What do you want to make happen?
Have you noticed that as soon as December comes around the Best of the Year competitions show up? The years not finished yet and still we are moving on, almost writing off December in terms of our achievements and preparing to achieve our goals for the year ahead.
I have to be honest, I’m feeling a bit that way this year. I’m still thinking about the things I can do to finish the year strong in terms of my personal goals and achievements but I’m already feeling enthusiasm for 2024.
So what I thought I would do is share with you some of my process for getting clear about what I want and how I go about making it happen. Here’s 10 steps that you can use to help you achieve your goals in the year ahead.
Step 1 – day dream
To me this is one of the most important steps of all. If we don’t dream how can we know what we actually want. Often when I discuss with clients what they are looking to achieve in our first few sessions of working together they are really clear about what they don’t want but there’s often a big silence when it comes to what they want their life to look and feel like.
Step 2 – check it’s you that wants it
The first stage of many conversations is something along the lines of:
- I want to lose weight
- To get fit
- To make more money
These are really generic goals and things that many of us feel that we ‘should’ want, doesn’t everyone? When you start to scratch the surface though and ask yourself why you can start to feel a little bit unsure.
I would say that I would want all of the above but when I question myself they aren’t really the most important things to me. Losing weight would help me bend as I’d have a smaller tummy, my clothes would be more comfortable and I would find it easier to buy clothes that I enjoyed wearing. Getting fit, it would be good to be able to do the gardening without hurting. In short these are goals that help me achieve a more important ‘end’ goal. They aren’t where the motivation lies, that sits with the end goal.
Step 3 – identify your end goals
Take time to identify the goals that you really want as opposed to those that you need to achieve to make the end goals happen. Which fill you with enthusiasm and joy?
Step 4 – how does it fit in the overall scheme of things
Do the goals you have set for yourself fit with your existing aims? Do they all fit together or do they seems to clash? If you have a goal to learn how to bake gorgeous cakes might that conflict with your weight loss goal? If so how will you manage that?
Step 5 – who else might be impacted?
As the saying goes, no man is an island, will the goals you have set for yourself impact on others? Do you need to get their agreement or their co-operation before moving forward. Having read the biographies of many successful people they all comment on how they wouldn’t have been able to achieve without the support of their families. Consider this now and have the discussions before problems arise.
Step 6 – What do I need to help me
Are you looking to achieve something that will need resources, time, skills or money? Identify clearly what you need upfront. Some of the steps to your achievement may be mini goals in themselves such as rearranging your day so that you can meditate and journal on a daily basis.
Step 7 – what might get in the way?
This could range from not feeling well, to needing to travel for work through to an unexpected emergency. If you can think about all the things that might come between you and your achievement you can start to plan for how you will handle those barriers. You don’t need a full on action plan, though you may find that useful, often just having considered what you might do in these circumstances will be enough to help you if they actually happen.
Step 8 – how can I break it down into smaller steps?
Small steps make the journey seem more possible. If you can make the step so small that you have not excuses for not doing it then you will really make your journey to success easier. I’ve been to some talks recently given by extreme athletes and they all say that they reach a point in their activities where they start counting the steps or counting off the time or distance in tiny bite sized chunks to help them keep moving forward. That works for us too.
Step 9 – how will I celebrate my achievement?
When you have broken down each step into these small bite sized chunks it’s easy to feel that your journey has been effortless and to underrate your overall achievement. Decide ahead of time how you will mark achieving that goal, it gives you even more to look forward to.
Step 10 – what small step can you take right now?
Is there one small step that you have identified that you can take right NOW? There’s nothing more motivating than taking action and seeing yourself a step closer to your goal. Go on, off you go, do it now.
The 10 steps to prepare to achieve your goals are:
- day dream
- check it’s you that wants it
- identify your end goals
- how does it fit in the overall scheme of things?
- who else might be impacted?
- what do I need to help me?
- what might get in the way?
- how can I break it down into smaller steps?
- how will I celebrate my achievement?
- what small step can you take right now?
If you’d like some help working through this process contact me here or join us at the next Goal Watchers session where we’ll be using questions and processes like this to help you achieve your goals.