The truth is; goal setting can be one of those things that you avoid due to not wanting to be disappointed. Or perhaps you have just never done it or taken the time to go through the process. Like anything goals are something you want to make a reality in the future. Here in this article, I will take you on the adventure of setting goals. It’s is a comprehensive process that requires engaging all your senses, so get ready to get down and dirty with it! I will even show you what they don’t tell you about goal setting and why it may not have worked in the past and how you can set up your goals so that they really work every time.
There are many ideas and theories around goal setting, be it SMART goal setting, however, I do a modified one called START goals. There’s also and vision boards and visualisations that can help with a goal but the common denominator here is using sensory acuity as a tool to make it all happen.
As for Acronyms for goal setting as I said I like to make them so that they are true for me and goals are measured by me through my honesty in the process. So let’s get into START goals…
START with Goals
Sure it’s important to make your goals Measurable (as in SMART goals) but I believe it is more important to be Truthful as that is your is more specifically measurable:
SPECIFIC -Be specific
TRUTHFUL– Make sure it’s a goal that is truthful and set by you for you
ACHIEVABLE – Make Sure you can reasonably achievable but not too easy
REALISTIC/ RELEVANT– Make your goals realistic for you but also push you so that you are excited about it
TIME-BASED– Always put a specific time frame
Writing goals is easy if you know how!
Writing goals is easy if you know how to do it so that they are foolproof and actually happen as a reality in your life. You want that, right?
When you write of the goals, ideally you want them to be achievable goals.
However, in the adventure of achieving the goals is where many fall over. The fact is most goal setting is about how you perceive the purpose of what you want to achieve and how it makes you feel overall.
If you’ve struggled to achieve your goals, or are not sure of the goals you want to set, the following process is for you.
The questions and statements in this outline to follow are set up to help you form a more precise internal representation of your desired outcome. This means that goal enables you to feel more powerful and motivated to achieve them, and get the results you want to experience for the future.
Here are some tried and proven questions that I use with group workshops and individuals to really help them have a higher chance of achieving their goals due to the intensity and focus of their thinking and feelings around their goals.
Pre Goal Setting
Before you start, the first thing you need to ask yourself is;
“How is it possible that I don’t have it (the desired goal) now?”
Understanding why you haven’t achieved what you thought you wanted to do is key to your success.
Perhaps you set the bar too low or too high. Maybe what you thought you wanted it, and you realised you don’t really and are trying to please someone else by doing it. Yes, all of this I have been guilty of so don’t worry.
Reflecting on setting the direction of where you want to head is key if you are to stay focused and motivated. After you reflect on that for some time go through the following questions. Reflecting on your ‘why’ might just help you even more.
If you want to ramp it up a little for accountability, have someone you trust to ask you the questions.
You do not need to answer the questions, just apply your thinking to them and notice how it feels in your body. Imagine placing your outcome towards a more positive picture.
- The first question “what specifically do you want?” Remember, these questions must be framed in the positive. This allows you to get into some detail. Often people are really abstract or too big picture; they do not actually have a concept clear in their heads of what exactly it is they want,
E.g. “I want to earn lots of money” or “I want a relationship”. It’s just not specific enough.
Interestingly you may notice many people; in fact, around 80%, will spend 80% of their time telling you what they do not want! They might say ‘ I don’t want to be in debt’; they ‘don’t want the job they’re in, they ‘don’t want to be doing it alone.
This sets a negative feeling around their vague goals and drives the opposite of motivation. So spending time getting clear and focusing on what you specifically want is a critical place to start.
- Next is to specify the present situation. It’s great to have something to work towards, but you need to be real with respect to where you are now in working towards your desired outcome or goal.
So you need to ask “where am I now?”
Same as when you are going to a new location you need to find where you are on the map in order to get to where you need to go. This not only serves the purpose of being realistic as to how you are going at this very moment, it gets you looking at the event (achieving your goals) through your own eyes. This is important for the next point as we want to light up all the pictures, sounds and feelings around your goals.
Now we are ready to specify the outcome
By engaging all your senses you create a deep connection to the desired outcome. This is just common sense when you think about it. Have you ever thought about the first time you kissed someone special? When you think about that time in the past when you kissed that person can you get a sensation in your body, maybe it’s just a smile on your face but you still got a reaction? right!
Think about a time when you achieved something great. So work with me here and close your eyes and go back to that time, that exact time when you achieved that great success. Now, how did you feel? what is the word you would use for that feeling? Is it powerful, excited? What did you hear people say to you, what did you see and what sounds stand out? All these memories are things are stored inside you and you can use them to enhance your goal setting by bringing them to the party.
3. The next question is; “what will I see when I have it (the goal)?
In this question we want you to create an internal picture of your outcome or goal. Once you have done that we are ready for the next internal representation.
4. Now we ask “What will I hear when I have it (the goal)?”
This is both the sounds from yourself (internal) or sounds from other people (external). Sounds might not be as important to you as the visual representation (picture) and/or feelings, but it’s best to allow all the senses to get involved.
5. Next we ask “What will I feel when I have it?”
Feelings can be really powerful and are a significant driver of motivation. It creates our ‘why’.
Why do we want to achieve this goal?
Now that we have created a bit more of a specific picture it’s time to make your goal a little more real.
Let’s do this!
Imagine just for a minute; as if you had it (your goal) now! ( think about a time when you felt that feeling of having it NOW!)
