I was really reminded about the importance of setting meaningful goals two years ago when I went to Barcelona and attended a course called LifeBook. During this course you drill down across 12 areas of your life (from your Life Vision to your Health to your Quality of Life) and work out what you want and, more importantly, how you are going to go out and make it happen. It is a very elevated form of goal setting.
By understanding your reason ‘Why’ (why do I want to do this?) and having a vision for what life will be like once you make it a permanent action and habit and indeed value you can go way beyond the norm. If you are willing to really dive deep inside yourself, examine your beliefs and values and then create visions for how you want life to be then you can make it happen.
On a practical level, you always have to create goals (like SMART – Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, Time-based) that give you a blueprint for how to actually achieve these visions. And in combining the two you have a sort of vision board with a to-do list. With a deep motivation to make it happen.
One of the other tricks I learned through my experience two years ago was to also have a ‘Stop Doing’ list. What will you have to stop doing to get what you want and desire? You want a great body? Well then, stop laying on the sofa eating crisps and get outside at least for a walk. Get a Fitbit and do a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. You want a new relationship? Well stop being stuck in one that doesn’t work for you, or do some serious work and open communication within that relationship in order to fix it.
The ‘Stop Doing’ list was a revelation for me. I had apps on my phone and computer to create really smart to-do lists. I could even prioritise the lists by the most important goals or actions and assign timeframes to them all. At that time, I forgot to stop doing lots of things that were overwhelming me, taking my time and energy or just sabotaging the ‘To Do’ list and vision.
Many of my clients want to stop procrastinating. They feel like their life is always on hold. That they will never get what they want (once they know what that is).
Procrastination is fear-based. It is due to a fear of failure or not being perfect, yet perfection is unattainable. Like a finish line that is held on each side by a post on wheels. As you run and run and get closer and closer, they just keep pushing that line further away from you. You will never reach it. The effort is exhausting. Futile. Unfair. This is called the Hedonic Treadmill.
So stop. Get off that treadmill and create some goals for 2020 and beyond that really set you on fire, that support and nurture you, that move you, that you will want to achieve and can achieve.
If you’re ready to set your goals for 2020 and would like my help, I’ve co-created an online course with Stuart Ross which is on offer now.