Have you ever been hellbent on achieving something one week only for it to fizzle out and be left by the wayside the next week? Goal setting is one of those things that we know is a ‘good thing’ to do and many of us strive to incorporate it into our lives but find it notoriously difficult to stick to. I’m not going to lie- goalsetting can be difficult because it requires patience, determination, and an ability to tolerate discomfort (for example, saying no to that second drink or Tim tam when your goal is to be healthy), which is not an easy thing to do in a culture that is all about immediate gratification. That’s why it’s important to have a good Goal Setting Plan. In my experience- when people don’t achieve their goals it’s not because they’re not capable- 9 times out of 10 they just haven’t come up with a successful plan that enables them to turn their dreams into actionable and achievable steps. A lot of people come to me for coaching or psychology with a clear idea of what they want but without the know how to make it happen. In this post I’m going to share a super effective 4 Step WHAT, WHY, WHO, HOW Goal Setting Plan that- if followed- will get you to where you want to go, and sooner than you think.
- Identify WHAT you want
It’s important to be specific here. Its not enough to say you want to be happy or healthy-of course you do but in what way? What is happiness or health to you? Is it to be able to wake up every day and be in gratitude for your life or to be able to run 20 ks in 4 hours? If you don’t know exactly what you want than it’s probably going to be harder for you to achieve it. It’s okay to start broad but remember to narrow it down to a specific action that you can do, feel, and experience.
- Identify WHY you want it
Once you know what your goal is make sure that it’s in line with your values and the things that are important to you in your life, as opposed to something you think you should do to please others. Asking yourself “what will the goal bring me if I achieve it”? will lead you to your values and keep you motivated through the tough times. For example, if you value having a healthy body and treating it well than devising a goal around exercise and healthy living is going to be easier to stick too than if it wasn’t a top priority.
- WHO can help you?
You don’t live in a vacuum and you’re not expected to know it all, so it makes sense to call on others to help you when you need it right? Most people have this idea that they need to be perfect and do it all themselves, which can lead to feelings of failure and disappointment when they find themselves overwhelmed. The key is to know what your strengths are and then recruit people to support you in the areas that aren’t your forte.
- HOW are you going to achieve it? What actionable steps do you need to get from here to there?
You know what you want, why you want it, and you’ve got your group of friends and professionals to help you, so now is the time to set some smaller- and what I call- Stepping Stone Goals to get you there. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are new habits or creations, so it’s going to likely take some time to get there. Setting smaller stepping stone goals will help to keep you motivated and feeling good because you know that you’re moving forward. Some examples are jogging 1 km and increasing it incrementally week by week over a period of time, building a website, saving $5 dollars a day and building up, practicing a language every day for 20 minutes and building up. The key is to start small and build up incrementally.
Goal setting using the 4 Step WHAT, WHY, HOW, WHO process is my super effective, confidence building process that gets awesome results with my coaching clients. Give it a try and let me know how you go. I’d love to support and coach you through your journey!