Monday, 3 February 2014

Going for Gold on Goal Setting

                 Success = Goals + Commitment + Circumstances

                           
 “I have been visualizing myself every night for the past four years standing on the podium having the gold placed around my neck.”
 Kieren Perkins, Winner of 2 Gold Medals at 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games

Your dream/vision is the starting point and provides “the compass that takes you on your life journey and reminds you of the direction you are suppose to be going in and provides the foundations on which you build your goal” 
(Mark Bouris, What it Takes, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2013).

Visioning  Review

How did you go with last week’s visioning/values activity.  When you closed your eyes and imagined your perfect day did you see yourself standing on a podium receiving a gold medal, receiving your degree, relaxing on a tropical island or finishing that gardening project? It doesn't matter how big or small the dream: it’s still your dream.  Follow the link if you missed the post:
http://self-coach2success.blogspot.com.au/

I found the visioning activity a bit daunting at first, but after I sat with it for a while, I came up with a whole range of values that are not quite aligned with the dream I have for myself and where I want to be in 12 month’s time.  I have resisted the urge to over commit and selected just two (2) things to focus on, mainly because they relate to each other and have been a constant challenge for me over a number of years now. These are nutrition and exercise. As a cancer survivor I recognise the true value of making health and well-being a priority but have struggled to make them a focus  in my busy life.  So this is the year I am going to go for Gold and commit to making my dream a reality.   What about you? 

What golden goals are you going to pursue this year?

                                  What is a goal anyway?

A goal is defined as:

  •   The purpose toward which an endeavor is directed.
  •  The result or achievement toward which effort is directed or aimed.

Goal setting, then, is a two part process.
1.       The first part is deciding on the goal  and then
2.      Working towards accomplishing the goal  

"The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable.  Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them" Denis Watley (motivational speaker and author). 

Defining Goals

After reading and researching numerous books, websites and blogs on the topic (as I’m sure you have done at some point in your life) it appears the magic formula for goal setting  includes ensuring our goals follow the SMART acronym.

YES -  I know you know it but,  if you're not living it/doing it then you don't know it.  So give it a go :



Specific
Ensure the goal is clear and specific in what you want to achieve. It should be written in the present tense (as if you have already achieved it) and stated in positive terms that focus on growth. .




MEASURABLE
How will you know when you have achieved your goal? What will you be doing at that time? What will others notice you doing? What will be different? What will you have started or changed? What will you have stopped or be doing less of?


ACHIEVABLE
Ensure your goals are not too high or too low. Don’t set yourself up to fail or to be bored! Consider setting smaller goals on your way to the big one. If you don’t achieve what you set out to, then ask what you could do differently, what would make it more likely to succeed next time?

REALISTIC & RESOURCED
Is this achievable with the resources I have and given my current circumstances? Are there any other resources you need to help achieve your goal? How can you access these resources? What are the barriers to your success and how can you overcome them? These could be internal obstacles (skills, knowledge, physical health, doubt, anger, anxiety) or external (time, money, social support).

TIME LIMITED
Set a reasonable time limit to achieve your goal. this could be a week, a month, a year or longer? Consider breaking your bigger goal into smaller steps with reduced time frames.

 Other Helpful Tips for Goal Setting

·         Accountability - Tell other people about your goal and your ongoing progress:
·         Write your Goals - Post them where you can see them to remind you what you’re working towards.  Maybe you could enter into a written contract with yourself.
·         Reward Yourself -  small rewards for reaching targets provides motivation and leads to more success.
·         Record your progress: keep a journal, graph or drawing that plots your progress.
·         Stay focused -  Research shows that fantasising about the future beyond the goal reduces your chances of follow through. 
·         Use visualisation - Take a leaf out of Kieren Perkins book and visualise yourself achieving your goal. If you can’t picture yourself achieving your goal chances are you won’t. Perhaps make up a vision board with a pictures that represent your goal 
·         Start Small – don’t try and change the world in one day. 
  
My Goal for 2014 

I am feeling fit and energised as I now weight 58 kgs, can jog 10 km in 1 hour and have reduced my alcohol intake to  2 bottles of wine per week. 

Have you been able to set a goal using the tips above?  If so, are you brave enough to post it (as suggested to ensure accountability)?

Remember: Setting a SMART goal will provide a map for the journey ahead and will give you a clear destination (end point).  Now we know the where and why of our journey. That’s always a good start for any travel planning.  Next week, we’ll investigate HOW to get there.