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Entries from January 2016

The problem with goal setting… 3 common mistakes

28th January 2016
Goal settingWe are at that stage in the year where most of the
organisations I work with are coming towards the end of their financial year and starting to get their heads around next year’s goals.
Whether you are an individual considering your own goals for the coming year, or a leader considering the team or organisational goals, you have the opportunity to set yourself up for a positive or negative spiral.
If the goal involves a positive reward the expectation of a reward can have an impact on your mood and the way you think about things, building momentum and motivation as you progress.
Whereas if the goal involves you moving away from a problem you will spend a lot of time focussing on the problem itself rather than solutions. This can draw you into a negative spiral facing all the reasons why it exists in the first place and all the things that are place that help create it. It can sometimes feel overwhelming and difficult before you even get started!
Setting the right goal is like a gift that keeps on giving – you continue to get positive benefits all the while you head towards it. This is easier said than done. Being able to establish simple, motivational goals takes practice.
In my experience many people make the following mistakes:
Time
The first mistake is that not enough time is given to the process. It’s seen as a task, or worse still a chore that has to be done. It’s either put off until the last minute to the exercise, or squeezed in to your diary to get it done and out of the way. In both of these circumstances not a lot of thought is given to really consider what the focus will be and how to language the goal appropriately.
Goal Setting
Set some quality time aside to consider what it is you really want to achieve. What will make a difference to your strategy and is it achievable?
What is missing in your activities that will take you
further towards your vision?
Take some time to really craft how you word your goal(s) using positive language and meaningful measures (see below).
Problem Focussed
The second mistake is that often goals are structured around solving a problem rather than creating a solution.
For example we’re not hitting or profit targets, or a drop in customer numbers, or  a system problem. This is no surprise as our brains are wired to find and fix problems. Problems are easier to find and identify with so we get side tracked and drawn in to looking for them. We are often really clear about what the problem is
whereas we don’t always know what the solution could be.
This causes us to use more negative language, or language focussed on fixing the problem. On a personal level we use language such as; lose weight, don’t smoke, don’t fight, stop drinking…. This simply encourages us to focus on the problem.
The way around this is to focus on the solution you are trying to create. A question I often ask is what do you want instead of the problem? This way you build a world around the solution you want to create – even if you’re not sure what this will be exactly. Using the above examples you might focus on a particular dress size, level of fitness, the type of relationship you want…
A goal written this way allows you to visualise what you want and connect with it. You brain will then register what you’re aiming towards and you’ll start o feel good as you make progress towards it.
Results Focussed
Mistake number three is that we often establish measures for the end result. This is great and certainly better than no measures at all. However, if we want a ‘gift that keeps on giving’ it’s worth setting up some measure that let you know you are making progress.
  • What would be the first sign that you are on track?
  • What small achievements do you notice along the way?
  • How do you see people responding?
  • What are people saying?
  • How do you feel?
These may be tangible (qualitative) results or more quantitative – how people are responding and behaving or the general mood.
So before you start to consider your goals set aside some quality time and focus on the solution you want to create. If you’ve already started the process go back and review what you’ve written.
Remember it takes practice to write positive motivational goals.
Good luck and let me know how you get on.
‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe the mind will
achieve.’
Napoleon Hill

 

The one thing most people forget to consider in goal setting and New Year resolutions

14th January 2016
Goal Setting
Are YOU ready?
The reason we don’t achieve goals is often because they
aren’t important enough for us to commit to them, or because we have some
pattern of behaviour that prevents us from achieving them.
So, before you ‘fall off the wagon’ with your New Year goals
I thought I’d share some of the areas you may want to explore before you fall
prey to some of your unconscious patterns.
Your brain is fundamentally lazy and will follow the path of
least resistance and our unconscious patterns are so ingrained that they work
on autopilot. We (our brain) don’t even have to think about them. However, they
are usually triggered by an event or situation. Think about your morning
routine you don’t really think too much about what you’re doing because your
pattern (routine) is fully embodied and you are pretty much operating on
autopilot.
This is just one example and there will be many more throughout your day, so I put together some questions to hopefully
prevent you from sabotaging your future achievements.

Spotting potential obstacles – 5 questions to accelerate
your success
 

Habits

1) What is your perceptions of your goal? Do you think this will be
easy of hard? Is it going to be fun? On a scale of 1 – 10 how much do you want
it where 10 is high and one is low.
If you consider your goal difficult to achieve break it down
so it appears more manageable. How can you make it more playful?
2) What excuse are you making about getting started, or
staying on track?
Some excuses might be:
  • I’m not quite ready yet, I need x, y or z in
    place before I can make a start.
  • I haven’t found the time to fit this in/make it
    happen.
  • Someone else hasn’t given you what you need yet.

If you find you are making excuses the chances are it’s not
important enough for you, or you’ve hit another obstacle. In which case read
on…
3) What sabotage patterns are you running? Here are just a
few examples:
  • Keeping busy so you don’t have time.
  • Agreeing to do things for others without
    considering the impact to your own commitments.
  • Relying on others to make things happen for you.
  • Following your ‘old’ routines/patterns…

 What is triggering this behaviour? Pay attention to what,
where, when this is triggered. Is it a particular thought you have that is
conflicting with where you want to get to (your goal) or how you feel at a
particular moment in time, or when you are in a certain place or with a
particular group of people.
Once you’ve identified the trigger, what can you do to avoid
these situations or think differently about them?
It may take you some time to identify the trigger,
particularly if it’s one of your unconscious patterns, and I’d encourage you to
stick with it. The more aware you become of what you’re doing automatically the
more you are likely to change.
4) What changes do you need to make either in your self, or
your environment in order to ensure you achieve your goal in the long term?
(See your answers to the questions above).
5) What support do you need to achieve your goal? We all
need encouragement and support to keep going, who can you ask for support to
ensure you stay accountable? Who may be able to join you? How can you make it
more fun?
When we set goals, or intentions, or New Year resolutions we
are aiming for a future that we don’t yet have and there will always be an
internal battle between your present self and your future self.
Staying ‘on track’ requires self-discipline, a muscle that
needs to be exercised regularly. It’s easy to forget what you are aiming for
when your present self is here and now, which is why identifying your own
self-imposed obstacles can make a difference.
“The
ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it
takes to achieve them.”

Jim Rohn

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