Goal Setting and Achievement

Thinking about the goals we want to set for ourselves can sometime be a rather dry, paper exercise where we sit staring into space for a little while before trying to craft something meaningful on a piece of paper. I thought therefore it would be fun to explore some ideas for creative Goal Setting which will enable you to set motivational and inspiring goals and have a bit of fun in the process.

So why not print off this article, find a quiet creative spot and have some fun.

1. Start by being silly

Get a really big piece of paper and start scribbling some daft and outrageous goals – this process will loosen you up and helps your left and right brain to be more integrated. My daft goals were to recite a poem backwards at least 4 times in the next 2 months, shave my head and to dress up as Calamity Jane! Think of some similarly daft things for yourself. Then think of an outrageous goal e.g. to learn to fly a helicopter, learn to skydive or fire walk in the next six months.

Once you’ve loosened up, start to think about what you really would like to do this year, try swapping to your non-preferred hand for this bit – it’ll take a bit more concentration and you’ll scribble a bit more slowly but is a great way to access the other side of your brain. It may also help you to discover hidden aspects about your goals and dreams.
Identify three goals that inspire you.

You can swap back to your preferred hand now!

2. Think in pictures

Think of an image that represents each of your goals. Images can be particularly powerful as they are easy to remember and keep focused on and often access a deeper part of ourselves than words alone.

Here are some images that have inspired some of my recent coaching clients’ goals.
If images really don’t work for you think about a song or piece of music that makes you think or feel your goal. Songs and music that clients have used in the past are; the theme from Robinson Crusoe, Souvenir by OMD and Mahnamana by the Muppets!

Find a way to keep your goals alive by using your representation as a screensaver, poster or something that you come to contact with everyday.

3. Give yourself words of encouragement and praise.

It is very important to appreciate even the smallest step towards your goals, and forgive yourself when necessary, as this will keep you motivated and energised. There are lots of fun and creative ways to do this.

Try leaving yourself a voice mail message telling yourself how good you’ll feel by the end of the week when you’ve achieved some aspect of your goal or saying how proud you are of yourself for an achievement. It might sound weird but try it – it’s amazing how it works – imagine you are coaching/supporting a friend when you leave the message.

Also try looking at yourself in the mirror in the morning with love and compassion, notice how good you are and admire and appreciate your courageousness. You will find that within a short time you feel much better about yourself. Try saying; “I am a lovely person and really appreciate the progress I’m making, I keep noticing that when I trust and believe in myself anything is possible”. The word you choose will make an impact on you so make them positive!

4. Let go of the old

Goal achievement is about change and change is about letting go of an attachment to something or someone. To keep moving forward towards your goal you will have to let go of anything that is pulling you backwards. There are a few techniques you can use to encourage your mind and body to let go.

Start by having a tidy out and getting rid of anything that you no longer need. The process of reordering and discarding the old is very therapeutic and makes us think about the future rather than the past.

Draw any negative feelings you have with coloured pens or crayons or make plasticine models of them. Then scribble until you feel a sense of release or mould the fear into something that will be more helpful . Or try the Notice and Ease tool.

Let go of the need to be in control of everything. In order to move forward towards new goals we are going to have to let go of the old and familiar. We may not understand or be able to control everything. Focus on what you can control and ask for help when you need it.

These techniques may sound simplistic or silly but are really good ways to begin to let go of unwanted emotions. If you find yourself resisting using these techniques you might want to work with a Coach or Councillor.

5. Be open to the new

Once you have a clear picture of the goal you want, look out for new opportunities that will appear to help to move you there. To do this you’ll want to stay grounded and centred.
I’ve mentioned this technique before and make no apologies for mentioning it again.
Become very aware of the weight of your bottom sitting on the chair and then notice the strong connection into the ground with your feet (this works best with your shoes off and your feet flat on the ground). Once you can feel the weight in your bottom in the chair and the connection with your feet on the ground take a few deep diaphragmatic breaths and say to yourself ‘I’m here’.

You’ll be amazing how opportunities will come now that you are focused on what you want. Seize these opportunities when they come and be prepared to evolve your goals if necessary.