When you are deciding to enhance one or more aspects of your life, it's valuable to set goals that are realistic, achievable, motivating and meaningful.
In coaching I will often help clients to explore their goals through an exercise called Logical Levels.
Together we consider where you are now (current issue) and where you want to be (goal) and which elements need a bit of fine tuning, behaviour change, or new skills and beliefs to help make the objective a reality.
During the exercise you are guided to explore the following headings to ensure that we "scope out" all aspects that will help someone like you create change:
Skill and capabilities
Beliefs and Values
Connection & Spirituality
In exploring these aspects of your current position and your goal. Together we gain awareness of what helps or hinders at each of the levels.
Gaining clarity on what changes are needed to make the objective possible, at each level.
We also identify skills and knowledge that you already possess that can be used within your specific situation, to create the change you want.
During this process I listen out for things called "metaprograms" in your language, which helps us to discover important clues, about your situation. Helping to resolve the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Enabling action to be taken.
In simple terms Meataprogrammes determine the how and what of things your brain pays attention to. They form the unconscious (deep mind) rule book that help you navigate your way through life, create your reality and identify your beliefs about yourself and the world.
Just like all rules, some make sense and some just don't. Coaching helps you figure these out and change the story you tell yourself, to frame it to a more helpful belief.
It's amazing how "updating" a particular belief can help you to think, feel and do differently. Meaning a goal that appeared difficult or a problem that seemed stuck in its ways, suddenly has a whole range of options to enable change!
With most metaprogrammes, with have a natural affinity with one frame, but are able to learn or adapt to use the other(s) when we need to. Those metaprogrammes |(outside of your typical reference point) might take a little more effort, but they are still often within reach with the right awareness of perspectives in each element of the "logical levels".
You might also find that your preference for certain rules/behaviours ( metaprogrammes) can vary in different aspects of your life. For example, how you prefer to function in work and life may differ.
Have you ever heard yourself describe your "work-self" and "home-self" as being different?
An example of how our metaprogrammes can relate to our environment (work/home) or identity (roles) could be that you are confident in social situations with friends. But at work, you avoid having to speak in public in case you look like you lack professional skills.
Or you might love to taking up opportunities in a professional capacity. like going for a promotion or implementing a time bound project. However in your personal life you are frightened to do something like try out for a sports team or dance, sober, in a club.
In both scenarios, a simple glance back to logical levels could give you some clues around which areas you can focus on. Making a goal like public speaking, or trying out for a sports team increasingly possible.
A common metaprogramme (that is highly relevant when establishing your goals) is your preference for "Towards" and "Away". This is expressed through the language you use when exploring your belief or desires around your goal.
A towards preference is usually indicated through the statements you make towards a objective or intention that you are aiming for. " It will be amazing when I get chosen for the team" or "I will feel amazing when I have presented for the first time"
People with "towards" patterns often are proactive at getting started, but they may have not always thought of the risks.
An "away from" preference is focused on the avoidance of issues/problems or even avoidance of pain and discomfort. Identifying problems/risks and focusing on the avoidance of these.
With the same goals as above in mind, you might phrase your goal like "I wouldn't be such a failure anymore" or " I don't want to keep telling myself I can't do it". "Away from people" often need help finding the direction to reach the goal efficiently and with confidence. The focus is on what you get rid off and not necessarily what you gain from the objective. Be mindful that an "away from" perspective is likely to want to avoid risks and this can sometimes make getting started on a goal more difficult.
Away from preference are by no means "bad" frames. In the right context, someone with a preference for an away from metaprogramme, will be great at safety and security, scrutinising situations and can be a pragmatic thinker in risky situations.
When setting goals or exploring a change of behaviour it is powerful to use language that gets you as directly to your aim as possible. Toward language can give a more direct instruction to our brains neurotransmitters to explore opportunities and possibilities rather than get us stuck, distracted with the stuff we actually don't want in our life.
This can also be referred to as "Framing your goal with it's positive intention" stating what you want. Rather than what you don't want.
(If you have read my blog on Pink elephants you will catch the drift here, if not check that one out too here!)
To explore your own awareness of Towards and Away language and begin to start enhancing your well-being use this resource and notice whether you are stating your objectives with a "towards" statement or an "away from" motivation.
Set yourself a specific goal and then think about the things you that will help you achieve it.
(Download the PDF worksheet here)
Using the simple framework of:
I love to hear how you get on, so feel free to leave a comment or share this post tagging me with your comments.
To discover more about your own metaprogrammes , learn ways to change your thinking, take action and make a positive difference in your life, you can get in touch and arrange a FREE discovery call with JK.
Picture - Source - Unsplash -Michele Eckert & SOCIAL.CUT