Goal-setting. This is the final topic in our mindset buster series, and it’s a great one to talk about. I was speaking with a client and she was telling me about how she sets goals for her business and her personal life every year, like I’m sure many of you do. She, however, was saying that she always feels like a phony and a fake when she sets these goals because she can never achieve them.
Does this sound familiar? This was me for many years. I hated goals. They felt rigid and prescriptive. I was much more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of gal. You
might be the type of person who can just live in the present and pull things off. If you’re happy working that way, rock on.
However, if you’re a little frustrated about how your life is going or feel like things are a bit out of control, then we should talk. Goal-setting can definitely help alleviate that feeling. The problem isn’t so much in the idea of goals; it’s actually in creating the goals themselves.
Scared of not reaching your goals
My client didn’t see herself as good enough to achieve her goals. She felt like she wasn’t doing it right. She had totally developed this stigma that she was not one of those people who could set or meet goals. She had developed this mindset where she didn’t want to set any more goals because she felt she could never meet them. Like with all of these mindsets, they are hard to see. They are hard to acknowledge. It becomes our way of being. So let’s take a moment to break this one down. Maybe you can find a nugget that might be helpful to you.
My client didn’t see the point of setting goals because, in the end, they didn’t get done and they just made her feel bad. It’s like when you’re a kid and you touch a hot stove and get burned. You remember that and you don’t touch the stove again. It’s good that you learned from the experience. So, it made sense that my client didn’t want to set more goals. It’s a normal, healthy reaction after a negative experience.
Look at why you aren’t meeting your goals
My question for you today is to ask yourself, “What is happening with these goals? Why is it that I’m not reaching them?”
I know most of you are not slackers. It’s probably not just because you’re lazy and not doing the work to meet your goals. There’s something else going on. What I’ve found is that most people struggle with setting good goals or SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that reminds us goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound in order to be great goals.
For example, if you set a goal of doing something “better,” that’s not specific enough. What does that mean? The same applies to setting a measurable goal. What does that mean to you? Does that mean more money? More time with children? You have to specifically define what that means to you.
Are you setting achievable goals?
I’d like to focus on the third point: achievable. This is the component of the SMART goal setting that seems to be the most difficult. Someone may set a goal of earning $20,000 a month. My question is whether that’s achievable or not. In order to figure out if a goal is achievable, you have to look at a few things.
First, consider the cost of your widget or whatever you are selling. I have a client who is a sleep and breast-feeding coach for new moms. If she sells her services at $25 per hour or at $100 per hour and can work so many hours per month, it will affect how much she can earn in a given amount of time. The first step, then, is to simply do the math.
Second, you want to consider your personal circumstances. If you set a goal of working out an hour a day, but you have twin infants and a toddler, no family or friends to provide support, and no extra money to spend on childcare, you simply cannot achieve that goal. If you set a goal of losing 20 pounds the first two months postpartum like a celebrity, but you don’t have someone measuring and cooking your food, a personal trainer telling you what to do each day, and someone managing your schedule and your image like that celebrity, it’s probably not going to happen.
The point is to move you forward
Remember that goals are supposed to help motivate. Sometimes people set goals that are not very motivating. They say, “I should do such-and-such.” If you hear that word “should,” get rid of the goal. It’s probably not worth achieving. Remember you want to be able to get behind your goals. They should keep moving your forward. They should excite you. If you find yourself dragging your feet, your priorities may have shifted since you set your goals. Take some time to revisit them and make sure the goals are helping you achieve the successful, happy life you deserve.
Not sure about goal-setting? Don’t even know where to start? Get in touch, I love helping you find clarity on your goals and priorities!