Saturday, 3 January 2015

Setting goals – What if you don’t know where to start?

I hate to break it to you, but we really don’t need a new year [or even an “I’ll start again on Monday”] to provide us with an opportunity to make a fresh start. Yes, yes, I know - it’s so much easier to think that way, right?
In fact, I’ve personally being doing this for the last 10 years or so. But the fact of the matter is - it only really serves as a sugarcoating for the B.S we seem to enjoy feeding ourselves on a daily basis. 
Now, I could probably point out the overwhelmingly poor facts and figures of how many people fail their New Year’s Resolutions within the first 2 months of any new year. I could even take that a step further by visually astounding you with fancy colored graphs and pie charts.
Sure, I could do that, but should I – Nah, what’s the point? Who am I to judge [or know how to use that kind of graphical technology?]
I believe it would be far more beneficial to instead offer a little insight into goal setting strategies that I have been using over the past few years with great success. 



I hate to break it to you, but we really don’t need a new year [or even an “I’ll start again on Monday”] to provide us with an opportunity to make a fresh start.

Yes, yes, I know - it’s so much easier to think that way, right?

In fact, I’ve personally being doing this for the last 10 years or so. But the fact of the matter is - it only really serves as a sugarcoating for the B.S we seem to enjoy feeding ourselves on a daily basis. 

Now, I could probably point out the overwhelmingly poor facts and figures of how many people fail their New Year’s Resolutions within the first 2 months of any new year. I could even take that a step further by visually astounding you with fancy colored graphs and pie charts.

Sure, I could do that, but should I – Nah, what’s the point? Who am I to judge [or know how to use that kind of graphical technology?]

I believe it would be far more beneficial to instead offer a little insight into goal setting strategies that I have been using over the past few years with great success. 



The New, New Years Resolution - how to do them right [and not be on the wrong side of the fancy colored pie chart]

 

Step 1: What do you really want?

“Be clear on what you want and then go after it like your life depends on it”

So, with a clear head and an open heart - meaning before the NYE party and certainly well before you hop on the bad foot and do the worst things, take the time to ask yourself “what positive change do I want to bring into my life in 2015?”

The key phrase here is “clear head.”

Because before the hangover hits, it’s imperative that you have first powerfully envisioned an outcome in your mind, one that fills you with positive emotion, a vision that creates a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction and excitement.

Without it – I’m sorry but you ain’t got jack, nada, zip, zilch. 


Step 2: Why do you want it?  


"Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get."

Great, you’ve worked out ‘what’ you want.

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, riddle me this – ‘Why’ do you want it?

Tony Robbins talks about all of our actions and behavior in life are taken to fulfill one of 6 basic human needs.

These being:

1.     Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure.

2.     Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli.

3.     Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed.

4.     Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something.

5.     Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding.

6.     Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others.

So when it comes to setting goals/resolutions for yourself, it’s of paramount importance that you know which of these needs you are trying to fulfill, and why the outcome is so important for you?

From personal experience, the needs that have provided me with the greatest sense of achievement/fulfillment are through the attainment of personal growth, and the feeling of contribution. But let’s be honest, we all want to feel a sense of significance and importance, too!

Best of all, you’ll quickly find that by satisfying just one of these basic human needs, you’ll generally be satisfying many of the others, too. #winning

Finding your why will be the thing that helps you through the tough times as you’ve found your ‘purpose’ for achieving the goal – something bigger than you. 



Step 3: Develop the dream, but don’t forget to be CLEVER about it.

“The devil is in the detail”

For years I had the dream, I even had the why, but where the devil eventually found me was not properly mapping out the details of how I was going to get there.

And if I’m honest, for many “other” years, I had the dream, I had the why, I even had the map, but gee-wizz did I make that map devilishly confusing for myself, focusing on the wrong things, at the worst times.    