Make it compelling, make it as real and as compelling as you can feel the feelings. Are you getting excited, are you proud…
Next; imagine yourself in the future; make sure you are dissociated, (meaning that you are the observer and not associated with the picture) So that you are seeing your entire body in the future achieving the outcome. It is important that you see yourself, your complete body in the picture. Otherwise, how does your unconscious mind know it’s you?
NOW Lets got in the FUTURE
A significant proportion of our behaviour is unconscious so it’s important to include that aspect.
See related article: About unconscious behaviour and conscious behaviour.
6. This next step is knowing when you have achieved your outcome (Time Based). In this step, we are asking you to measure your outcome and more importantly make it truthful for you.
Ask yourself “how will I know when I have it (the goal)?”
What is the specific end result that you will have that will have you know that you have achieved your outcome?
Think of it as the last step in your achievement of the task. ( what needs to happen for you to feel like you have it)
For example; if your goal is about achieving profit in your business it’s seeing that specific dollar amount of profit on your balance sheet.
Pay attention to the next few steps…
7. Many people miss out on this next step, but from time to time you need to make sure that this outcome or achievement supports all areas of your life.
Does it enhance and support all areas of your life and that it does not put one area out of kilter in order to have a result in other areas.
The question to ask is “What will this outcome get for you or allow you to do?”
This is a great check to make sure that the goal fits in and see how the outcome will affect any other area of your life in a positive or negative way.
8. Now, if you have an outcome or achievement that requires someone else to do something to make it happen then it is not self-initiated and self-maintained. ( it needs to be Truthful by you for you)
You need to know and acknowledge the truth about this outcome. So that if needed to put things in place that will allow you to change or make sure the goal is still achievable then do it.
It’s up to you to continue to drive it.
So the question to ask is “Is it only for you?”
If it is for or including someone else you should make sure they know about it and come to the party!
9. In order to be achievable, goals need to be specific, that’s a known fact.
So one way of making sure they are is to set the goal, outcome or achievement in a context. Be it a career, relationship, health or fitness.
Is your goal appropriately contextualised? This means giving it an important perspective by using similar examples or relevant background. Make it relatable.
10. Now the question to ask yourself is “Where, when, how, and with whom do you want it?”
This will enable you to get more specific and clear about one goal in one area of your life.
This is deep thinking I know but you will get the results by going this deep.
11. We also know that we do not always have everything we need to achieve our outcomes, be it skills or access to people to help us.
So think about what resources are needed to make it happen.
The question to ask here is “What do you have now (resources), and what do you need to get your outcome?”.
Make a List…
Make it as comprehensive a list as you can, this way you can start to tick them off once you have sourced or secured them. Lets me explain; just like when you need to make a phone call what are the things you need to have in place to make the phone call?
- Someone to call
- a number
- Money to pay for the call or connection
- an area code
- a phone
- A sim card
- a reason to call
- the same language
- a voice so that they can hear you speak
- the correct time frame ( you do not want to call them at 3 am in the morning)
Who would have thought you needed so much in place to make a call! These are all of the things that we don’t think about but they still have to be in place, it’s the same thing so when you make a list think about all the things you need in place to make it happen.
12. It’s likely that you won’t be the first to have set the goal that you desire. It could be a good idea to find out if others have achieved what you seek to do.
Ask yourself “Do you know anyone who has achieved what you’re trying to achieve?”.
If you do, it might be a good idea to seek them out and have a talk to them and see what you can learn from them in order to help you reach this achievement.
You may find that you don’t have to face up to the same obstacles that others that have gone before you have faced. Use your resources, ask questions.
13. Some people say you should fake it until you make it, but I disagree. I think that the connotation of faking it means that you do not believe it or have the resources to achieve it.
Instead, I would prefer to act as if. This comes down to the physiology and psychology of excellence, you can dress like a success and feel better.
Just imagine if you had it NOW
So ask yourself “Can I act as if you have it?”. You can as long as you are not fooling yourself, try it on. Notice how your body reacts when you imagine you have it now.
14. Many times you will need a number of things to be aligned in order for you to achieve your outcomes, achievements or goals.
If you are doing something that is wrong from an ethical perspective, then you are going to hit obstacles. The study of ecology is the study of consequences, you need everything working for you and as little as possible against you.
So the question to ask yourself “Is it ecological?”
Further to the process of getting specific, it helps to be sure you really know the complete point of this outcome that you are working towards.
By asking yourself “For what purpose do you want this?” it will bring to mind the real motivation behind the need to work hard towards this outcome. (notice the first thing that comes to mind)
Prepare to make sacrifices to make gains
15. And finally, sometimes there are sacrifices that you have to make to achieve your outcomes. Having an idea upfront will help you be congruent about this.
Finally, ask yourself “What will you gain or lose if you have your goal?”
It is possible there is something out of your awareness that is sabotaging you. Be really committed – 100%. It might be a good idea to discover that now rather than later.
So use these points with a goal, outcome or achievement you would like to focus on, in one area of your life, and let me know how you go applying these tips for your desired outcomes, have they changed? And what came up for you through the process. I would love to hear how you go!
I want you to live a life of purpose and prosperity and live a life that is truly inspiring for you first and towards your dreams. If you are going through a time in your life where you have not clarity on what you want then let’s chat and get you started on your Real Inspired Dreams. Join our FREE Virtual Coworking