First of all, no comments about Newcastle United and their heaviest home defeat since 1925. All I will say is that Liverpool clearly set their targets and achieved 6 of their goals in 90 minutes!!
My goal for this week is to write about goals and it’s proving tougher than I thought. I think the first thing is, I don’t actually like the word goal? It conjures up the thought of footballers running around a pitch trying to get a ball vaguely in the direction of goal to take a shot and, we’re right back to Newcastle United again!!
I’ve been thinking about why I don’t like the concept of setting goals and it’s because in the past I have set myself goals and never really achieved them. Then I had a light bulb moment, I didn’t achieve them because I didn’t want to achieve them, they were shoulds and not wants. When I was searching on tinterweb for information on goal setting a couple of articles popped up about why setting goals don’t work, I’ve put the links here just in case you’re interested :-
The following quote from the Psychology Today article really stuck in my mind :-
“The inherent problem with goal setting is related to how the brain works. Recent neuroscience research shows the brain works in a protective way, resistant to change. Therefore, any goals that require substantial behavioural change or thinking-pattern change will automatically be resisted. The brain is wired to seek rewards and avoid pain or discomfort, including fear. When fear of failure creeps into the mind of the goal setter it commences a de-motivator with a desire to return to known, comfortable behaviour and thought patterns.”
It’s all about how you write down what you want as well. If you write, ‘ I want to earn £100,000 / year’, first of all by saying ‘I want’ it sounds like it’s in the future, unattainable and what does that actually mean?
Rather than goals, let’s think about vision, what do you want in your ideal world and how can you ‘real it in’?
For a while it’s been about survival, the majority of us have had our heads down steering through the choppy waters. Let us also not forget that a lot of people have been forced into making changes if they’ve been made redundant. In that instance change can force you to change direction rather than dreaming about it which can ultimately be positive but it can also be a baptism of fire in that situation.
When you think about your vision and your aspirations, it’s important to think in the present tense and use the words ‘I am’, just saying those words can be really powerful. The article in Success Magazine talks about using the present tense and also about thinking about the characteristics of the person you want to be to realise your vision. For example, you want to be an Associate or a Director in your organisation, what behaviours should you adopt to start to grow into that position? (good behaviours only thank you!) Ghandi talked about being the change you wish to see in the world, it’s so true.
It’s also worth thinking about balance. Sometimes if we’re driven purely to achieve aspirations in our working life, other areas of our life can suffer, let’s consider the whole picture.
A great exercise I’ve used a number of times in coaching is the Wheel of Life. Draw a circle on a piece of paper, divide into segments and think about all of the things in your life such as family, friends, relationship, work, hobbies, all of the things that make you who you are. Then with 1 being in the centre, on a scale of 1-10 how would you rate each segment. Work may be 6/10, relationship 5/10 or higher of course! What is happening at the moment to make the scores what they are and what changes could be made to start to increase the score up to a 6 or a 7?
Getting back to the vision, if I was doing some coaching with you I’d ask you some questions along the lines of:-
It’s 1st May 2018, where are you, are you still in the same job? where are you living? describe a typical working day? describe a typical evening? what are you doing at the weekend? what type of car are you driving? what activities do you like to do? where have you been on holiday?
Now, starting from 2018 work your way backwards, to 2017, what were you doing then? then back to 2016, and so on to get a picture of what you were doing on the way to 2018. That way you get back to where you are now and can start to see the steps and actions to put in place to achieve your vision and start to ‘real it in’.
Right, on that note I’m off to grab a piece of paper and a pen and get writing………. I may bump into you in 2018!! Oh, I just have, you’re doing amazingly well, you’re loving your job which you thought would never happen, mind you, I think the drive to work through the countryside in your fabulous car helps……….I’ll leave the rest to you!!