Today I wanted to reflect a little bit on goal setting and creating change in your life.
I chuckled at a few friends recently who were talking about goals and behaviour change in the new year?
I put on my best "V. Posh Authoritarian Voice" on and stated "As the saying goes, why put off tomorrow, what you can do today!"
It's funny isn't it. How we suddenly decide on these benchmarks of change for ourselves.
Start of the week, start of the month, next weekend, next year. When summer starts or ends.
You'll have your rhyme and reason of course.
Makes perfect sense to you, whether you know it consciously, or it's just part of that subconscious rule book on how you do you?
"If I start on the 1st of the month, it gives me a great clean slate"
" I'll do it, once X and Y is done as that makes wayyyy more sense"
When committing to behaviour change, new or resurrected habits there are a couple of things to look at.
Firstly, if your setting any goal. It's important to really consider the value and benefit it has for you.
If you haven't given your brain the time to process this, and it's still stuck on the value of an extra hour in bed, or the taste of salty butter on warm chunky bread, or the soothing feeling of watching, just one more episode of your latest boxset, then that goal is going to be so much harder to achieve.
The wage in your bank bec
omes priority over the reduced stress and dream career.
The avoided argument, takes precedence over being heard and negotiating change.
If you haven't really identified the multiple benefits of the new behaviour, your brain may as well be hitching you a cab and asking you to "do one".
Think of all the capital gains you get from the new behaviour.
What's the impact on your mind? Body?
Relationships? Confidence? Health and well-being? Opportunities?
What's the benefits of you doing it for friends, family, team mates, your wider networks, the planets the universe.
Give your brain some mega reasons for this choice being EPIC, (even if that EPIC is just folding the towels when the laundry is done) Big it up. Give it an ego boost! Whoop, whoop!
Consider that feeling at the end of achieving each element of the goal.....oh so good!
Visualise it, write it down, saying it outline!
Fabulous I tell thee!
These aspects can scupper our plans to change too.
If it feels too big, then break it down into smaller steps, look at the stages, processes that belong to it and focus on those achievable steps first. Understand which element is your end-of level boss, your fortress, the bit that gets in your way. Do that bit differently or take time to understand the how of it.
Are you someone who gets frustrated when you mess up or quit? Self berating, negative self-talk. You turn into your own worse critic. Bullying yourself for your failed attempts.
Ask yourself, would I speak to anyone else like this? Probably not. And if you did, do you think they would be motivated to follow your commands, nope don't think so either!
Be kind and direct with yourself.
Clear goals, visions actions.
Patient, compassionate and your biggest fan.
Understand fears, unknowns and comfort zones. The things that have prevented the behaviour change.
The easiest bits you prioritise. What, if you are honest with yourself, are you scared or worried of?
How does keeping the same pattern of behaviour help you?
There is trickery a foot!
People often miss this one, but actually if you've set something too easy or you haven't swayed your brain into believing the epic proportional benefit of this behaviour change. Brain simply thinks, nahhhh we can do that another day.
Remember it needs to add value, have meaning. What can you do to create that, take a bigger stretch? Add variety? Focus back on the why? Make it fun!
Preparation of a big behaviour change can certainly help you to start and/or sustain it.
Really consider what you actually need to begin and maintain it.
If you really think about it, that probably isn't waiting for an even number on the calendar, or a Monday, or a new year.
It may be influenced by time management, information gathering, self-esteeming, equipment buying, work/life planning, task delegation, compromise, budgeting.
Plot them out, be curious to discover the resolutions you can make.
If your squeaking "I can't" or "It won't work" also consider " How can I?" and "What will work?"
There are something's that need less planning and more action. In coaching I'll often call clients out on master procrastination. "Is it time to whip out the JFD card" I'll ask? For those of you not familiar the JFD card or Just F**ing Do-It card is called when we have carefully assessed that the goal is achievable, possible and the skills and capabilities to do it are well within reach for you. All that is left is action. JFD!
Start something, somewhere, soon. Now even!
You can be who ever you want to be, only you stand in the way of creating that change and getting nearer to your goal.
We often forget to celebrate our success, particular ongoing successes. Choosing to focus on the downfalls, the negatives, the perfect vision.
Remember to celebrate.
Embedding a sense of reward, progress and self acceptance.
Contingency & Bounce Forward
Everything that went before is learning, you can always begin again. And this time you begin with a wealth of additional resources, knowledge and insight.
If you have to begin again, just take time to notice the learning that has happened in the "almosts" and "Beginnings"
What do you need to fine tune to make this behaviour a part of you.
Smaller steps? Variation? Esteem? Knowledge? Healing? Letting go? Motivation? Reward?
So whether today is your "start of something new", planning time, or you just exclaimed out loud JFD!
Amazing,! Keep going! Today's ripple is tomorrows ocean!
For help with goals, life changes and creating further awesomeness in your life, you can get in touch or book your FREE 15 minute discovery call, to explore how coaching can support you to create a healthier, happier life.
A: Unsplash Start Digital
B: Unsplash Mika Baumeister