So far in this series helping us to #Finish2020Strong, we’ve:
taken 3 steps to a fresh start, letting go of the past and allowing ourselves to dream about our future
narrowed our focus so that all of these possible dreams have become one clear dream to pursue.
And now it’s time to turn that dream into a goal.
But what’s the difference? 🤔
Dreams are vague, loose ideas of something you want at some point.
Goals are something specific that you are working towards by a particular day.
Which do you think is more likely to happen…?
There are all sorts of different ways to turn a dream into a goal - often using an acronym!
I covered these in an earlier blog post.
Today we are going to focus on one particular method: the Well-Formed Outcome.
Follow these steps to frame your dream as a powerfully motivating goal.
1. State what you want (not what you don’t want)
This is so important! The brain does not take account of negatives.
I’ve mentioned the famous polar bear experiment before, inspired by Dostoevsky.
Or another way to look at it: if I ask you NOT to think of a purple elephant riding a bicycle, what do you immediately think of…?
By the same token, you can’t have as a goal feeling “not stressed”. Instead, choose “calm”, or “peaceful’.
You need to use the same approach when defining your goal to #Finish2020Strong: make it an active, positive statement, not a negative avoidant one.
2. Specify how much/ by when
A goal without a deadline is meaningless.
So really think about when you want to achieve this goal by.
Put an actual, specific, concrete date on it.
Don’t let yourself wriggle: if you are to have any hope of achieving your goal, you need to set a date to achieve it by.
And if you can quantify it in any other way - by how much money; or by an increase in however many numbers - that really helps too. Get as specific as you can.
3. Make it live
Next, make your goal come alive:
ask yourself, what would it feel like to achieve that goal? Satisfying, pleased, proud?
go deeper: and what would that give you? A sense of achievement, positive feedback, promotion?
go deeper: and what would THAT give you? More money, a better reputation, the admiration of my peers…?
and keep going: what would THAT give you? A greater chance of succeeding in my chosen career, the opportunity to go on holiday/ buy something I want, an enormous feeling of wellbeing and pride?
Keep going until you’ve really followed through on all of the positive ramification of achieving your goal - especially how you will FEEL as a result.
And if you can, try to find a representation of what the world looks like once you’ve achieved your goal:
the feeling of achievement expressed as a colour;
the amount of money you will get written on a post-it and stuck to your laptop;
or a picture of the car/ house/ phone you will buy as your screensaver.
Remind yourself visually of the outcome of achieving your goal: it will act as a powerful incentive.
4. What is the first step?
This is a very powerful part of the process.
We can become inspired and motivated by the idea of our achievement - only to then get overwhelmed.
How do you even begin to achieve a goal like that?
Well, it’s very simple: identify the first step.
Whatever that step is: whether it’s buying a book or watching a video that will teach you something crucial; blocking some time in your calendar to think about it; arranging a phone call with someone vital to your goal.
There will be one easy step that you can take NOW - today or at the latest tomorrow - to start you on your path towards achieving your goal.
So decide what it is, and take it.
You will immediately break the inertia of overwhelm, and it will make it so much easier to continue taking action to achieve your goal.
5. How could you sabotage yourself?
Another crucial part of this process: ask yourself the question, “knowing me better than anyone else, how could I sabotage myself in achieving this goal?”.
You will already know the kinds of your behaviour patterns that get in your way.
❌ Do you constantly allowing yourself to react to your inbox so you never get anything proactive done?
❌ Do you frequently get distracted by social media, until you realise hours have passed by while scrolling?
❌ Do you always focus on getting the easy tasks done, so you can have a brilliantly ticked-off “to do” list - apart from that one, most important job?
Whatever it is, you will know…
So acknowledge it to yourself.
And then decide what you are going to do about it.
Set a timer for working from your inbox; allow yourself specific windows of opportunity to look at social media; start your day with your big project rather than leaving it until last.
Whatever your sabotaging behaviour is, you can find an effective solution.
So do it: make it explicit, and promise yourself that you will stick to it.
6. Check for congruence
This is a strange word, but the principle it embodies is simple.
If we don’t really want to achieve a goal, because it threatens us in some way, our unconscious will throw up all sorts of barriers to stop us achieving it.
For example, we might want to lose weight, but worry that if we are thinner we will need to go on holiday with our partner actually we’re terrified of flying.
So instead of admitting that (to ourselves or our partner), we keep failing at our diet.
Or we might want to reach a certain financial goal with our business or our career, but we’re worried on some level that if we do get there it will prompt jealousy and negative reactions from our family and friends. So we keep holding ourselves back.
The way to discover this is to think deeply about whether or not achieving this goal fits with all parts of your life.
Is there anything negative that would occur in any area of your life if you DID achieve this goal?
Shine a light on it - don’t let it be a hidden fear, driving your behaviour.
And when you have, you can decide whether or not it’s a valid thought, or just a limiting belief that will hold you back.
Ask yourself, is that REALLY true?
Does it REALLLY matter?
If I reach my financial goals, yes, my brother might get a bit jealous - but is that a good enough reason to stop me?
Draw out these hidden fears and limiting beliefs, and knock them down so you are free to move forward.
7. Finally, is it reasonable?
If you have done the work above, the answer will be a resounding YES: of course it is reasonable for you to achieve your goal!
And what a good foundation that is for you to move forward.
Now all you need to do is take action 💪
If you follow this process, you will have:
✅ defined a clear, positive, specific and powerfully motivating goal;
✅ tackled overwhelm by defining your first step
✅ identified how you might sabotage yourself - and what you can do about it
✅ uncovered any limiting beliefs that might hold you back
✅ and finally, you will have given yourself a powerful springboard to take action.
So the next step after this: how to plan to achieve your goal…
Because after all, “a goal without a plan is just a wish” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).
Watch out for this next week! 😃
#Finish2020Strong with my new Group Coaching Programme
And in the meantime, if you are interested in using my support to help you achieve your big goal in the rest of 2020, my new Group Coaching Programme is now open for enrolment.
Use my monthly group coaching sessions to help you
clarify which goal to go after
get proper accountability to make sure you take action
and overcome procrastination and limiting beliefs.
Enrolment is open until Monday 13th July (or until all places are filled - 2 have already gone, and spaces are limited to ensure personal attention...)
Click here for more information and to reserve your space!
I look forward to helping you #Finish2020Strong!
Wishing you a powerfully productive week 💖💪