On Saturday 5th we held the webinar Create Your Best Year Ever.
The goal of this webinar was to support you set up goals in 2019 that will stick. We wanted to have a look into “goal setting” from the point of view of coaching. Before we started I advised everyone to make sure they have pen and paper. Because we would write very much.
Do you have a pen and paper – jf not grab one now!
I will run you through what we did in the webinar so you can follow the steps now, catch up with the attendants and set up your goals for 2019!
1st Step: Celebrate
We started the session with celebration. If you know us a bit or follow our social media posts you know that we love celebrating. We reflected about all the good things that happened in 2018, all the things we achieved, we did and we learned. We felt the experience in our bodies and started our goal setting process with this energy. (You can do this at home – please do. And do it whenever you start something that might be a challenging too. You can use the effect of past experiences in your body to empower yourself for a new experience to come!)
2nd Step: Decide on important areas of your life
In which areas of our lives do you want to make a significant change this year? We selected 6 areas. Here are some ideas for inspiration: Health & Wellbeing, Family, Relationships, Social Life, Career, Finances, Fun & Adventure, Growth, Spirituality, Travel, Giving back. Friends, Social Life. We encourage you to go and define your own areas. We know you are creative.
3rd Step: Set Your Goals
You have 6 areas of your life to work with. During the webinar we chose just one to work with. We had 45 minutes! To follow the steps here, choose also one, the one you think will make the biggest impact in your life if you’d make changes.
What is a 10?
You have one life area of your choice. If your satisfaction with this area of life would be 10 out of 10 how would it look like? What is in there? What do you do? Who is there? What do you have? Describe this area as detailed as possible when it is 10 out of 10.
Where are you at?
Now we come to today. From 0 to 10 where are you at? Which rating would define your current situation in this area? You give a number. For example my area of choice is Health and Wellness and I give it a 6 right now. What is your number?
What is in there?
Okay. What contributes to this rating right now in your life? (What contributes to this 6?)
Write everything that comes to your mind: The things you do, you have and you experience.
Are you really there where you thought you were?
Now that you have written what contributed to your current rating ask yourself again: Out of 10 where would you rate yourself in this area right now?
It might have been changed!
Due to our evolution, we record and remember negative experiences much easier than the positive ones. That helps us to survive but not necessarily thrive. We need to make a bit more effort to remember the positive experiences so that we change our mindset, empower ourselves with our previous good experiences and successes and go after more.
And you might now see that you actually are in a better place than you first rated yourself.
Next step is next step.
As of now, you should have defined what 10 looks like, where you are and how your current life looks like in this area. Now the next step is to define the next step! Going with the previous example of being at 6 right now, what does a 7 look like? Write everything you have, do and experience at 7.
What we try to do here is not set the 10 as a goal but the 7. Because 7 is much easier to envision, see and achieve.
Time to formulate your goal statements
Okay now you will formulate your goal statements.
Here are three tips to consider while formulating goals.
- Your goals should be written in the present tense. An example would be to write “I am 64 kg” rather than “I will be 64 kg. ” It might sound funny to you but your subconscious starts working to make it happen because it already is. It is stated that way.
- Formulate your goals in the way that it is actionable by you. Instead of stating “I want to have a quality time with my son” a better goal statement would be “I schedule activity time with my son every week.”
- Formulate your goals as a positive statement. Instead of saying “I will stop snacking” (which is also not in present tense!), a good goal statement would be “I only have main meals.” Our brains are wonderful systems, once you mention an object, an action, it immediately visualises and can respond as if you really experience that. So when you mention snacks it will immediately imagine snacks which you actually try to avoid, now you have to make an additional effort to shut off the image and your body response. It is even more difficult to not snack! What do you want instead? Set your goals with what you want instead.
Here are some examples from my goals:
I journal everyday
- I journal every day.
- I publish my learnings every week.
- I am 64 kg.
You see some of those goals are different than the others. I have process goals like the first two and end goal like the last one. You can also set both kind of goals.
Now go back to your definition of your next step. (If you are at 6, then your 7). And formulate your goals according to what you just learned.
4th Step: Check Your Goals
Now that you have a list of goals. In the webinar we continued from now on with one goal. You may also do so now. Later you can follow this process for all your goals.
Let’s check your goals now:
Checkpoint 1: How SMART is your goal?
I think you all know that we don’t talk about brains here. Yes we are talking about the famous acronym.
- S-specific: Do you know what you will do for your goal? Who does it involve? What will you be achieving in the end?
- M-measurable: Some goals are easier to measure – such as my weight goal. But some may not be that way. Such as “ being mindful”. But regardless, any goal should be measurable. The right question here is how will you know you achieved the goal? What are the characteristics of the state that will make you aware that your goal is achieved? Using the example – how will you know you are mindful? (Possible answers could be I have the habit of meditating every day. I eat mindfully, I take mindful walks once a day etc. etc.) You should be able to also evaluate your progress to check if you are on the right way.
- A- attainable: Is it possible for you to attain the goal? If you don’t have the ability and/or resources having this goal might not make sense at all.
- R- relevant : Is the goal relevant to you, what you want to achieve in your life, your values, your life style?
- T- timebound: By when will you be achieving your goal? You know the famous saying “A goal without a timeline is just a dream.” We love dreams but now it is action time! Having a deadline gives you the motivation to take action, complete your goal and grow further than your goal.
Now it is your turn to check your goal if it is SMART. If not, rephrase it to make it SMART. If it is already, we move on to the next checkpoint.
Checkpoint 2: How much does this goal motivate you?
Does this goal give you the feels? How significant does achieving this goal change your life and the lives of others? And what can happen if you don’t set this goal and continue your life without it? What might be in danger?
Time to reflect on these questions. If you are not motivated by your goal, what makes you to choose this goal? What do you want to have instead? What would motivate you instead? If it does, now use this reflection to fire up your motivation and move forward.
5th Step: Plan for Anything that Might Come Against You
The reason most people give up on their goals is that they don’t have a plan when things go downhill. They give up on the goal when the first difficulty arises. Not to let this happen we prepare ourselves in advance.
Time for reflection:
What obstacles could come in the way of you achieving this goal? Come up with many obstacles as possible.
Once you have the list of obstacles, it is time for you to come up with actions that would help you to overcome these.
6th Step: Brainstorm Your Options
As of now you have the goal, the possible obstacles, the actions to overcome them it if they show up. Now it is time to brainstorm all the options you have to achieve your goal. Go crazy. List everything you come up with. Later you may come and choose the ones you will move forward with.
7th Step: Take Action Now
Once you have a goal, actions and plan it is time to take the first action. Do it now with the full motivation.
What is one action you will take in the next 48 hours regarding your goal?
One Last Check
How committed are you?
As of today what are you committing 100% to regarding your goal?
You just read through and hopefully worked through “how to set goals”. Now repeat the same steps for all the areas of your life. You may want to focus on the areas that score less than 6, these areas probably need your attention.
We made use of the coaching tool “Wheel of Life” (without mentioning the wheel) and powerful coaching questions in this article. If you liked this exercise, you want to learn how to set powerful goals for yourself and achieve them; and support others to do the same, take a look at our Professional Coaching Diploma Program.