As a life coach, clients always ask me about how to set goals for themselves and how to follow through on those goals. Now that it’s been a few weeks since New Year's, your resolve to make big changes may be waning. Do not fear! I am here to help! Let’s get serious about getting what you want. I call it “Goal Setting For Stuck People.”
Step One- Identify what you want
Step Two- Why do you want it?
Step Three- How do I think I’ll feel when I have what I want?
This process is deceptively simple. Knowing why we want something is very important because the motivation to accomplish your goal is inherent in the “why”. The “how will I feel when I have it” step is vital because it gives you a sneak peak at what it will be like once you’ve put in the work to get what you want. You are actually previewing the result before you even take the first step. This will get you into the right frame of mind when you focus on the feeling of the outcome.
You will experience far more success in all areas of life when you dwell in a sense that your goal has already been achieved. (Which looks a bit like “fake it ‘til you make it.”)
I’m not suggesting that you go around faking your way through life. What I am suggesting is that you act as if you already have what you want. When you want to get into shape, you must think like an athlete. You must think of food as fuel that gives your body the nutrition it needs to attain maximum fitness. You stretch, condition and care for your body to keep it in premium working condition. When we think this way, our actions follow.
Here is an exercise from Martha Beck that utilizes this technique perfectly. Try this:
Treasuring the Future- Now
*Choose one item from your list of heart’s desires
*Vividly imagine that you’ve already got it
*Go through it methodically by sense:
How does this scene sound, look smell, feel, taste? *Continue to experience it for at least 10 minutes
*Focus on “treasuring” your heart’s desire 10 minutes a day for a whole month!
While spending your time on this exercise, simultaneously begin work on what you want. That means looking at each one of your heart’s desires and make one small step towards achieving that goal.
If the steps bring you anxiety and feel out of your comfort zone- GOOD. That means it’s a stretch. Doing what you’ve always done isn’t going to put you on the road to your dreams, because if it did- you’d already be there.
Use rewards for putting in the time to get what you want! Do something nice for yourself to reward your progress. Don’t wait until your goal is achieved. Milestones are worthy of rewards. This way you stay on track to behave your way to your heart’s desires.
I want a healthy body. I hate exercise. I will motivate myself with stickers on my calendar for every time I exercise, and after 10 workouts do something nice for myself.
Ex. In my case, a manicure.
After 20, a new outfit.
After 30, a sparkly bauble that is fun, and unnecessary.
After 40, a massage.
Notice I am rewarding the healthy behavior, not pounds lost. The weight loss comes as a byproduct of my new healthy life style.
IDENTIFY MY GOAL-WHAT DO I WANT?
WHY DO I WANT IT?
HOW WILL ATTAINING IT MAKE ME FEEL?
HOW CAN I GIVE MYSELF THAT FEELING TODAY?
WHAT ACTION CAN I TAKE TO MOVE CLOSER TO MY GOAL?
WHAT REWARD WILL I GIVE MYSELF? AT WHAT INTERVAL?
Make sure to do this with a sense of wellbeing and calm, rather than a needy or graspy kind of energy. Neediness is a repellant. People and things will run from you if they get even a whiff of it.
Enlist supportive people in your circle to support you in attaining your goals. Better yet, get a friend to partner with and support each other, while holding each other accountable.
Get yourself in the habit of dreaming big...like really big.
Martha Beck calls them WILDLY IMPROBABLE GOALS, or WIG’s for short.
Just saying what they are out loud starts the process of the universe conspiring to manifest your desires. Really.