A New Vision for Goal Setting
In my many years of supporting and coaching others both within and outside the hair industry, there has been a massive challenge around goal setting. For some, it seems that a specific, measurable, and time sensitive goal is the juice they need to follow their dreams. For others, goals have been nothing but heavy expectation, pressure, and massive let down. I do know that we will be our most expansive and abundant selves when we are mindfully creating the life we want, so it’s time to overhaul and update the goal setting process.
The biggest issue in many goal setting sessions is putting the “what” before the “why”. We tend to throw down a specific end result that may or may not have any relevance to why we are setting a goal in the first place!
So, start with Vision:
- Dig deeper into the “WHY” behind what you are wanting. If it’s hitting a financial goal, why is that number important? Sure, more money is cool, but what does more money bring to your life? More time with family? The vacation? But don’t stop there! Why is time with family important? What does that bring to your life and to theirs? The deeper you dive, the richer your motivation and purpose will be. It’s not the number itself that is truly fulfilling, it’s what it provides you in life.
- Look at where you currently are today, where you want to go, and what the blocks are that you must face to get there. What stories are you telling yourself that are getting in your way? What beliefs are you holding onto that no longer serve you? Don’t jump into the “how” quite yet… keep developing the Vision! Getting crystal clear will provide you with a much better foundation to launch from.
Now you can create the map:
- Develop experiments and explorations instead of expectations! This is where things can get heavy. When we set heavy expectations and commitments on how we “should” be, we may get a momentary blast of motivation to escape pain or gain pleasure, but we’ve all felt how fast that light burns out. What if you could make it playful or exciting… something that lit up your curiosity?
- Make the experiments specific. What will you play with and when?
- Make the explorations realistic! This is hard for the perfectionists and immediate gratification seekers… we want it all and we want it NOW. We are much more likely to stay in that curious playful mode if we take on bite size chunks and get the reinforcement of doing what we say we will do.
- Decide “who” you will be during the process. This means, how do you want to show up? Do you want to be the curious explorer who is ok with the ups and downs, or will you allow the old habits of expectation and perceptions of failure creep back in? You get to decide “who” takes on this adventure.
Step onto the path:
- As you take your first steps, take a moment to remind yourself of “who” you want to be. To overcome old habits, we must be very intentional about how we want to do things differently.
- Stay compassionately accountable to yourself or bring in an accountability buddy. Compassionate accountability means that when we “drop the ball”, we don’t beat ourselves up and we also don’t let ourselves off the hook. So, what if you ate a pint of ice-cream while you were experimenting with healthy eating habits! Beating your head on the wall isn’t going to make things better, and tomorrow is a new day to step back into curiosity and exploration.
- Stay in observation instead of judgement. Look at each experience as cause and effect… when I tried X, it gave me Y result. Everything is progress even if it feels like it moved you away from the goal. You still have much more wisdom than when you started and now you can craft new experiments based on those new understandings.
- Be careful with the “When the going gets tough” mindset. I’m not saying that you should jump ship when the seas get rough, but just make sure to always keep your eyes moving in all directions to see opportunities to go around instead of through the wall. And, when you hit a dead end, find gratitude for the lesson and keep moving in a new direction! Don’t lose the momentum because you are stuck on “not giving up”.
As we continue to live an unpredictable world, it’s easy to feel out of control. Many of us have been living a “wait and see” lifestyle since the early part of 2020. It is time to begin intentionally crafting our lives and turning our focus to what we do have control over. By adopting a more fluid and flexible approach to progression and working from vision instead of rigid expectations, we can be more resilient when the unexpected interrupts our flow. Keep moving friends and live life as the journey it is meant to be.
Andrew Carruthers shares tips for wellbeing every week during Wellness Wednesday, see full calendar here.