking up from school and your dreams take the backseat, again.
But, imagine for a moment doing a job, running a business or engaging in an activity with people who light you up the most. Dreamy, right?
Well, it’s never too late to turn those dreams into tangible goals.
In coaching, I define goals as: dreams with a roadmap.
Dreams are lovely, but without a plan they stay fluffy and overwhelming and only provide a short-term escape when things aren’t going to plan in the real world.
The official definition of a goal is the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.1
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking specifically about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality.
Why set goals?
The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you must concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions and obstacles that can easily lead you off track.
Research has shown that working toward a goal is also a major source of motivation – which, in turn, improves performance.2
Locke’s research into goal-setting and motivation highlighted that challenging goals produce a much higher level of performance or output than easy goals, and specific goals produce an even higher level of output than an intangible goal of simply “do your best”2
Setting achievable goals also raises self-confidence, in realising your own ability and competence in achieving the goals you’ve set yourself.
Effective goals must be….
- Future-outcome focussed
- Inspiring and positive
- Personal to you
- Within your control to achieve
- Written down/recorded
- Reviewed regularly
Set a goal you can control
It’s important to consider: who else has control over the outcome of your goal?
We would never set a goal to change today’s weather, why? Because we can’t control it!
So why do we waste time setting goals to buy a house, have a baby or get a new job next month? We can’t control any of those things completely, but we can put up a damn good fight by maximising our personal control over the outcome.
For example, while you cannot guarantee a future employer will give you the job, you can control:
- The number of CVs or applications you send out on a weekly basis
- How many networking events you attend
- Reaching out to a business mentor or coach
- The amount of research you do on a prospective company
These are just a few of the many options, but you get the idea.
These controllable goals are a much better area to focus your attention on than simply “get the job”. You’re not throwing yourself at the mercy of a disinterested employer, for a start!
Don’t focus on what you can’t control and look at what you can do by taking small, repeated steps towards what you want.
Which is a whole lot easier than trying to change the weather….
If you’re ready to turn your dreams into tangible goals, grab my free guide: The Ultimate Goal-Setting Guide available when you sign up to receive free coaching advice and tips from me straight to your inbox.