It eventually just became all too hard, leaving me suffering from the dreaded ‘paralysis by analysis’ syndrome [the process by which you choose to ‘chuck-it-in-the-f**k-it-bucket-and-move-onto-whatever-is-easier-than-this-s**t’]

That is, until I learned a new technique. 

Now, if you’ve ever tried to set goals before, you’ve probably heard of the basic strategy of setting S.M.A.R.T goals. And, if you want to check out what a SMART goal is, you can find it here on last week’s Xmas post [http://bit.ly/1yzuOL8].

I think S.M.A.R.T goals are a great place to start, but let’s be honest, although being smart is a great a start, being clever is a little better.



The C.L.E.V.E.R Outcome.

Now, I’d love to claim ownership of the C.L.E.V.E.R Outcome strategy but alas it’s not mine, I picked this little gem up from Gordon Young at Beyond NLP during my NLP certification.

Basically, it takes the SMART strategy to the next level.

So let’s get down to getting that C.L.E.V.E.R outcome for you, shall we?

We now know what you want and why you want it, all we need to do now is metaphorically light it on fire by emotionally charging it even further.

The next step is to take your goal/outcome through the following process [thoroughly] to ensure it ticks all the boxes of being as powerful to YOU as possible. 

‘C’ stands for ‘Congruence’ - how does this outcome fit within my values/my overall direction? This is the fulfillment of one of your basic human needs? It needs to fit in with what you actually want from your life?

‘L’ stands for ‘Leveraged’ – when you do this, list the things that this action could cost you, what you could lose ? Or, what could you gain/benefit from in achieving this outcome?

‘E’ stands for ‘Exact’ – you need to ensure your outcome is stated using specifics, especially regarding time.

‘V’ stands for ‘Visionary’ – you need to ensure that you think about your future with imagination. You need to ensure you have a strong and powerful vision of the outcome you want, then you need to stretch it enough that it challenges you to achieve something slightly beyond your grasp.

E’ stands for ‘Energized’ – how can you make this outcome more compelling to you personally. How will your life look, feel, smell, taste, sound? How will you know that you have it, and that “having it” was worth achieving?

And last, but not least…

‘R’ stands for ‘’Reviewable’ – a well formed ‘clever outcome’ should be measureable against a specific criteria in order to be achievable. These will be the ‘stepping stones’ that can measure progress along the way.



Step 4: Shine & Polish

Now you’ve put it through the process, it’s time to shine and polish your goal up to make it concise, yet still powerful.

It’s a non-negotiable necessity that you write down your goal and play around with emotive words until you come up with something that really resonates with you.

It’s even more important that you put it up somewhere you can see and read it, every, single, day.

You need to read your goal as many times as possible, because if you’ve written it in the correct way, then you’ll get into the right state of mind each and every time you read it. This is where the power of goal achievement lies.





Step 5:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there”

Once you’ve put your goal/outcome through the clever process and then made it shine. The final step is to MAP out how you’re going to achieve the outcome.

Because riding your majestic pink unicorn along the path of pleasure whilst eating all the icecream [and never worrying about putting on weight] is easy when you’re dreaming.

However, I’m sure we can agree that “dreaming the dream” is not really “living the dream”, is it?

The fact of the matter is, all that really needs to happen to make a dream a reality is to FOCUS!

Take the time to focus on everything that needs to be done to achieve the goal.

Don’t stress - the list will most likely be pretty big, but this is where you implement the ‘Pareto Principle’ [also known as the 80/20 rule] to cull down and find the 20% of the list that will return 80% of the results. 

One quick tip however, the ‘flashy’ things that sound like they would be the most fun to do, generally aren’t the things that you should be focusing on! Keep it simple, start from the beginning.

What you should end up with is an action plan with dates and times that you will have achieved each thing by. Then it literally is as simple as ticking off the boxes, because impossible is really nothing but something that requires more steps.

I really hoped this has helped you empower a few outcomes, but please remember, take your time and make it important to you!

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