Updated: Apr 28
So, I’m a little fired up today. This has been a really good week, but I haven’t had the opportunity to focus on my goals as much as I wanted to. Like everyone, I have work, family and other obligations that require my attention and if you are #adulting as well, you get it.
I’m fired up because I find it interesting how much it bugs me that I didn’t get a chance to work on them. That means they are important to me and that’s something I’m really excited about. There was a time where I didn’t have too many goals and now, I can’t imagine not having a bunch them and at least two or three that really speak to my heart, capture my attention, and demand my energy.
Goals are a funny thing because sometimes you have them and sometimes you don’t. It really does matter where you are in life and what’s going on at the time. Wherever you are is okay. Really. If you’re just too busy, well, sometimes just getting through the day without losing your s#!t is the goal! And that’s completely alright. If you’re just starting out, baby steps are the way to go. If you only have one goal, that’s something and if you have a ton that’s great too. Pace yourself though, heard of the phase “Jack of all trades, Master of none?” Regardless, there’s something you can do at every stage of goal creation and achievement that will work for where you are:
Stage 1: No Goal – You can visualize some and see what might work for you.
Stage 2: Have a Few Goal Options – Research those ideas and find the one or two that excite you most.
Stage 3: Goal(s) Defined – Begin planning and working toward them.
Stage 4: The Holy Grail of Goals Identified and Launched! – Let the execution of goal domination commence with extensive energy and focus! It's a bit much but I'm fired up!
That all sounds well and good Ms. Health Coach but what if you don’t know how to start, how to keep going or how to get over the finish line? I’m so glad you asked.
Goals are also a funny thing in that even though you have them, you don’t always achieve them. Maybe you get too busy. What you thought would be a good goal for you isn’t a proper fit after all. Maybe you get in your own way or lose focus or momentum. It happens. What’s really important is that at some point in your life, you commit to growing, improving yourself or just stepping out of your comfort zone to see what's possible.
If that process includes trying to reach some goals, here are a few things to think about:
Tip #1 Define Goals
Goals can be big or small, personal, or professional, but if you shove them out into the cold light of day, ultimately, they should mean something to you. When defining a goal, ask yourself why you are doing it. A lot of thought and detail should be put into why you want to achieve a certain goal and what it means to you. You should be emotionally invested in the outcome of the goal. For instance, if you didn’t finish school, and it’s important to you that you set an example for your kids by modeling the value of education and finishing what you started, that’s an emotional outcome. It means something to you.
Lacking inspiration? Last week’s blog mentioned the use of a vision board to help get some creative juices flowing or just provide you with a little motivation to consider bigger and better things. A vision board could be vital at this stage. Posting quotes and pictures of the things that resonate with you emotionally may stir up ideas that you may want to pursue. It’s worth a try.
Tip #2 Get Organized
Sometimes the passion of achieving a goal will just propel you through the process. You have something in mind, and nothing will stop you until you get there. More often than not, it’s a much slower process and takes time. Getting organized helps you get really clear on what needs to get done, how much time you have, what your resources and limitations are. Being organized can give you a sense of control as well as keep you on track. Some people thrive on being able to check things off as they go. If that’s you (that's me), getting organized is essential. If that’s not you, consider at least putting a few checkpoints in place so you’re not all over the place. Goal achievement is not always a straight line. I can fully attest to that!
Tip #3 Develop Good Habits
Complaining. Procrastinating. Indecision. These habits along with a few choice others will not serve you in meeting your goals. Look at your current habits and see which ones are slowing you down. This is an excellent opportunity to get out of your own way! Try on a positive mindset, stay on schedule, pick a course of action, and stick with it. Changing your habits requires you to do the opposite of the habit with the negative or less impactful outcome. Quite simply, instead of eating the chips, eat the grapes. Easy peasy. (Who are we kidding!? It takes practice. But once you get the hang of it the sky’s the limit in what you can change!) Change one thing at a time and see how it goes. Major overhauls usually fall flat.
Tip #4 Repetition is Key
Keep. At. It. If you keep doing what you’re doing, it gets easier and easier. Put effort toward your goal and standards around the outcome. Carve out dedicated time to work towards your goals. Again, the more you do things in an organized fashion, the better your outcomes will be. Organization leads to the repetition needed to acquire proficiency in your goal area. Just like a basketball player practices’ free throws every day, continuous focus, and application of steps to reach your goals goes a very long way.
Tip #5 Set Milestones and Deadlines
Now, for the dreaded milestones and deadlines. They are everywhere! But in achieving goals, they are truly a big part of your roadmap to success. If you have milestones along the way, those checkpoints can keep you engaged and motivated. Keep them reasonable and achievable. If you’re like me and love a good “to do” list (told ya!), milestones are the little badges you collect in a video game on your way to the trophies at the end of each level and seeing your progress is very satisfying and supportive; they keep you going. You can see where you’ve been and what comes next. Look back at the milestones you have achieved; yes, you did that and should be proud. Deadlines are the levels in video games. Keep racking up those levels and you will finally cash in for the big win at the end: THE GOAL!
I set a goal to pursue a life that was dedicated to supporting and helping others. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do or how I was going to do it, but I knew it was important to me and I was emotionally invested in the outcome. It drove me to:
Figure out what I wanted (to become a Health Coach).
Find a way to do it (went back to school).
Manage my life and progress (stayed organized; even with a few detours and U-turns).
Adopt new habits (making time for me, keeping an optimistic mindset, taking action)
Stay the course (adhered to a study schedule, made adjustments as needed and celebrated my wins!)
Meet my goal (graduated with a certificate in Health Coaching).
Got goals? I hope you do! If not, let’s see how we can work together and explore what your future may hold.
It’s a rainy day, but I’m fired up! I get to work on my goals. It’s gonna be a great day!
Take care and be well,