Setting Goals

The reason for setting goals can be summed up in this simple quote.

 “If you don’t know where you are going, you are likely to end up somewhere else.”
Laurence J Peter – The Peter Principle

In this article I’m going to concentrate on how to set out your goal, working out what goals you want to achieve is a whole other topic!

Write it down

An often quoted study of Yale University graduates found that, back in 1953, just 3% of the graduating class had written down a set of goals for their lives.  20 years later a survey of the same group revealed that the ‘goal setting’ students were financially worth more than the other 97% put together.  This 3% also had better relationships and enjoyed better health.  It was not parental wealth, degree subjects taken, career selected, ethnic or gender base or any of the other obvious factors that made the difference. 

The factor that linked all these students was that they had set clear goals.  It is a real testimony to the power of goal setting.  Even so, the majority of people spend more time planning their annual holiday than they do planning their lives.  It is estimated that (just as in the Yale group) only 3% of the population has an organised goal or life plan.

Brian Tracey is quoted as having said that if you do no more than write 10 goals down and put the paper in your desk draw you are likely to achieve 8 of them.  The process of writing a goal is a powerful one, it takes your thoughts from a dream to an intention.  By clarifying that intention you can make it more likely still to come true.

Create a contract

Sign it, to create a contract with yourself.  This is an indication to yourself of how important it is to you.  Remember to write it in the present tense, as if it has already happened.  This is another way of signalling to your brain that you believe that it will happen and your subconscious mind will go to work to make it happend.  Also remember to set a date for it to happen by.  It’s all well and good stating that you will run a marathon but when?

Parts of a good goal

The following mnemonics can be useful to use when structuring your goal statement.  SMART is the most well known as it is often used in the work place.  It’s great in this setting as it makes sure that objecives are clearly understood by all those involved and that the successful completion is equally clear and not open to interpretation.

Achievable (Agreed)
Time bound

Positively stated

Environmentally sound

Utilise your subconscious mind

When setting goals it is important to remember that you get what you focus on.
You have to take care when you send your subconscious to work as it can’t distinguish between
The truth and lies
Postive and negative

We can use this to our benefit when we set both goals and affirmations.
I AM a successful business woman will send the subconscious off looking for proof that I AM

However, if I tell myself that I do NOT want chocolate, my subconscious misses out the not and looks for chocolate and chocolate eating opportunities!

A great example was when I told myself not to hit a bollard when reversing my car, you can guess what happened and I’d strongly recommend that you NEVER tell someone to make sure that they don’t put petrol in a diesel car!

If you’d like some help setting your goals, or working out what they should be, book an Introduction Session to help get you started.

About Clare Wildman

Life coaching from Lincolnshire. Having moved from Milton Keynes I'm now based between Boston and New York, in the UK. Looking forward to welcoming clients to the new coaching room and having the option for walking as we talk or taking advantage of sunny days in the garden.